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Cthulhu Mythos is the term coined by the writer August Derleth to describe the shared elements, characters, settings, and themes in the works of H. P. Lovecraft and associated writers. Together, they form the mythos that authors writing in the Lovecraftian milieu have used—and continue to use—to craft their stories.
During the latter part of Lovecraft's life, there was much borrowing of story elements among the authors of the "Lovecraft Circle", a clique of writers with whom Lovecraft corresponded. This group included Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, Frank Belknap Long, Henry Kuttner, and others.
Lovecraft recognized that each writer had his own story-cycle and that an element from one cycle would not necessarily become part of another simply because a writer used it in one of his stories. For example, although Smith might mention "Kthulhut" (Cthulhu) in one of his Hyperborean tales, this does not mean that Cthulhu is part of the Hyperborean cycle. A notable exception, however, is Smith's Tsathoggua, which Lovecraft appropriated for his revision of Zelia Bishop's "The Mound" (1940). Lovecraft effectively connected Smith's creation to his story-cycle by placing Tsathoggua alongside such entities as Tulu (Cthulhu), Yig, Shub-Niggurath, and Nug and Yeb in subterranean K'n-yan.
Most of the elements of Lovecraft's mythos were not a cross-pollination of the various story-cycles of the Lovecraft Circle, but were instead deliberately created by each writer to become part of the mythos — the most notable example being the various arcane grimoires of forbidden lore. So, for example, Robert E. Howard has his character Friedrich Von Junzt reading Lovecraft's Necronomicon in "The Children of the Night" (1931), and Lovecraft in turn mentions Howard's Unaussprechlichen Kulten in both "Out of the Aeons" (1935) and "The Shadow Out of Time (1936).
Cthulhu Mythos in Conan storiesEdit
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