Joyce Carol Oates’s short story “Fossil-Figures” from the collection The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares won a World Fantasy Award in 2011. Her story collection Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque was a finalist for the collection award in 1995. The award itself is a bust of H.P. Lovecraft.
The following is a Twitter conversation on the news that the Lovecraft statue will no longer be used for the award.
#WFC2015 #wfcon2015 David Hartwell just announced this is the last year the World Fantasy Award will be the H.P.Lovecraft statue!
Joyce Carol Oates Retweeted EK Tremontaine
Why is that? I have a wonderfully weird Lovecraft statuette gazing at me right now & it is very inspiring.
@JoyceCarolOates @Isegoria This by @Nnedi explains it very clearly. Many of us were unaware of HPL’s ghastliness!
Have been informed that it is H.P. Lovecraft’s notorious racism & misogyny that have led to repudiation of his image for fantasy award.
Long ago I’d written an essay (“‘At Least I’ve Made a Woman of Her’: Images of Women in Yeats, Faulkner, Lawrence”) which is essentially
about how a (woman) writer deals w/ sexism in the literary tradition; Lovecraft is a similar though not identical case. Problem is, so much
of the canon is saturated w/ racism, sexism, anti-semitism, anti-democracy (to put it mildly) & lunacy, to toss it all out is no solution.
Lovecraft differs in degree but not in kind from racism/anti-Semitism of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Jack London, Hemingway & many, many more.
Cleopatra sniffing suspiciously at H.P. Lovecraft (statuette), World Fantasy Award 2011.
Some of us concentrate on the originality, significance, & worth of the work, & ignore the biographical; though, in Pound, difficult.
We would probably discover that Poe was a racist also, & we know he was “attracted” to young girls, yet–not to read Poe? no Poe awards?
Re. Lovecraft/ World Fantasy Award: no need for any individual writer to be attached to this. Avoiding specificity most pragmatic.
@JoyceCarolOates None will.
Disgraced deceased Master of Weird gazing wistfully upon live Bengal kitten vigorously doing her laundry.
Time for a new World Fantasy Award! Lovecraft who’d died in obscurity, of malnutrition/ stomach cancer, would have been astonished that any
of us even know his name in 2015, let alone consider him “controversial.”
Farewell, “eldritch.” We surrender you to the Void where you will await us.