Horror of Being or Fear of Death---H. P. Lovecraft's Horror Science Fiction
Lee Chia Yi
由於恐怖科幻小說呈現不同一般恐怖小說的感性層次，故本計畫認為Levinas與Heidegger關於存在的焦慮與逃逸存在的渴望之闡述，可提供一套描述語言與思考架構，以之閱讀Lovecraft的恐怖科幻小說。Heidegger認為Da-sein的存有樣態，深受對死亡的焦慮所標定，且以死亡為「可能之不可能」（the impossibility of the possible），說明存有樣態常在揭蔽與消隱間擺盪。然而Levinas認為existant卻受從未有所消隱的存有所標定，此樣態乃是「死亡之不可能」（the impossibility of death）所產生之恐怖，並因對此恐怖之感受性，使existant不斷渴望逃逸無所不在的存有。聯繫此二者思想，則為肉身的問題，因對死亡的懼駭，成立於肉身有限之前提；而逃逸存有恐怖之渴望，則是Levinas閒置the intentional I (or ego)，回到the embodied self as flesh後，闡明透過恐怖的感性，existant主體化的條件。由於Levinas的思想，與批判Heidegger的Da-sein之學關係密切，且二者均觸及當代（Lovecraft同代，1920至30年間）存有的樣態與病態，本計畫認為可由此切入Lovecraft的恐怖科幻小說。|
In the history of American literature, H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) occupies a special place. Not only has he been generally considered the most important horror fiction writer ever after E. A. Poe, he is also recognized as the precursor of the modern horror fiction as many of whose prominent players, like Stephen King, are unhesitating to vouch for the Lovecraftian influence in their own writing. Having long been eclipsed by Poe, Lovecraft did not get much critical attention until around 1975. Yet a few decades since then, the Lovecraftian studies has not seen much break-through other than textual annotation, correction, and authentication, as well as background source collection, and some scholarly works on Lovecraft』s personal philosophy and life history. The three-decade time span has witnessed solid and scholarly compilation of the Lovecraftian corpus (stories, novelettes, and letters). Yet a more critical appraisal of Lovecraft』s works is in great need to enlarge and expand the studies of this no less important American horror writer. Though Lovecraft is known for his horror fiction, the proposed two-year project will has as its focus the 「horror science fiction」 Lovecraft has devoted to in the last ten years of his life. This particular genre can be read as that in which occurs Lovecraft』s break with the influence of both Poe and the Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany and on which lies his attempt to be original. Otherwise than and alongside with his dream-cycle works, this small body of five stories written from 1926 to 1934 is generally viewed as lending Lovecraft his literary reputation. Yet it is in this mixture of horror and science fiction that the issue of horror has undergone certain twist and change if compared to Lovecraft』s other more Poe- or Dunsany-like works. The proposed project will attempt to introduce into the Lovecraftian studies a reading of the break of Levinas』s horror of being away from Heidegger』s anxiety about death (a break of 「fear of being」 away from 「fear for being」) so as to tackle a few questions regarding, respectively, the (reluctant or lapsed) attraction of horror, the subjectiviation of a subject through the affectivity of horror, the (daunting or self-defeating) task of the Lovecraftian horror science fiction to evoke and provoke horror, the confrontation or relation of language with horror (or the limit of signifying in face of its beyond), and, finally, the relational significance of horror to the end of man in light of the proposed 「cosmic indifferentialism」 in Lovecraft』s horror science fiction. It would be argued that a phenomenological description of horror is justified in reading Lovecraft as the former』s starting from psychologism, yet going beyond it at once, provides access to the unnameable support of horror, a support that also makes possible a being』s standing in its own being, and conditions being』s subjectiviation. It is via this description to relate horror to being that language upon its facing horror can be read as performing a task (if not yet causing an event). Whether Lovecraft』s horror science fiction is horrible or horrifying, as is constantly debated among critics, should gain certain fecundity through this reading of Levinas against Heidegger.
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