I find it fascinating that the same goals we should work towards as writers today were relevant quite a few years ago. That idea really gives credence to the idea that there really is nothing new under the sun. The attribute Lovecraft gives Poe of being an author who is the distanced narrator as opposed to the preaching fishwife is particularly interesting. Even if there is a moral to the story, we don’t have to beat the reader over the head with it. I agree that making a message heard and appreciated lies in the delivery: if it seems that the story is being told just as it happened, and doesn’t reek of an underlying motive, the author becomes a trustworthy messenger.
I particularly struggle with writing the events just as they come to me, because every now and then I get this voice in my head that tells me I shouldn’t write that. But I’m learning that I have to ignore that voice sometimes. Well, maybe most of the time. Because that rawness is exactly what needs to be documented, and if the ideas evoke that kind of reaction in me, then they will probably resonate with readers as well.
Something else that jumped out from this reading was the three rules for horror composition that Lovecraft credits to Dr. Montague Rhodes James. I know I see these attributes in the horror stories I read, but I never itemized them in that way.