Amateur Press Association
Read his freely available Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922. *** From under the column heading "Amateur Press Elects Officers" are these snippets: "Other officers elected are ... Frank B. Long, jr., New York City, first vice president ... Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Providence, R. I., official editor... Mrs. Anne Tillery Renshaw, of Washington, and Paul J. Campbell, of Ridgefarm, Ill., were elected to the board of directors. Henry Louis Mencken, literary critic and editor of the Smart Set, was voted an honorary membership in the association" (The Washington Herald, 12 July 1921).
According to the text, "The Anthem Guide to Short Fiction contains 20 classic short stories by well-known and respected authors." There's a strong genre representation thanks to Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," Edgar Allan Poe's "The Man of the Crowd," Ambrose Bierce's "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," H.G. Wells' "The Moth," H.P. Lovecraft's "The Outsider," and Robert. E. Howard's "Circus Fists."
The art exhibition "Lovecraft Comes Home" is at Gallerie Nomad, Providence. *** Jake and Dinos Chapman borrow from his stories for titles of their drawings. *** Though never illustrating a Lovecraft story, Margaret Brundage was the first cover illustrator of Conan as well as being one of the most famous Weird Tales artists. She now has her own book, The Alluring Art of Margaret Brundage: Queen of Pulp Pin-Up Art (Vanguard Productions, 2012) by Stephen D. Korshak and J. David Spurlock. There are three different covers to choose from, based on editions.
A scan of Ec'h-Pi-El Speaks: An Autobiographical Sketch (Gerry de la Ree, 1972) includes the Virgil Finlay illustrations. This copy is dedicated to Nelson Bond. *** HPL 's one of the entries in American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in U.S. History (Sharpe Reference, 2009) edited by Gina Misiroglu. *** Revolutionaries, Rebels, & Rogues of Rhode Island (History Press, 2011) by M.E. Reilly-McGreen contains "H.P. Lovecraft: Tales of the Outsider". *** "The City Under the Hill: Allegorical Tradition and H.P. Lovecraft's America" by Matthew Strohack appears in American Exceptionalisms: From Winthrop to Winfrey (State University of New York Press, 2011) edited by Sylvia Söderlind and James Taylor Carson. *** An Italian language appreciation of him by Rudy De Cadaval appears in L'Ideale.
Founder and publisher of Black Sparrow Press, John Martin is selling his Weird Tales collection, which he discusses.
Aimed at elementary and junior high school, American Horror Writers (Enslow Publishers, 2001) by Bob Madison includes him, Robert Bloch, and eight others. *** "Alte Mythen--Neue Mythen: Lovecraft, Tolkien, Ende, Rowling" ["Old Myths--New Myths: Lovecraft, Tolkien, Ende, Rowling"] is a chapter by Monika Schmitz-Emans in Chiffre 2000 - Neue Paradigmen der Gegenwartsliteratur [Cipher 2000: New Paradigms of Contemporary Literature] (W. Fink, 2005). *** Le Coincidenze Significative: Da Lovecraft a Jung, da Mussolini a Moro, la Sincronicità e la Politica [Meaningful Coincidences: From Lovecraft to Jung, from Mussolini to Moro--Synchronicity and Politics] (Lindau, 2010) by Giorgio Galli looks at coincidences and history.
*** Listen to Dean Lockwood talk about his essay "Mongrel Vibrations: H.P. Lovecraft's Weird Ecology of Noise," which appears in Reverberations: The Philosophy, Aesthetics and Politics of Noise (Continuum, 2012). *** The Animal Part: Human and Other Animals in the Poetic Imagination (University of Chicago Press, 2010) by Mark Payne contains the chapter "Changing Bodies: Being and Becoming an Animal in Semonides, Ovid, and H.P. Lovecraft".
*** In Gothicka: Vampire Heroes, Human Gods, and the New Supernatural (Harvard University Press, 2012) Victoria Nelson provides HPL with a prominent and perhaps pre-eminent place. His aficionados she describes as "the respectable center of Lovecraft fandom, the committed consumers: an initially adolescent male culture of literate, sensitive boys who often, though not always (based on my own informal survey), grow up to be scholars or filmmakers. Further down the continuum of Secondary Belief ... are the lifestyle emulators, in this case young men who imitate the writer rather than his creatures: they dress like Lovecraft in cheap suits, eat canned food (the frugal Lovecraftian diet), and only ride the bus (as he did) on their frequent hejiras to Providence" (p. 62). I'm unfamiliar with this latter group of fans.
*** Darwin and Dracula: Evolutionary Literary Study and Supernatural Horror Fiction by Mathias F. Clasen is a 2007 MA thesis (University of Aarhus, Denmark) that has a section, "Lovecraft's Instinctual Theory of Horror Fiction".
The Enigmas of History: Myths, Mysteries and Madness from Around the World (Mainstream, 2008) by Alan Baker has a chapter, "The Strange Visions of H. P. Lovecraft."
American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929 (McFarland & Co., 2012) by John T. Soister and Henry Joyce Nicolella has a meaty description of The Image-Maker--which includes a death-by-crocodile--and acknowledges Lovecraft wrote a lost review of the movie, which still exists. *** American Literature on Stage and Screen: 525 Works and Their Adaptations (McFarland, 2012) by Thomas S. Hischak arbitrarily settles on two works. There's The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (2003), whose origin story "is considered by many as his greatest work" (p. 59); and three film translations of "The Dunwich Horror".
"Joey Lovecraft" is a rock star character in Elimination Night: A Novel (New Harvest, 2013) by Anonymous.
Philosopher Graham Harman continues his interest in HPL with Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy (Zero Books, 2012). See also Cr'aster 55 (February 2008).
If I correctly understand the article (written in Italian) the newspaper Il Giornale is for 30 days offering for 2.99 euros downloads of literary works published by Newton Compton for iPads and ebook readers. The first author (the only freebie download) is F. Scott Fitzgerald, who is followed by all the works of HPL. (Retrieved 19 November.)
"H. P. Lovecraft: The Cult of Cthulhu" is a short chapter in Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs (IVP Academic, 2008) by James A. Herrick.
Here are some freely available scholarly papers I found in Arxiv.org (at Cornell University).
Possible Bubbles of Spacetime Curvature in the South Pacific (2012) by Benjamin K. Tippett uses the narrative of the sailor Gustaf Johansen ("The Call of Cthulhu") as a springboard. "We contend that all of the credible phenomena which Johansen described may be explained as being the observable consequences of a localized bubble of spacetime curvature" (p. 1, abstract).
Sequential Anomaly Detection in the Presence of Noise and Limited Feedback (2012) by Maxim Raginsky, et al. "With apologies to H.P. Lovecraft, we will call our proposed framework FHTAGN, or Filtering and Hedging for Time-varying Anomaly recoGNition" (p.2).
On the Hall Algebra of an Elliptic Curve, I (2009 last revised) by Igor Burban and Olivier Schiffmann begins with the Lovecraft epigraph: "Forests may fall,/ But not the dusk they shield." On the Hall Algebra of an Elliptic Curve, II (2009 last revised) by Olivier Schiffmann begins with a different epigraph: "Of you I ask one thing alone,/ Leave, leave your ancient lore unknown!"
*** Among debunker Jason Colavito's publications is The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist. *** HPL receives brief notice in Loving Faster Than Light: Romance and Readers in Einstein's Universe (University of Chicago Press, 2012) by Katy Price.
It is Hallowe'en, and a Google search shows that over the past week the term "lovecraft" was added to the internet 58,900 times. In the past 24 hours there have been 10,100 new results; and in the past hour, 93. I figure that for every 10 or so sites I examine, one makes it into these pages, and I in no way could look at even a small proportion of the incoming Lovecraft traffic. Some worthwhile ones will never be discovered by me.
E-book space is inconsequential when compared with that of a physical book, so the Kindle H. P. Lovecraft: The Ultimate Collection: 104 Stories and 44 Poems contains all he wrote, or wrote with others, or ghost wrote, from "The Little Glass Bottle" to "The Thing in the Moonlight" to "Bothan" (Henry S. Whitehead). Also for Kindle is The Ultimate Weird Tales Collection: Clark Ashton Smith (133 stories), The Robert E. Howard Omnibus: 99 Collected Stories, etc.
It has already played, but for the record--"Dialogue with Three Chords presents Lovecraft in Brooklyn a staged reading of a new work from playwright Stephen Gracia that explores H.P. Lovecraft's tumultuous time living in Brooklyn while newly married." *** The Tech Theatre Company (Houghton, Michigan) presented "Romancing Horror: Four Stories By H.P. Lovecraft!" the last weekend in November. *** He's the title character in the Don Nigro-authored monologue Lovecraft, which takes place in 1936 Providence, where HPL talks about his life and makes references to "My God, Eliot..." and Colonel Bush.
*** In January Bill Oberst, Jr. performed Weird Tales, a one-man show of stories by Poe, Lovecraft, and Bradbury. *** The Ornery Theatre of Houston, Texas presented Cthulhu: A Puppet Play in February.
In Bulgarian, Nevŭobrazimoto: Opiti po filosofiia na obraza (Nov bulgarski universitet, 2003) by Boian Manchev deals with philosophy, HPL, and French intellectual Georges Bataille *** Zhan li chuan shuo (Qi huan ji di, 2004) is a Chinese translation of Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre. *** Pimeduses sosistaja (Elmatar, 1996) (The Whisperer in Darkness) is in Estonian. *** La tuong tu (Mui Ca Mau, 1997) is one of the Vietnamese anthologies with stories by HPL, Poe, etc. *** At the Mountains of Madness has been published in Turkish as Deliliğin Dağlarında (İthaki, 2012).
Where's My Shoggoth (Archaia Entertainment, 2012) represents a trend of books aimed at children that are drawn from his imagination. This graphic work is written by Ian Thomas and illustrated by Adam Bolton. *** Hive: A Novel (Elder Signs Press, 2009) by Tim Curran is a sequel to At the Mountains of Madness. *** Attributed to Daniel Defoe and H.P. Lovecraft, and abridged by Peter Clines, The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope Robinson Crusoe (Permuted Press, 2010) continues a recent tradition of hybridizing titles in the literary canon (e.g., Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters).
*** A totalitarian city named Lovecraft appears in Caitlin Kittredge's young adult fantasy The Iron Thorn (Delacorte Press, 2011). The author cites Lovecraft as an inspiration. *** Canonical author Richard Wright was trying to come up with the title of a novel. "Savage Holiday was decided upon as the title on May 15, 1953. According to Jet, Wright owed it to a horror story by H. P. Lovecraft".  The phrase does not exist in the corpus. However, the year before the 1954 Savage Holiday saw publication, Wright produced The Outsider. It's tempting to speculate that Jet meant The Outsider rather than Savage Holiday, which sounds as if it was lifted from the hard-boiled detective school.
*** In The Primary Colors: Three Essays (Henry Holt, 1994) Alexander Theroux mentions HPL several times. *** Of the television show Jonny Quest: "This comic strip is not only drawn well but it has real scripts that follow an H. P. Lovecraft story line" (Rex Reed, Big Screen, Little Screen [Macmillan, 1971], p. 18). *** Poet David Jalajel has published Cthulhu on Lesbos (Ahadada Books, 2011). According to poetry editor Gene Doty the book "collages text selected from ... 'The Call of Cthulhu' into Sapphic stanzas that refract Lovecraft's narrative through non-Euclidean syntax." (Retrieved 7 January 2013.) *** Moi, Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Une Biographie Romancée (Oil du sphinx, 2004) is a fictionalized biography by Jacky Ferjault.
Michel Fabre, The Unfinished Quest of Richard Wright (William Morrow, 1973; p. 605). For more about Wright and Lovecraft see "Lovecraft at the Automat" by J. M Tyree (New England Review [January 2008], p. 137-150).
Poe, "The House of Usher," and the American Gothic (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) by Dennis R. Perry and Carl H. Sederholm includes the chapters "Cosmic 'Usher': Lovecraft Adapts his 'God of Fiction'"; and "Maternal 'Usher': Bloch's Psycho and the Blood-Stained Goddess of Death."
Robert Bloch has a letter praising a story by Gahan Wilson in Playboy (August 1967). *** Both Frank Belknap Long and Samuel Loveman have poems in Masquerade: Queer Poetry in America to the End of World War II (Indiana University Press, 2004) edited by Jim Elledge. The background given for SL is succinct: "No details about Loveman's life have survived him" (p. 282).
In his 1964 introduction to an early short story by John Ramsey Campbell, August Derleth stated "He began to write at seven, and has worked patiently at the construction of a financial [sic] British milieu that is a reflection of the Arkham-Innsmouth-Dunwich country." Was he thinking about the horrors of a depressed economy; or the rewards of a writing career?
From "The Call of Cthulhu": "We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."
From Francis Bacon's The Great Instauration (1620): "But, as in former ages, when men sailed only by observation of the stars, they could indeed coast along the shores of the old continent or cross a few small and Mediterranean seas; but before the ocean could be traversed and the new world discovered, the use of the mariner's needle, as a more faithful and certain guide, had to be found out; in like manner the discoveries which have been hitherto made in the arts and sciences are such as might be made by practice, meditation, observation, argumentation-for they lay near to the senses and immediately beneath common notions; but before we can reach the remoter and more hidden parts of nature, it is necessary that a more perfect use and application of the human mind and intellect be introduced." Knowledge and discovery are the subjects of both quotes, both mention the "sciences," and both use nautical metaphors.
Famous Monsters of Filmland
36: His face covered with a mass, the Boris Karloff character appears in a photo from the movie Die, Monster, Die, formerly and puzzlingly known as The House at the End of the World. Another photo from Planet of Blood shows a giant alien skeleton that (to me) is reminiscent of the space jockey from Alien.
Corman, Lovecraft: La Rencontre Fantastique (Dreamland Editeur, 2002) by Guillaume Foresti
In his preface to this French language book, director John Carpenter states that the Cthulhu Mythos was partly inspired by M. R. James. *** Foresti believes there is a connection to Lovecraft in fourteen Roger Corman-directed films, from It Conquered the World (1956) and The Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) to The Tomb of Ligeia (1965) and Frankenstein Unbound (1990). That Foresti didn't make his case for me may be due more to my fractured grasp of French and my discomfort with the philosophical and conceptual than the robustness of his arguments.
*** According to the author director Jack Arnold presented the Lovecraftian fear of scientific progress in such works as Tarantula (1955) and The Incredible Shrinking Man. The latter is by Richard Matheson, whose "work is profoundly haunted by the aura of the Providence master" (translated, p. 53), with which I disagree. To confine myself to The Incredible Shrinking Man, I'll consider the ending narration as a fascinating counterpoint to HPL. Recognizing he is continuing to shrink, the hero looks up at the night sky and concludes "That existence begins and ends in man's conception, not nature's. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist!"
The supernatural concern with the welfare of small things is in the Biblical idea that the fall of a sparrow is overseen by God. Arthur C. Clarke might describe this philosophy as the road to Lilliput, distinct from the road to Brobdingnag. Closer to the Lovecraftian is the prayer, "O God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small." In a fathomless and infinite universe, the particle that is an individual may be overwhelmed, especially if the conviction is that there is nothing in charge, that there is only purposelessness and indifference.
*** As an admirer of Poe "Lovecraft allant même jusqu'à signer certaines de ses lettres 'H. Poe Lovecraft'" [Lovecraft even signed some of his letters as "H. Poe Lovecraft"]. (p. 22). I don't recall coming across this, but if he did do it, the signature is a providential and symbolic pun.
"The Nameless City": NAMED!
Think of the above as a headline in a tabloid, the type oozing sound and fury.
My evidence for one plausible identity of the nameless city is based on textual information. It is "remote in the desert of Araby," that is, Arabia, which on my map has a vast area designated "Empty Quarter." Several allusions to Egypt and Babylon contrive to situate the city in archaeological time as well as creating a cultural and geographical aura of an approximate Middle East. However, it is really Egypt that gets the lion's share of allusions. "It must have been thus before the first stones of Memphis were laid." A reference to Memnon --later repeated--calls to mind the so-named Egyptian statue that gives out a sound as the sun rises.
The narrator discovers ancient mummy cases with contents. "They were of the reptile kind, with body lines suggesting sometimes the crocodile, sometimes the seal." Subsequently the mummified beings are called reptiles. Two allusions are of particular interest. They are "sacred reptiles" and "reptile deities". The Egyptians had a crocodile god called Sobek, one of whose representations was a man with a crocodile head. The head of the thing in "The Nameless City" is a menagerie, partly cat, bullfrog, satyr, and human but with an "alligator-like jaw." Sobek is also connected to the sun god Ra, with the sun and Memnon bringing a close to the story.
I reckon the city was the Egyptian Shedet, or as the Greeks called it--and the name I prefer, simply because it sounds comic--Crocodilopolis, "the main place of worship of the crocodile god, Sobek, and realistic mummy portraits dating from the 1st-4th centuries have been found in the area" (in The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide.). A year before Lovecraft wrote his tale the New York Times referred to Crocodilopolis as "that ancient Egyptian museum of folk-lore and fairy stories" (4 April 1920). Writing in 1886, an M. Myddelton Pavey said the crocodile was "a reptile with which the very word Egypt seems associated" (17 January, Brooklyn Daily Eagle).
Lovecraft could have derived his basic information from Herodotus who reported that after being embalmed crocodiles were lodged in sacred tombs. "Such burials take place in the subterranean chambers of the Labyrinth on Lake Moeris, close to Crocodilopolis".  Considering it equal to the pyramids, Herodotus stated the labyrinth partly included a building that "contains three thousand rooms, of which half are underground"; but of the latter "I can speak of only from report, because the Egyptians in charge refused to let me see them, as they contain the tombs of the kings who built the labyrinth, and also the tombs of the sacred crocodiles". To belabor the obvious, a subterranean area where crocodiles are buried suggests the underground explored by the narrator.
HPL need not have consulted Herodotus. The same idea of subterranean exploration is found under the 1895 headline "The Crocodile Pits of Maabdeh," a romantic description of some Egyptian chambers, wide but low, with the remains of both crocodiles and humans. "On entering these pits we are able to proceed in an upright posture for some considerable time, but finally are bound to go down on our hands and knees if it is our intention to enter the chambers sacred to the holy dead... How far these pits extend is not known, but it is very certain they go much farther back than can be penetrated".  In a humorous account Charles Dudley Warner spoke of "crocodile-mummy pits which Mr. Prime explored; caverns in which are stacked up mummied crocodiles and lizards by the thousands. We shall not go nearer to them. I dislike mummies; I loathe crocodiles; I have no fondness for pits. What could be more unpleasant than the three combined ! To crawl on one's stomach through crevices and hewn passages in the rock, in order to carry a torch into a stifling chamber, packed with mummies and cloths soaked in bitumen, is an exploit that we willingly leave to Egyptologists. If one takes a little pains, he can find enough unpleasant things above ground." 
Lovecraft's interest in Egypt goes back to his early years, as witness his "An Old Egyptian Myth Prepared Specially for Young Children."  Of his fiction "The Nameless City" is one of the three stories where Egypt is important. Foremost comes to mind "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs" or "Under the Pyramids."  And in the 1920 prose poem "Nyarlathotep" the enigmatic character "came out of Egypt. Who he was, none could tell, but he was of the old native blood and looked like a Pharaoh." After these stories, references to Egypt serve more as a kind of exotic accent.
While the narrator stated the country was Arabia, I suspect that Lovecraft chose it as poetic geographic license.  The model answering closest to the unnamed city was Crocodilopolis in Egypt. As with other made up localities he added or subtracted features within the bounds of verisimilitude. No fiction police come to arrest an author for this kind of creative embroidery.
 Quoted in Crocodiles: Their Natural History, Folklore and Conservation (Stackpole Books, 1972) by C. A. W. Guggisberg, p. 154.
 From My Winter on the Nile (published 1876) in The Complete Writings of Charles Dudley Warner (The American Publishing Company, 1904).
 I'll ignore the broader sway of the Middle East--e.g., obviously, the Necronomicon.
 As an aside, the difference in the titles is the difference between Houdini and Lovecraft. The word "imprisoned" hints at escape--the forte of Houdini--and the latter evokes the forbidden, mysterious, and, well, Lovecraftian.
 Perhaps this was his tribute to the Arabian Nights, which enthralled him at age five. A 1919 item in his Commonplace Book quotes from the entry "Arabia" in the Encyclopedia Britannica, but it doesn't relate to the subject of the tale.
You've Got Mail Comments
Juha-Matti (The Nonconformist): A mis-transcription or else HPL misspelled--maybe deliberately--Erich Zann as Erick Zann. Ahoy, typos ahead. From Nelson's "Below the Phosphor": "Blatant are bat-thing[s] overhead", "The wrestling wraiths on death's dawk [dark] lawn", etc. *** The additions and corrections to your essay "Locked Dimensions out of Reach" in Lovecraft Studies provide another strength of online versus print. You could have updated the article itself were it electronic. As it is, readers who own LS may never be aware of the improvements, since they don't receive your zine. In a way an online essay would never be finished, which is both advantage and the other. For example, an article could be altered to show that the author had come up with a fact or interpretation earlier than he or she had; or a bibliography could be continuously updated.
*** Of the fragment "Writing on what my doctor tells me is my deathbed, my most hideous fear is that the man is wrong. I suppose I shall seem to be buried next week, but..." you observe that it "perhaps suggests a premature burial theme." For me, rather, it suggests the most common Lovecraft theme, found in such tales as "The Alchemist" and (more to the point) "The Thing on the Doorstep." The body of the narrator will be buried, but the personality will be elsewhere. "I" will "seem" to be buried, but who will actually be buried is someone else.
*** Would Detective Tales  be likely to publish his presumably supernatural Salem novel? Or did he have a non-weird submission in mind? *** Typo: "Aulesbury" should be "Aylesbury". *** An echo of "The Round Tower"--"concerning a tower of the Old Ones"--might be found in the "windowless, round-topped towers" inhabited by "the elder things" of "The Shadow out of Time".
Marcos (Tlatelolco): Thanks for the translation about Robert Barlow. As a stickler for documentation, I hope that the final part will include a bibliography, since I don't know where the citations in the text originate. I understand that the principal reason Barlow ended his life was due to the threat of disclosure of his homosexuality; whereas Monjaras-Ruiz omits this and suggests otherwise. The photo of Barlow makes him appear undernourished.
Danny and Margaret: Contrarian that I am, reading your definition of poetry reminds me of exceptions. Poetry has short lines? The first line of Henry Lawson's poem "Outback" that you reprint at the end of your unnamed issue runs "The old year went, and the new returned, in the withering weeks of drought", which takes it almost to the page's right margin.
David (Drake's Potpourri): You denominate Clark Ashton Smith's vocabulary as "unfortunate" and say it was used incorrectly. Maybe, maybe not. To convince, you should supply examples of words used incorrectly so that they detract from the Smith story-atmosphere. The Smith brand includes unusual words, which enhance the exoticism and tone.
Alex (Inane Titter): I enjoyed your attitude in your travel account. I've considered the dodge of speaking another language to avoid peddlers--except I only speak English (bummer). Concerning the connection of the library with the brothel--if you get bored at one, and you want excitation, there is always the other to go to--which is the library. That was a good line about going to a mosque to seek sublime terror ("trying to parlay my experience into pulp horror terms"). Other than the typos and grammatical problems, my other criticism is the unneeded use of obscenity, which replaces nuance with cliché. While I think that those who are able to travel are fortunate, you don't see it that way.
*** Despite his physical preference for the pen over the typewriter, in the battle betwixt print and online HPL might have come down on the side of the latter. He wrote in 1920 "Let us remember that print is only a form--only a medium. The important thing in literature is the transmission of thoughts" ("Amateur Journalism: Its Possible Needs and Betterment").
While I have an attachment to print, I have thought of a couple more reasons why digital is superior. 1) The font size can be increased, which is particularly useful for those of us with growing vision problems. 2) Attracting new members could be dependent on offering the new technology. With younger generations reading e-books and accepting digital as the standard, they may not be prepared for or interested in the EOD's reliance on old technology. As Republicans are said to be becoming marginalized due to their chief appeal to the dying breed of older white males, the EOD may be following the same path by its insistence on old technology.
*** Re the Poe essay: is this the correct word? "His speech becomes jilted". *** To quibble, the "Footnotes" are actually endnotes. Despite them being in fashion, I am not a fan of endnotes.
S. T. (What Is Anything?): Reading your announcement that Penguin is bringing out a Clark Ashton Smith collection adduces another reason for the superiority of online publication. You had mentioned this fact weeks-to-months earlier in your blog, so the appearance in What Is Anything? was a reiteration. Print cannot compete with online when the matter is news, though I give it the edge for archival or historical documentation.
Martin (Aurora Borealis): You made a number of discoveries about Lord Dunsany, so congratulations. But--will the news go any further than this group? It's lost to the Dunsany scholar or the reader interested in Dunsany. Other than my 'aster (later published verbatim online) the EOD is much a closed system, in that much news and information doesn't get disseminated beyond its borders. In effect, you could find a lost Dunsany masterpiece, announce it in Aurora Borealis, and the matter will end and die there, known to the EODers but no one else.
True, members may share some of the same information or experiences in blogs, lists, etc. but the EOD bulk is isolated. Had your information been indexed in, say, the MLA International Bibliography, it may have had some impact on the world of Dunsany scholarship (if there is such), but here it remains an orphan.
*** That the "de" in "de Camp" is not capitalized even when it begins a sentence (in Swedish) is surely a curiosity. Each language must have its own capitalization conventions; think of all the capital letters that are used in German. When it comes to composing a bibliography, it's hard to know what convention to apply to a book or article title in another language (e.g., English may capitalize nouns, pronouns, etc. but not shorter prepositions). *** I hope that the Swedish translations that you've generously given to John Hay Library have been cataloged, hence findable.
*** Re "Was J. R. R. Tolkien Influenced by H. P. Lovecraft?" As I said in C'aster 39 (2004) there's a Lovecraft feel in the mines of Moria episode. And you have this delivered by Gandalf: "Far, far below the deepest delving of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he. Now I have walked there, but I will bring no report to darken the light of day." *** Thanks for letting me know that in the text "The Haunter of the Dark" the word "bits" now replaces "pits." I can now say that to Lovecraft textual studies I've made a (tiny) "bit" of a contribution. *** And speaking of "money-grabbing bloodsuckers" (certain publishers) did you ever get that book you ordered or the money returned?
This is not the better-known Popular Publications title, which began in 1935, but the sister pulp of Weird Tales owned by J.C. Henneberger that went from 1922 to 1931.
Over the Edge (Arkham House, 1964)
It's been close to fifty years since I first read this anthology. How does it hold up?
"The Crew of the Lancing" (William Hope Hodgson). Since Hodgson remains one of my favorite genre writers, the story receives high marks, despite the weakness found in Hodgson stories of explaining the terror in too physical terms, upon which the atmosphere of the supernatural peters out into a battle betwixt man and beast.
"The Last Meeting of Two Old Friends" (H. Russell Wakefield). Another favorite writer of mine delivers a chiller about a tomb in a cemetery with an evil presence.
"The Shadow in the Attic" (H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth). It has a couple of Lovecraftian touches that I liked (such as a shadow burned in the wood of an attic). While Derleth bedecks his talent with his mentor's feathers, so long that you don't expect HPL, you should enjoy the story.
"The Renegade" (John Metcalf). The serio-comic story about the obsession with the well-being of a rhinoceros was not to my taste. In general I don't like a humorous approach to the supernatural, for it trivializes, unless you have a genius such as Saki's.
"Told in the Desert" (Clark Ashton Smith). Consider the narrative a variation of Lovecraft's "The Quest of Iranon," but in this case the quest object is a woman and the paradise in which she lives. The story is okay, but it's redeemed by Smith style and his partiality for unusual words.
"When the Rains Came" (Frank Belknap Long). The setup is intriguing. On a desert-dry alien planet the natives talk about the rains coming, and the visiting Earth man wonders what that signifies. The resolution of this is too mundane to be terribly satisfying.
"The Blue Flame of Vengeance" (Robert E. Howard & John Pocsik). As I understand it, this Solomon Kane story is chiefly the work of the latter. Enjoyable and competent as it is, it must suffer simply due to the circumstances that dog all such "collaborations". If Howard's name had not been attached, the story would've probably been judged as passably good.
"Crabgrass" (Jesse Stuart). The regional ghost story is well-told, but is perhaps too pleasant to appeal to me.
"Kincaid's Car" (Carl Jacobi). This is my favorite story in the collection. A railroad car arrives in a town with contents addressed to a business that is no longer in existence. Things disappear and reappear in other places. The tale begins as a fantasy, but resolves itself into science fiction. In its concept it reminded me of the work of Henry Kuttner and in its semi-rural setting and attitude it was Clifford D. Simak.
"The Patchwork Quilt" (August Derleth). Like the Stuart story, this is something of a regional supernatural story that is well-told. A patchwork quilt evokes a ghost.
"The Black Gondolier" (Fritz Leiber). This is the reason I picked up the anthology again, and then decided to re-read all the other titles. In its plotting and even down to certain statements this is Lovecraftian. The premise is that oil has sentient life and those who dare to discover this fact risk being taken by its avatar. While Leiber spends much effort to convince the reader of this fantastic idea, it never quite gels. Still, of all stories in the collection, this is the one most likely to be reprinted.
"The Old Lady's Room" (J. Vernon Shea). The old lady is a ghost in this conventional telling.
"The North Knoll" (Joseph Payne Brennan). Something haunts this piece of landscape. It's an okay story, but one of the weaker efforts.
"The Huaco of Señor Perez" (Mary Elizabeth Counselman). An American cons a Peruvian Indian out of a bottle (huaco) that is magical and he pays for his dishonesty. Interesting for the South American background, its ending is predictable.
"Mr. Alucard" (David A. Johnstone). Vampirism is treated as a money-making enterprise in this short, light tale.
"Casting the Stone" (John Pocsik). This is an effective chiller where the narrator discovers that his employer is a sorcerer with diabolical designs against him.
"Aneanoshian" (Michael Bailey). In Wisconsin the narrator discover a wilderness temple and is pursued by something from it through a mazy forest. Consider it a weaker version of the Brennan story, and the weakest in the volume, not providing enough background but jumping virtually heels first into the climactic pursuit.
"The Stone on the Island" (J. Ramsey Campbell). After a man visits an island, something seeks him out. The story creates an atmosphere of growing doom.
Were I assigning
letter grades, the A's would be the Hodgson, Wakefield, Jacobi, and Leiber, and
the B pluses would be the Pocsik and Campbell.
Thanks for reading the 5,963 words of The Limbonaut (no 46), transcribed online 6 November 2013. Previously published as issue 75 of The Criticaster (February 2013, Esoteric Order of Dagon mailing 161) by S. Walker. In Georgia font, size 12. Happy centennial birthday to Wilbur Whateley, born on Candlemas (2 February) 1913.