Imagine walking along the beach and looking upon a being beyond comprehension. A being that has been around for many millennia. One of these “ancient ones” is Cthulhu. Arguably the most popular of the Cthulhu Mythos.
H.P. Lovecraft, a writer considered one of the most important writers of the 20th century, gave birth to a genre of fiction known as “weird horror”. His most popular stories are those of the mythical, or ancient Cthulhu. An ancient being with parts of an octopus, dragon, and human caricature.
The main idea in the Cthulhu Mythos is what makes these stories stand out. The idea is in fact so powerful that it is almost impossible to eliminate. After all, strong ideas are immortal. One can try and commit mass genocide, or destroy all art in the world, but it will never be enough to fully eradicate the world of an idea, or to quote “ideas are bulletproof”-V.
So, what is the idea in the Lovecraft stories that stands out like a leaf on the wind? The main idea is that, if anyone looks upon Cthulhu, they will go completely insane and delirious within a couple days mainly because they cannot comprehend the fact that such beings have been around for several millennia without ever being mentioned. Or if anyone learns anything about them, they will instantly become a target of Cthulhu and the Cthulhu cult.
This idea makes it such that it is impossible to prove that such a thing is not real, but at the same time it also makes it difficult to prove such a being exists at all. It can make one wonder, how do we know there is not some text or book out there that when read, the reader will go completely insane? Or another example would be the “shadow test” from Doctor Who. People who did the “shadow test” killed themselves soon after because they could not accept the truth it contained.
What probably makes the Lovecraft horror stories a contender for the great literature class of books, is the fact that Cthulhu is the symbolization or manifestation of something that every life-form is afraid of. The fear of the unknown or incomprehensible. Almost every fear that someone has is the resulting fact, that the thing that is feared is something one does not understand. We fear what we don’t know. Will you go insane reading about Cthulhu?
“An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. The smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.”- Dom Cobb.