Ramsey Campbell has an article ("HP Lovecraft: The Man Who Haunted Horror Fans") for the BBC News Magazine commemorating the 75th anniversary of his death. "He signed himself 'Grandfather' to his younger correspondents"-I recall "Grandpa" and "Grandsire," but not "Grandfather."
A high school student meets Nyarlathotep in Crunchyroll's anime Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos (aka Haiyore! Nyaruko-san). The first two seasons were Flash shorts, but the third is to be a fully animated series.
What's with this sudden flourishing of gut-busting anthologies? In 2009 there was the two-volume American Fantastic Tales (Library of America) and in 2010 the two-volume 1574-page The Century's Best Horror Fiction (Cemetery Dance) edited by John Pelan, which runs from 1901 to 2000 and contains a story for each year, presumably by date of publication (e.g., "Pigeons from Hell" is under 1938, two years after Howard's death). *** A monumental anthology if only in volume The Weird (edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer; Tor Books 2012) has 110 stories taking up 1,152 pages in over 750,000 words. It's even big enough to contain "The Dunwich Horror." *** 21 Essential American Short Stories (Thomas Dunne Books, 2011) edited by Leslie M. Pockell has the usual suspects: Poe, Twain, Melville, Crane, Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. And the unusual one: "The Call of Cthulhu." In 2002 Pockell picked it as one of The 13 Best Horror Stories of All Time.
Thomas Perkins draws Lovecraftian creatures on his kid's school lunch bags. *** There's a painting display at Howl Gallery in Fort Myers of monsters of the deep by Skot Olsen, who "mixes in his love of religious artwork . [with] H.P. Lovecraft".
Comic Books and Graphic Novels
Illustrator of The New Deadwardians, I. N. J. Culbard talks about HPL, whose At the Mountains of Madness he adapted. *** Captain Nemo meets the Mythos in the French language 20 000 Siècles sous les Mers, Tome 2 : Le Repaire de Cthulhu [20,000 Centuries Under the Seas, Book 2: The Lair of Cthulhu] (Soleil Productions, 2012) by Patrick A. Dumas and Richard D. Nolane. *** The Dutch language H.P. Lovecraft - Het onzienbare en andere verhalen [H. P. Lovecraft - The Unnamable and Other Tales] (Uitgeverij Oog & Blik, 2012) is edited and illustrated by Erik Kriek.
*** Edited by Alan Hewetson, Skywald!: The Complete Illustrated History of the Horror-Mood (Critical Vision, 2004) contains, according to the publisher, "long-running interpretations of Lovecraft's Cthul[h]u mythos, and their 'International anti-Shoggoth Crusade' to the centre of the Ear[t]h." *** Horror Writers of America has awarded its Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel to Neonomicon (Avatar Press) by Alan Moore. *** FEARnet.com interviews writer Alex Greenfield, who won the 2011 Best Script Award for the motion comic The Temple, which takes place in the Afghani desert. It was produced through Amazon Studios (it's part of Amazon.com).
The full text is available for "Sufi Motifs in the Stories of H. P. Lovecraft" (Zeitschrift fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik, vol. 3, no. 3 ) by Ian Almond, earlier mentioned in 'aster, April 2008. Not in S. T.'s H.P. Lovecraft : A Comprehensive Bibliography. *** HPL and others are discussed in Glenn Willmott's "Cat People" (p. 839-856, Modernism/ Modernity v. 17, no. 4 [Nov 2010]). HPL is "the apologist for ... felinomorphic modernism" (p. 842). *** The Blogicaster (no relation) goes back to Cotton and Increase Mather and Remigius to trace the history of the Lactantius quote "Efficiunt Daemones, ut quae non sunt, sic tamen quasi sint, conspicienda hominibus exhibeant" that begins "The Festival." *** Tentaclii has a list of free online scholarly works related to him.
Swiss choreographer and interpreter "Maurice Béjart has since devised several short works on the same pattern. The first, inspired by Lovecraft . [was] created at the Fontaine des Quatre Saisons, a cabaret" (p. 123; The Ballet Annual, 1957 [Adam and Charles Black, 1956]). Is the reference to H. P. Lovecraft, or is it a neologism for the sexual? The immediately preceding paragraph speaks of an earlier Béjart work that is "a discreet treatment of the theme of sex education and the Oedipus complex"; while the paragraph before that one describes another work that is "a restrained portrayal of the loneliness of modern man . [Béjart] wanders among shadows which resemble automatons and move to the rhythm set by the shrieks and whispers of musique concrète". It is "a work of brutal, hallucinatory power." Such as it is, that's the evidence. My vote is that the "Lovecraft" allusion is to HPL.
He's listed as one of the victims of colorectal cancer in a Chicago Sun-Times editorial (26 February 2012).
For those who think HPL is verbose, this is a graphic portrait of him in his own (most frequently used) words by Juan Osborne.
"Amateur journalism was primarily a youth movement: veterans such as the science fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft, though prominent, do not appear to have dominated conferences or the National Amateur Press Association" (p. 56; To Exercise Our Talents: The Democratization of Writing in Britain [Harvard University Press, 2006] by Christopher Hilliard). I suppose presidency doesn't count.
Lovecraft eZine offers images of the text of four 1934 letters written "to young poet Robert Nelson" that are for sale on eBay. Incidentally, I Am Providence has a brief allusion to a comment by Nelson. *** hplovecraft.com has a "Request for Manuscripts" page that asks to see any Lovecraft manuscripts and letters that may be in private hands so as to copy them to an electronic archive.
In pdf format are select issues of Argosy Weekly, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Fantastic Adventures, Fantastic Novels, Startling Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Unknown, Weird Tales, etc. *** The first issue of the Polish genre magazine Coś na progu (possibly translated as Something on the Threshold) has HPL on its cover in a straitjacket; and as part of its theme issue there's an essay by "S. T. Joshiego". (And should you wish more about Lovecraft in Polish, try www.hplovecraft.pl.)
In the award-winning film Joanna Makes a Friend, the title character "is a lonely little girl struggling to fit in and is unable to make any friends at school. Her slightly odd tastes and love of HP Lovecraft mean that the kids at school tease her." She builds a robot friend, Edgar Allen Poe-bot. *** While working on The Shining director Stanley Kubrick and screenwriter Diane Johnson talked about HPL (p. 46; Depth of Field: Stanley Kubrick, Film, and the Uses of History [University of Wisconsin Press, 2006])
*** 13 million euros is the estimated cost for an animated 3-d feature, Ages of Madness, based on his writings. The Spanish film company Linc Studios will also do a short animated Lovecraft film, Helen. *** The A.V. Club interview with The Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard includes a few remarks about HPL.
The Irish label Wist Rec pairs soundtracks with artists. As a result you'll find, among others, "The Blasted Heath" by Depatterning accompanying "The Colour out of Space," "The Killer in the Rain" by the Tape Loop Orchestra as a soundtrack for the Raymond Chandler novella, and "Bluebeard" by Danny Norbury for the Angela Carter novella. *** Musician Vernon Reid called his band Living Colour after "The Colour out of Space." He believes the Cthulhu Mythos "would be a great subject for a black rock opera" (p. 141; Rip it Up: The Black Experience in Rock 'n Roll [Palgrave Macmillan, 2004]). *** Part of a letter from HPL to E. Hoffman Price about change appears in Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael (Oxford University Press, 2003) by Richard M. Sudhalter. *** De Vermis Mysteriis is the title of a new studio album by High on Fire.
He is in the French language Dictionnaire des Mythes d'Aujourd'hui (Le Rocher, 1999 ) by Pierre Brunel.
Steve Buscemi plays magician Anton Lovecraft in the movie Burt Wonderstone. *** The search engine/calculator Wolfram Alpha allows you to put in the first and last letter(s) (e.g., "lo" and "ft") and it will produce all words that fit the pattern; in this case, only "loft" and "Lovecraft". *** Matthew Lovecraft works as a mentalist.
The couplet "That is not dead." opens the section "Withdrawal of Recognition in International Law" in State Failure, Sovereignty and Effectiveness : Legal Lessons from the Decolonization of Sub-Saharan Africa (Brill Academic Publishers, 2004) by Gerard Kreijen.
"From Beyond" has been adapted by Julie Hoverson for the Lovecraft 5 (via Yog-Sothoth.com).
Archaeologist Magnus Reuterdahl states a number of people in both his profession and in anthropology are Lovecraft buffs. He adds that from 26 March to 1 April (2012) there will be seminars, readings, etc. saluting him at "Stockholms H.P. Lovecraftfestival."
Apparently he receives mention in "Antarctica: Of Ice and Men," a one-hour episode from the British documentary series Timeshift. *** In a 2011 Supernatural episode ("Let It Bleed") HPL (played by Peter Ciuffa) is murdered on 15 March 1937.
February 2012 in Chicago "DreamLogic, a live entertainment performance group, is presenting Elder Gods, a promenade-style performance ... of ... At the Mountains of Madness." *** H.O. [sic] Lovecraft's The Shadow of Innsmouth by Bragan Thomas is to take place at The Provincetown Theater. *** As another installment in the H. P. Lovecraft Festival, New York's RadioTheatre will present in repertory "A [sic] Shadow over Innsmouth"; "The Lurking Fear"; "The Horror at Martins' [sic] Beach"; "The Evil Clergyman"; and "The Statement of Randolph Carter". *** Re-Animator The Musical has won the L.A. Weekly Musical of the Year Theatre Award.
Though he hated typing, he used a 1904 standard Remington. To find what other typewriters were used by various pulp writers, see "The Typewriter & Those Amazing Pulp Fiction Stories!"
Skulls in the Stars offers numerous blog entries about Richard Marsh.
For a list of recipients of the IAFA (International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts) William L. Crawford Fantasy Award see the Wikipedia entry. *** Robert E. Howard's The Complete Chronicles of Conan makes up one of the 100 Must-Read Books for Men (editors Stephen E. Andrews and Duncan Bowis; A & C Black, 2008). There's also an entry for M. R. James' Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories. *** Clark Ashton Smith's The Freedom of Fantastic Things: Selected Criticism on Clark Ashton Smith (edited by Scott Connors; Hippocampus Press, 2005) is freely available. *** James Ferdinand Morton was famous enough during his life to be included in Who's Who in America. Among his memberships was that in the NAACP.
*** Will Hart's "E. Hoffmann Price: A Visual-Bibliography" contains scans of pertinent magazine covers--and sometimes contents--arranged by decade. Will writes "Several hundred more images will soon be posted, covering the decades up to the present; and they will include personal letters, photos, and pages from Lovecraft letters to E. Hoffmann price."
Novelist John Barth states that when young he was a fan of the Avon Fantasy Reader series (Faulkner and Postmodernism [University Press of Mississippi, 2002]). *** Rod Serling's daughter Anne--who has a forthcoming book, Another Dimension-mentions he liked HPL. *** Lives of the Novelists: A History of Fiction in 294 Lives by John Sutherland includes Mrs. Radcliffe, Charles Brockden Brown, M. G. Lewis, John Polidori, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, the Brontës, Ambrose Bierce, Bram Stoker, William Sharp, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, M. P. Shiel, H. G. Wells, Saki, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sax Rohmer, Dennis Wheatley, Robert E. Howard, Ray Bradbury, and Stephen King.
*** Awarding the Story Prize for short fiction to Steven Millhauser "the judges noted that his stories evoke those of Edgar Allan Poe, Franz Kafka and H.P. Lovecraft in their explorations of other realms which are nonetheless rendered utterly believable." *** Looking at several short stories in The Exploits of Chevalier Dupin (Mycroft & Moran, 1968) by Michael Harrison leads Forces of Geek to speculate ("The Dreamquest of Edgar Allan Poe") that the fictional Poe's pseudonym "Mr. Carter Randolphe, of Richmond Virginia" is evidence that Lovecraft's Randolph Carter was based, not on an idealization of himself, but of Poe. *** "The Dance of the Frogs" by anthropologist poet and essayist Loren Eiseley was inspired by HPL ("Eiseley and Jung: Structuralism's Invisible Pyramid" by John Nizalowski in Artifacts and Illuminations: Critical Essays on Loren Eiseley [University of Nebraska Press, 2012; p. 277]). Read the story here.
*** Asked of Robert Silverberg by SFFWRTCHT: "Who were some writers who inspired you as you discovered the genre?
"RS: The first was H.G. Wells, whose 'The Time Machine' had an overwhelming impact on me when I was about ten. Then there was Lovecraft and his 'The Shadow out of Time,' and John Taine with Before the Dawn (a great time-travel/dinosaur novel)..." (via SF Signal). Perhaps it is coincidental that both the Lovecraft and the Taine stories made up two of the four works in the Donald A. Wollheim edited Portable Novels of Science (The Viking Press, 1945). Silverberg would have been ten when it was published.
S. T. answers questions about HPL at reddit.com. *** Congrats to Derrick Hussey and his Hippocampus Press for the Specialty Press Award from the Horror Writers of America.
Howard This character is intended as a superman, and as physical strength is the form of power that boys can best understand, he is usually a sort of human gorilla; in the Tarzan type of story he is sometimes actually a giant, eight or ten feet high. At the same time the scenes of violence in nearly all these stories are remarkably harmless and unconvincing...In the Yank Mags you get real blood-lust, really gory descriptions of the all-in, jump-on-his-testicles style of fighting, written in a jargon that has been perfected by people who brood endlessly on violence."
In his essay, "Boys' Weeklies," George Orwell talks about boys' fiction whose aim is "bully-worship and the cult of violence." I'm reminded of Robert E. Howard and his barbaric characters when Orwell writes of certain hero types "
This character is intended as a superman, and as physical strength is the form of power that boys can best understand, he is usually a sort of human gorilla; in the Tarzan type of story he is sometimes actually a giant, eight or ten feet high. At the same time the scenes of violence in nearly all these stories are remarkably harmless and unconvincing...In the Yank Mags you get real blood-lust, really gory descriptions of the all-in, jump-on-his-testicles style of fighting, written in a jargon that has been perfected by people who brood endlessly on violence."
In Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs (Harvard University Press, 2002), Marcus Boon compares Lovecraft's style to that of the author of The Hasheesh Eater: Being Passages from the Life of a Pythagorean, Fitz Hugh Ludlow "in his most Gothic moments." He quotes Lovecraft's judgment on the book: "I frequently reread those phantasmagoria of exotic colour, which proved more of a stimulant to my own fancy than any vegetable alkaloid ever grown or distilled."
quote is also used at the conclusion of the introduction to the 2006 Rutgers University Press edition of The Hasheesh Eater by Stephen Rachman,
who earlier observes that HPL "deeply admired the book" (p. xxv); in this
instance the quote is from Pioneer of Inner Space (Autonomedia, 1998) by
Donald P. Dulchinos. From the same letter Lovecraft had gone on to say, "The reeling panoramas out of space and time have an unmistakable tinge of authenticity, and even the metaphysical speculations were far from arid." (The later quote is lifted from the L. W. Currey
catalog, which has the Ludlow copy given to him in 1925 from Sam Loveman.
In the 2002 Lovecraft's
Library it is item 556.)
How Lovecraftian is Ludlow? Here and there in nightmare visions is a cosmic viewpoint."At one time I well remember beholding a colossal veiled figure part the drapery of sombre clouds which hung over the horizon, and appear upon a platform which I supposed to be the stage of the universe." This comes a little after a Deity tells Ludlow "'Thou hast lifted thyself above humanity to peer into the speechless secrets before thy time; and thou shalt be smitten-smitten-smitten'" (p. 144). For Ludlow the cosmic is mixed with the theological, as the preceding attests. Ludlow's use of the cosmic could be fanciful: "I floated through the air, and in the cloud-valleys played hide-and seek with meteors" (p. 120).
Occasional passages from Ludlow evoke a kind of weirdness, such as "Now the walls bristled with hippogriffs; now, from wainscot to ceiling, toucans and maccataws swung and nodded from their perches amidst emerald palms; now Centaurs and Lapithæ clashed in ferocious tumult, while crater and cyathus were crushed beneath ringing hoof and heel" (p. 31-32). This is a vague echo of "The Horror at Redhook" where "forming at once into a ceremonial procession, the nightmare horde slithered away in quest of the sound-goat, satyr, and Aegipan, incubus, succuba, and lemur, twisted toad and shapeless elemental, dog-faced howler and silent strutter in darkness."
More than Lovecraft, The Hasheesh Eater is reminiscent of Clark Ashton Smith, most notably his poem "The Hashish Eater-or-the Apocalypse of Evil." Indeed, "The Apocalypse of Hasheesh,"was the title of Ludlow's memoir when published as a brief article in an 1856 issue of Putnam's Monthly. Whether Smith mined this source I know not. The style is also comparable through its lapidary prose and exotic or learned allusions that I associate with him.
Beyond Smith, as I read The Hasheesh Eater, other works came to mind: David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus, Poe's Eureka, John Lyly's Euphues, Oscar Wilde's "The Sphinx." I guess you could also throw in the theosophical characteristics of "Through the Gates of the Silver Key." That is to say, the Ludlow is part fantasy, part dream, part philosophy, and part theology. I remain agog that HPL could rhapsodize about a work with such theological and philosophical ruminations encased in swollen and inscrutable prose and content, and through which I forced myself to plough.
"Among the pulps of the 1920s and 1930s, Weird Tales had the most frequent, however oblique, anti-capitalist writing, including that of late-life socialist convert H. P. Lovecraft" (Paul Buhle and Dave Wagner, Hide in Plain Sight : The Hollywood Blacklistees in Film and Television, 1950-2002 [p. 70; Palgrave Macmillan, 2003]). Buhle has written about HPL before. *** "Weird Tales Covers of the 1930s" discusses Margaret Brundage in the concluding essay from In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (Nan A. Talese/ Doubleday, 2011) by literary author Margaret Atwood.
Playboy (September 1962) features "The Bloody Pulps" by Charles Beaumont, whose screen credits include Twilight Zone scripts and The Haunted Palace (i.e., The Case of Charles Dexter Ward). In the article Beaumont states (p. 92) "Reacting with typically honest fury to criticism of one of his favorite pulp writers, the eminent regional novelist and historian August Derleth wrote not too long ago..." If this writer was HPL, it is the only reference to him in the article, though later Beaumont briefly names Henry Kuttner, Robert Bloch, Manly Wade Wellman, and others.
The Publishers' Weekly
I'm going through issues of this magazine to see what is relevant. Here are examples from the first half of 1924. "The Frozen Pirate (excellent title!) . up to a certain point is unique. The way in which the dead pirate is revealed to the marooned sailor is one of the most gruesome things in fiction" (p. 98; 12 January). This must've been one reason the book was cherished by HPL. *** "Algernon Blackwood will have published by Dutton a new book entitled Episodes Before Thirty (p. 114; ibid). *** Arthur Machen's article "The Only Way" (p. 511-12, 16 February) is blurbed "Mr. Machen, now a high favorite among discriminating American readers, as shown by the competition for his early books in the Quinn Sale on January 15th, has his impressions of the present habits of collectors. His most famous volume, The Hill of Dreams brought $3500 in its first issue which was London, 1907, his Fantastic Tales, 1890, brought $210." *** "The Centaur Book Shop of Philadelphia reports that the ten authors whose first editions were in most demand during 1923 were Arthur Machen [&c]" (p. 621; 23 February).
*** Sax Rohmer's Brood of the Witch-Queen is "a gruesome tale of black magic and of the sinister Anthony Ferarra, son of the sorceress" (p. 535; 16 February). An ad states (p. 1248, 12 April) that Rohmer "packs more horror into a single paragraph than anyone writing to-day." *** In the article, "English Best Sellers," one of the 9 titles under fiction is Madame Crowl's Ghost by Sheridan Le Fanu (p. 830; 8 March).
*** From a full page ad: "The first five volumes in The American Library [series] are ready." Volume IV and V are Can Such Things Be and In the Midst of Life. According to the blurb, "Bierce's reputation has spread to the far corners of the literary world, although his books are known to but a handful of enthusiastic collectors" (p. 1502; 10 May). *** Montague Rhodes James in his other life as a scholar has come out with The Apocryphal New Testament (p. 1812; 31 May).
Thanks for reading the 3,554 words of issue 72 of The Criticaster (Spring 2012, Esoteric Order of Dagon mailing 158) by Steve Walker. In Century font, size 11. Eventually published on the Net as The Limbonaut (no 43).