The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 18, Issue 1/4, 2002

Sid Sondergard
Pages 87-106

Mapping the Lovecraft Idiolect
Iterative Structures and Autosemiotization as Reading Strategies

Towards reassessing and reconciling some of the conflicted readings of H. P. Lovecraft’s writings, Sondergard proposes that the author be read through the lens of his own idiolect rather than through interpretive systems constructed from referents external to Lovecraft’s often xenophobically self-referential perceptions. Modeling a semiotic system extrapolated from analysis of Lovecraft’s canon as well as of his life, the essay proceeds to employ it to reexamine “Herbert West—Reanimator,” a story that has been cited as evidence of the author’s racism.