“Idealism and Materialism — A Reflection“
- Essay (4,310 words); written in 1919/20/21. First published in the National Amateur(“July 1919”); rpt. MWForceful essay presenting an anthropology of religion (derived largely from Nietzsche and from John Fiske’s Myths and Myth-Makers ), asserting that religious belief is a holdover from primitive times in which human beings invented gods as a means of explaining natural phenomena, the causes of which they did not understand. HPL mentions his “seeing” a dryad in the woods near his home at the age of seven or eight, an anecdote repeated in “A Confession of Unfaith” (1922). Its date of composition is unknown: the July 1919 National Amateurwas long delayed and did not appear until the summer of 1921; as the issue also contained HPL’s “The Picture in the House” (December 1920), the essay could have been written in 1920 or early 1921.
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.
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