Sunday, November 12, 2006

Houdini Takes HPL to the show

It is no secret that Joshi's biography revises much of deCamp's 1975 biography. Still, one muct have both Joshi and deCamp at the desk when one researches. This anecdote is priceless. *

"While Lovecraft lived with Sonia in Brooklyn ... Houdini ... treated the Lovecrafts to tickets to his show at the old Hippodrome on January 15, 1935."

Further, "Among other commissions, Houdini suggested a collaboration among himself, Eddy, and Lovecraft ... The Cancer of Superstirion ... Houdini to furnish the basic ideas ... Lovecraft the outline ... Eddy to write the actual book. Lovecraft prepared an outline of 12 chapters, Eddy wrote a chapter ... Lovecraft corrected it ... then Houdini fell ill of cancer ** and died on October 31, 1926.

"Lovecraft considered Houdini to have presented ' one of the worst instances of misdirected intellect' because although ' an accomplished man with talent and intelligence' he was satisfied to be 'merely a clever showman.'

"Lovecraft and Eddy struggled through two more chapters, failed to find a publisher, and dropped the project."

Considering the new revelations of this month, these words are chilling. Houdini was a generous man. However, if Eddy was indeed a spy, and Houdini knew of Lovecraft's deep loathing of the spiritualists through Eddy, was he courting Lovecraft?

* p. 214, H. P. Lovecraft, A Biography, 1975, Barnes and Noble, 1996.
** Apparently, Houdini did not die of cancer, nor of ruptured appendix. The new Houdini book indicates there was much mischief - and perhaps an assasination - that led to Houdini's death. More on this later.

No comments:


Blog Archive


Google Analytics