I recently listened to your Randolph Carter episode and was hoping to ask you guys to talk a little bit more about the issue of authorial knowledge and character knowledge you brought up in the episode. You talked about how you didn't think that Lovecraft even knew what was down in the tomb and that the story suffered from that. In a certain sense I can understand this because if you, the author, don't know what is going on there is no way to describe it. Lovecraft, however, lives in this realm. His whole modus operandi is talking about horrible monsters that are beyond mortal ken. There must(?) be a real sense in which Lovecraft doesn't know what any of his deities really are. They are metaphysical impossibilities. And yet, this is what Lovecraft is known for, the indescribable, the ineffable.
That being said, I think what my actual question is, why, in a case like this, is it important for the author's knowledge to surpass the characters knowledge. Wolfe, for example, knows more about the world than Severian does, but Wolfe's world is, fundamentally, understandable. It is divinely ordered and metaphysically (and scientifically, for that matter) explicable. Lovecraft's world, however, is not. But this is where the core, I think, of Lovecraft's horror lies. It lies in the fact that his world is fundamentally unknowable and beyond human comprehension, because if one truly unknowable thing exists, then everything is truly unknowable. Thus, Lovecraft is an interesting case because his stories depend on talking about something that really is not understandable by neither him, his characters, nor his readers.
You guys also asked if there was ever a well done story in which both the author and the character had very little knowledge of what was going on. I think that Kafka's stories might fit this description. I don't think, for example, that Kafka knows why Gregor has turned into a big bug, but the story works nonetheless. In fact, I heard that Kafka would write his stories and then take them to people he thought were smarter than him and ask them to tell him what they were about. But in this, both Kafka and Lovecraft are alike. The point of Kafka's stories was the not knowing and the absurdity and existential horror that came out of that unknowability of what the hell was going on.