How to Read H.P. Lovecraft Without Turning Into a Racist

John Stephen Walsh
3 min readDec 27, 2022

It MAY be possible, but only our kind of people can say for sure, right?

1. Select a book of H.P. Lovecraft’s work

2. Find a comfortable place to sit, with good lighting. Preferably, you should occupy this seat at night.

2.A. Wait to do your reading when everyone else in the house is asleep.

2.B. If you live alone and have no social life, ignore 2.A.

3. Begin reading.

Take your time. Maybe keep a highlighter handy to mark questionable words.

4. When you find something objectionable — i.e. the name of the cat in “The Rats in the Walls” — roll your eyes towards the ceiling like a character in a television show. This is known as signalling. THIS SHOULD BE DONE EVEN IF YOU ARE SITTING ALONE.

5. As you continue to read, you will come upon racist ideas. As strange as it might sound, your ideas about racism WILL NOT CHANGE just because you came upon hateful ideas in a story about tentacled monsters.

5.A. Granted, these terrible ideas were written almost a century ago by someone whose life and beliefs are no doubt nothing like your own, and without being told you will be able to dismiss them and continue reading the story without believing these ideas. Still, I must go on record as warning you not to believe these ideas. Make sure you tell people I told you this.

A house. Thanks for rubbing it in the face of people who don’t own a house, Rich Rhode Island Guy.

6. Read the story to its conclusion. If you desire, read more of them, always keeping in mind that you should not be a racist and you should dismiss the racist sentiments and focus on elements such as story, atmosphere and monsters with many eyes and the ability to travel through time.

7. I promise that if you follow these rules, the racist ideas of someone long dead will not possess you and turn you into a racist.

8. If you can’t handle reading something and enjoying it while also dismissing the parts you don’t agree with, maybe you should stick to television.

9. On second thought, yes, let’s be safe. We can’t risk the wrong people being allowed to read just any book. Those People…those Others, you might say…can’t be trusted the way you and I can. And we have to create a good example; we’re the superior ones, after all. So in conclusion, the way to read H.P. Lovecraft is to not read his work at all. Just burn those horrible books and watch lots of television. That’s the only way we can be sure those ideas don’t escape like some COVID variation that attacks Those People.

10. You’re welcome.

Guy with red hair. How blatantly Celticphobic can you get?

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John Stephen Walsh

I write horror, science fiction and weird. Worked in warehouses, schools and social services. My books are on Amazon. https://johnstephenwalsh.wordpress.com/