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The Monster in the Mirror, by Robert H. Waugh Book Review | SFReader.com
The Monster in the Mirror, by Robert H. Waugh Genre: Non-Fiction Publisher: Hippocampus Press Published: 2006 Review Posted: 10/31/2006 Reviewer Rating:
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The Monster in the Mirror, by Robert H. Waugh
Book Review by Phillip A. Ellis
Have you read this book?
H. P. Lovecraft has been variously treated by critics, over the years. For the most part, his boosters have demonstrated a range of facility with critical work, ranging from enthusastic amateurs to professional critics and scholars. The latter includes amongst its number Robert H. Waugh, the author of this book.
The Monster in the Mirror collects the bulk of Professor Waugh's writings about Lovecraft. They easily demonstrate both his depth of reading in Lovecraft, and his breadth of interests. They also demonstrate a strong degree of critical thought, and a complexity of argument that supports the basic position that Lovecraft is one writer worthy of exegesis.
Unfortunately, The Monster in the Mirror has a density of expression that may prove too daunting for the average reader. It pays well to read with full attention to both Waugh's arguments and expression, as the rewards from even a cursory acquaintance with the book's contents should prove more than adequate. This makes the essays less lucid than Joshi at his best, yet they attempt in many ways a degree of argumentation of greater complex than Joshi has presented to us. Joshi is the best general introduction to Lovecraft, Waugh is amongst the best in extrapolating the more complex of positions on him.
This is how criticism should be: engaged, engaging, erudite and at the same time compelling. If you wish to explore the wider aspects of Lovecraft, his life and his writings, this is an ideal book for you. Though you may find The Monster in the Mirror a difficult read, perseverance should bring rewards and greater understanding of this master of speculative fiction.
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