Friday, August 22, 2008

Another Lovecraft Postcard to Charles Hornig Surfaces

Previously the ebayeum offered a Lovecraft-to-Hornig 1934 postcard. (click here).

Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones to purchase this?

Details as offered by seller (arkhambooks):

RARE Holographic Postcard H.P. LOVECRAFT to Charles D. Hornig (Editor The Fantasy Fan), Postmarked September 26, 1933 from Providence, Rhode Island, Signed "HPL"

Truly a magnificent H.P. Lovecraft item. For those that know the Old Gent, they understand what a great epistler he was. In fact, one would find it difficult to find someone of any note that wrote as many letters as Lovecraft. Experts believe that he wrote over 100,000 letters during his lifetime, many of great length (a 50,000 word, one-hundred page letter was not out of the ordinary). It is also surmised that fewer than 10,000 of the letters still survive. Of those, a majority are held in Brown University's H.P. Lovecraft collection. In fact, their agressive acquisitions program for Lovecraft's letters and postcards was (and is) so intense, that few remain in the hands of collectors. Some believe that less than two hundred letters and postcards are in still left in private hands, of these, few rarely show up for sale. Considering that writing (postcards and letters) was Lovecraft's favorite form of communication, and that each communication is a thoughtful tome in and of itself, an actual letter or postcard can be considered the cornerstone of a Lovecraft collection. We here at Arkham Books now offer to the public, that very cornerstone. Since letters typically run into the thousands ($4000.00 and up is quite common), a postcard is a more affordable way to own a piece of Lovecraftian history. In the last three years on Ebay and at various Rare Books Shows we have sold two letters and a handful of postcards, and they go quick (moreover, because of Brown University's voracious acquisition program, they are getting much harder to find -- a worn out cliche, but oh so true!) The last postcard we sold (to weird tale author E. Hoffman Price) for $1350.00 just several weeks back at World Horror Con.

ADDRESSED TO: This postcard was written to Fantasy Fan Editor Charles D. Hornig. Hornig started The Fantasy Fan when he was just 17 years of age, in September of 1933. Two of Lovecraft's sotires were first published in the fanzine: "The Other Gods" (the third issue, November 1933) and "From Beyond" (in the tenth issue, June 1934). Moreover, and most significant, is the fanzine/magazine began a serialization of Lovecraft's essay on "Supernatural Horror in Literature," incorporating corrections and slight revisions to the text that appeared in The Recluse. Lovecraft maintained a fairly regular correspondence with Hornig, offering support, ideas, and corrections. Lovecraft's suggestions are frequently taken up with mechanical details concerning literary business, showing Lovecraft as conscientious and sometimes obsessive. Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi, in his book "H.P. Lovecraft A Life", wrote this about The Fantasy Fan: "This is, canonically, the first 'fan' magazine in the domain of weird/fantastic fiction, and it inaugurated a very rich, complex, and somehwat unruly tradition--still flourishing today--of fan activity in this realm."

THIS POSTCARD: This postcard is postmarked September 26, 1933. It is postmarked from Providence Rhode Island at 7:30 pm (so one can imagine the old man from Providence out on one of his late night walks in his favorite place on earth, dropping this postcard off). The postcard features Faneuil Hall and Custom House Tower, Boston, Mass. (Lovecraft had stacks of penny postcards that he would pick up while traveling and then use to send to friends). One paragraph features approximately 82 words. The content is unpublished.

CONTENTS INCLUDE: Lovecraft comments that he just read the first issue of the new ASTOUNDING (Science Fiction Pulp Magazine), and "not so bad for pulp stuff, but essentially mediocre from a literary point of view". HPL starts with a comment about the piece he had submitted to Hornig: "trust the article will reach you safely, and that you'll find it interesting." He offers his service as a proof reader. Also that he is looking forward to the second issue. Signed "Best Wishes, HPL".

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