Herbert West: Reanimator

Herbert West: Reanimator

Lovecraft, H. P.

Language: English

Publisher: Dodo Press

Published: Jan 1, 1922

Words: 12635
Pages: 49


Herbert West: Reanimator is a short story by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft. It was written between October 1921 and June 1922. It was first serialized in February through July 1922 in the amateur publication Home Brew. The story was the basis of the 1985 horror film Re-Animator and its sequels, in addition to numerous other adaptations in various media. The story is the first to mention Lovecraft's fictional Miskatonic University. It is also notable as one of the first depictions of zombies as scientifically reanimated corpses, with animalistic and uncontrollable temperament. Lovecraft originally serialised the story in Home Brew Vol. 1, No. 1–6, an amateur magazine published by his friend George Julian Houtain. Lovecraft claimed to be unhappy with the work, writing it only because he was being paid five dollars for each installment. Moreover, he disliked the requirement that each installment end with a cliffhanger, which was unlike his normal style. He also had to begin each installment with a recap of the previous episode. The book Science Fiction-The Early Years calls "Herbert West–Reanimator" "wretched work". Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi claims that "Herbert West–Reanimator" is "universally acknowledged as Lovecraft's poorest work." According to his letters, Lovecraft wrote the story as a parody of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. He drops in numerous Frankenstein references (even hinting at the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as Shelley did).