Quote for the Week
I am essentially a recluse who will have very little to do with people wherever he may be. I think that most people only make me nervous—that only by accident, and in extremely small quantities, would I ever be likely to come across people who wouldn’t. It makes no difference how well they mean or how cordial they are—they simply get on my nerves unless they chance to represent a peculiarly similar combination of tastes, experiences, and heritages; as, for instance, Belknap chances to do . . . Therefore it may be taken as axiomatic that the people of a place matter absolutely nothing to me except as components of the general landscape and scenery. Let me have normal American faces in the streets to give the aspect of home and a white man’s country, and I ask no more of featherless bipeds. My life lies not among people but among scenes—my local affections are not personal, but topographical and architectural. No one in Providence—family aside—has any especial bond of interest with me, but for that matter no one in Cambridge or anywhere else has, either. The question is that of which roofs and chimneys and doorways and trees and street vistas I love the best; which hills and woods, which roads and meadows, which farmhouses and views of distant white steeples in green valleys. I am always an outsider—to all scenes and all people—but outsiders have their sentimental preferences in visual environment. I will be dogmatic only to the extent of saying that it is New England I must have—in some form or other. Providence is part of me—I am Providence—but as I review the new impressions which have impinged upon me since birth, I think the greatest single emotion—and the most permanent one as concerns consequences to my inner life and imagination—I have ever experienced was my first sight of Marblehead in the golden glamour of late afternoon under the snow on December 17, 1922. That thrill has lasted as nothing else has—a visible climax and symbol of the lifelong mysterious tie which binds my soul to ancient things and ancient places.
–H. P. Lovecraft, Letter to Lillian D. Clark (29 March 1926), quoted in Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters edited by S. T. Joshi, p. 186. Courtesy of Wikiquote