My post Lovecraft on Lord Dunsany and the King James Bible is creating some reflexive poo-pooing by the peanut gallery over at File770.
Here’s the opening salvo from Mark:
I’m not sure where Jeffro is coming from here. Lovecraft’s atheism is pretty well-known (and if it wasn’t, Joshi produced “Against Religion: The Atheist Writings of H.P. Lovecraft” in the last few years) but it’s hardly a surprise that a man in the US of the 1920s would be familiar with the bible.
The post is not about either Lovecraft’s atheism nor the fact that he was familiar with the King James Bible. It wouldn’t be much of a post if that were what it was about, would it? You can tell from just the pull quote at File770 that the post goes far beyond “News Flash! H. P. Lovecraft Familiar with King James Bible”.
Here’s JJ’s amplification of Mark’s point:
It’s hardly a surprise to you or me that an atheist would be familiar with the Bible, and that they might advocate the writing style of one of its versions as something to be emulated.
But Johnson has already established through numerous of his posts that he’s got very little life experience outside his own very narrow upbringing, so I doubt that he has any real insight into what an atheist might think or do, or what their literary background might be.
“Hardly a surprise?” When this story broke, the people at The Atlantic ran it with the headline, “Study the King James Bible’: H. P. Lovecraft’s Advice to Aspiring Writers”. This is so far outside of most people’s impressions of Lovecraft, they put it in the headline because they knew it would get peoples’ attention. But now that the story is out there, all of a sudden it’s “hardly a surprise.”
(But the guy’s got a point. The people at The Atlantic do have very little life experience outside of their very narrow upbringings. You know, I was wondering what their problem was!)
A guy going by “andyl” elaborated on this:
Dunsany was an atheist too. I am too, and English, and I think most well-educated people (at least in the UK) appreciate that the KJV to be one of the more influential works in English literature. Introducing words and phrases intro English in the same manner as Shakespeare (about 12,000 as opposed to Shakespeare’s 31,000)
You know, I gotta say… this is the best news I’ve heard all week.
No, really! Everybody loves loves LOVES the King James Bible. Especially atheists. And hey, if you want to be perceived as being even halfway educated, then you better be familiar with the sucker. Because the King James Bible is pretty much the cornerstone of both Western Civilization and the canon English literature. It’s awesome. All those Lovecraft imitators of today that are such terrible wordsmiths? You wanna know why they stink? It’s because they failed to cultivate the analytical study of the King James Bible. It really is the key to unlocking the power of H. P. Lovecraft and Lord Dunsany’s prose. If I was a novelist, I’d totally want to get in on that, wouldn’t you?
But thanks for clearing this up, guys.
A Johan P weighs in with this:
Re (7) Lovecraft, I had the same reaction as others to the “Given how his politics and beliefs tend to be portrayed”-line. It’s a strange idea that someone’s admiration for the prose style of a specific Bible version is indicative of their faith or politics.
Because you and everybody else are totally down with King James. I dig it. And all of us can easily rattle off a dozen high profile atheists, nihilists, and hard line progressives that have endorsed the King James Bible to the same degree that Lovecraft has here.
Oneiros is troubled:
Re (7): I was having trouble parsing that too. As an atheist (or at least not really a theist), I also find value in the KJV – it’s a beautifully phrased book, or at least what I’ve read of it is.
Glad to hear that anyone who’s anyone finds value in the King James Bible.
Atheists? Please take the time now to show off how much you appreciate this book of books. Please share in the comments your testimony of how it not only made you a better writer, but also completely transformed your life.
I’m waiting, yall…!
You know, the cognitive dissonance is so great on this thread at this point, it really needs someone that can bring it down to a level were everyone can get a grip on things. That’s why NickPheas speculates further on what sort of upbringing I might have had:
One used to encounter people who thought that KJV was the directly inspired Word of God and all other translations were heretical – “If the Authorised Version was right for Jesus, then it’s right for me.” So if one came from that kind of culture one might make that kind of mistake.
So you’ve got people reading a small snippet of one of my posts. They’ve latched on to something in it that really ruffles their feathers. Then they reframe it into something I wasn’t saying… diminishing my point so they could act surprised that I’d take the time to even say it. Then they speculate on what kind of person could have possibly said something that crazy. That’s how you get to “Jeffro Johnson, the poor white trash trailer park redneck snake handling Charismatic that thinks that the King James Bible is the only inspired translation of the WORD OF GOD.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… Straw Jeffro!
And you know what these people hate most about Straw Jeffro? It’s not just that the guy doesn’t get out much. No, it’s more than that. It’s not just that he’s a boorish clod, either. No. The problem with Straw Jeffro is that he only hangs out with people that share his views. And when he’s exposed to someone that says things that don’t fit with the very narrow indoctrination of his religion and education, he very nearly freaks out and goes into the fetal position. The guy is that narrow minded. That’s the real problem with Straw Jeffro.
It’s also the problem with the File770 crew.
SJW’s always project.
Q. E. D.