Here is a treat from Chrispy's personal collection, extracted from the letters section of April 1936's Astounding Stories.
Page Mr. Lovecraft!
Congratulations! Your magazine is once again astounding! In addition to the fine stories I wish to congratulate you on the improved appearance of the magazine - the trimmed edges, and the seemingly better grade of paper.
The cover, as usual is good. The interior illustrations are all right, but the artist who
illustrated At the Mountains of Madness lacks the Imagination of the others. Schneeman should have illustrated this. Marchioni is unbelievably improved, and Schneeman is fine. Wesso is far below his old standard.
May I, Mr. Lovecraft, criticize the first installment of your serial? It is only because it is a fine story that I consider it worthy of the time to criticize. Invariably, In reading a story of this I compare it with Merritt's Moon Pool, is, of course, the perfect story in so far as perfection can be attained by mortals.
In your story compared, not to the usual standard, but to perfection, I find a few faults: a lack of attention to detail and too much repetition; too many specific references to Necronomicon. Could you not have suggested the occult and the mystic in other ways? This is the fault of all your stories. But At the Mountains of Madness was really good because you are an emotional master of words, and of the mystic mood.
Thank you.-L. M. Jensen, Box 35, Cowley, Wyoming.
So, next time you get a critical fan letter, you know how HPL felt!!
Westbrook's pocket of time - This article first appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of the *Strange Maine Gazette.* I was reluctant to post it on the blog, being a little worried that mo...
2 weeks ago