Were they just smarter then?

December 30, 2008

I’ve been reading, and enjoying, the slightly demented tales of H.P. Lovecraft, an early 20th Century horror/science fiction writer. His stories are highly imaginative, although they lean toward the darker side.

Anyway, long story short (or short stories long as the case may be) I’m finding his vocabulary rich and his characters and plots are very strong. I ask myself, “this is a writer of horror and fantasy, not genres renowned for strength of any of these aspects, so were people just smarter before our time?” I keep putting off reading amusing ourselves to death by Neil Postman, which I borrowed from a friend at last New Year’s (sorry Emily) but I suspect his answer would be that we’re just dumber.



  1. Not smarter then, just better educated. The younger generations have been cheated of a decent education, Lord only knows why, but it makes me paranoid.

    However, H P Lovecraft was a very literary person, practically a genius. So his works are a little more complicated than those of the average Weird Tales reader.

    Do read the Neil Postman book. It opened up worlds for me.

  2. One would have thought you would have borrowed Postman from your parents’ library.

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