Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Lovecraftiana: Winifred Virginia Jordan, Part I.

The April 1920 Gallomo [1] letter described another wonderful dream of Lovecraft's which he had a few years earlier [2]. However, and for once, someone had out dreamed him!

"A singular dream ...led me to start a ... story about a terrible forest, a sinister beach, and a blue ominous sea."

Um, HPL? Have you ever seen a beautiful Greek isle?

Oh, sorry, I was day dreaming. Well, let's get back to Mr. Lovecarft's story.

He continues, "After writing one paragraph I was stalled, but happened to send it to Mrs. Jordan [3]. Fancy my surprise when the poetess replied that she had had a precisely similar dream ... a piece of the shore had broken off, carrying her out to sea. A green meadow had loomed up on the left hand side, and horrible entities seemed to be hiding among the trees of the awful forest behind her. The piece of earth on which she was drifting was slowly crumbling away, yet this form of death seemed preferable to that which the forest things would have inflicted. And then she heard the sound of a distant waterfall and ... a kind of singing in the green meadow {woke her]. I abandoned my plan ... used my opening paragraph ... {and I wrote a story around her dream}."

Lovecraft was one of history's greatest dreamers. This time, he'd met his dream match.

[1] The Gallomo was a group of amateur writers. Back in the day, there were no forums or e-mail, so amateur writers circulated their manuscript drafts via USPS along with news, comments, and opinions on the news of the day. Each writer would review, pencil in errors, changes, and suggestions, and pass it on the the next person, until it made the "rounds". This group consisted of Alfred Galpin, Howard Lovecraft, and Maurice Moe, i.e. Gal-lo-mo.

[2] An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia, Joshi & Schultz, 2001, p. 101, 102

[2] Winifred Virginia Jordan (Jasckson) wrote under the pseudonym of Elizabeth Berkeley.

[3] H. P. Lovecraft: Letters to Alfred Galpin, Joshi & Schultz, 2003, p. 82, 83.

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