Collapse Volume IV, 277–285


Horror Temporis

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In his ‘Notes on Writing Weird Fiction’ (1937) Lovecraft wrote that time played such a large part in his fiction because he found it ‘the most profoundly dramatic and grimly terrible thing in the universe’. On the one hand, the horror of time is not simply the trifling matter of individual human finitude, but rather the recognition of scientific statements concerning cosmic timescales that precede and exceed the existence of humanity and life itself. Unlike Engels, who hoped against hope for future relief from the second law of thermodynamics, Lovecraft only foresaw future extinction…