The appearance of a volume of Tales by the pulp fantasy author H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) in the Library of America has been met with unpredictable reactions, especially in conservative journals. Michael Dirda, the editor of The Washington Post Book World, enthused about it in The Weekly Standard of March 7, leading with the declaration, “No full understanding of modern literature is possible without taking [Lovecraft] into account.”

John J. Miller, the otherwise perspicacious contributor to National Review, wrote in The Wall Street Journal of March 15, describing Lovecraft’s stories as “strangely engrossing . . . contain[ing] many elements that will be familiar to fans of The Da Vinci Code.” Should we expect that some day Dan Brown’s absurd, offensive pastiche of Catholic theology and history will also find a place in the Library of America—which...


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