Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Imagination 1938 (Bloch, Kuttner, &c)


{Compare this to the other copy of "Imagination" previosuly posted - CP}

The seller states: April, 1938 Vol. 1., No. 7 Long before the internet and even for some fans, before easy access to a telephone(!) there existed the mimeograph machine! And with mimeography came "Fanzines" - that highly energetic communication life-line between budding futurists across the United States. Virtually every Science Fiction writer during the "Golden Age", either edited, illustrated, or had his work published FIRST in "Fanzines". Seventeen year old Ray Bradbury recent arrival from Waukeegan threw himself heart & soul into his newly found Science Fiction surroundings and wrote, illustrated and finally edited "Fanzines". RB's earliest efforts were contributing to his friend Forrie Ackerman's "Fanmag of the Future" - "IMAGINATION!" RB is present herein with his humorous full-page article on creating a "STF" (Scienti-fiction) story..."Ingredients 1 scientist well frayed, grayed & bent about 60 years old , has invented somc super-colossal machine that can warp time or destroy matter - - -take your pick"...a full-page of classical sf plots & subplots.Book reviews by Henry Kuttner and a long letter from Robert Bloch. This is a beautiful copy that was never mailed.Need I say how rare this early Bradbury item is!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tryout Vol 3 No 3 1917


The seller says: THE TRYOUTVol. 3, No., 3. 1917Edited & published by the ageless indefatiguable C. W. (Tryout) Smith, "The Tryout" remains one of the legendary HPL amateur papers and HPL published more within its pages than any other paper. This issue is loaded with Lovecraft featuring the poem - ""The Nymph's Reply to the Modern Businessman" by Lewis Theobald, Jr., "Fact & Fancy" by H. P. Lovecraft, and note that "H. P. Lovecraft recently added $25 to his bank account by capturing a prize by Fays Theatre for the best movie review". Additional poetry by the HPL heart-throb Winifred Virginia Jordan. Very scarce from this era!An early HPL issue of interest & importance!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Brennan: H.P. Lovecraft: A Bibliography (1952)





The seller states: This item consists of one, 5.5 x 8.5-in., 14-page booklet in stiff paper covers. It is in very Fine, as issued, unread condition. Brennan, Joseph Payne. H.P. Lovecraft: A Bibliography: Washington DC 1952 Biblio Press, Revised Edition.

Lovecraft Symposium 1964 (Riverside Quarterly)


The seller states: This item consists of one, 5.5 x 8.5-in., 16-page booklet in paper covers (w/footnotes inside rear cover). It is in very Fine, as issued condition; read once and carefully stored. H.P. Lovecraft: A Symposium: [Los Angeles] Sponsored by the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. Printed by the Riverside Quarterly, [1964], 1964. Octavo, pp. [1-2] [1] 2-17 [18: blank]; First edition. Errata leaf laid in. The discussion was recorded on 24 October 1963. Symposium panelists were Fritz Leiber, Robert Bloch, Sam Russell, Arthur Jean Cox and Leland Sapiro, with corrections and annotations to the transcript by August Derleth. Scarce.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Rare Frank Belknap Long Letter surfaces (1973)


The seller states: FRANK BELKNAP LONG TO ROY A. SQUIRES November 6, 1973 Offered here is a three-page typed letter from Arkham House writer and friend of H. P. Lovecraft - Frank Belknap Long to one of his eventual publishers, the noted fine-pressman & bookseller, Roy A. Squires. The letter revolves around a cheque from Squires to Long for copies of his Arkham House books requesting his signature to which FBL responded - "I need to give considerable thought to the inscriptions and box each shipment carefully". FBL also notes his wife's medical instability, "Lyda is not feeling at all well..." . FBL also mentions his working on a manuscript and queries that Squires "...might be interested in bringing out a small, paperbound edition of some twenty or thirty of my quite recent poems. I imagine Arkham House would be interested since Sprague's small, hardcover volume sold out so swiftly. But with the HPL book soon to be published I'm just a little reluctant to even suggest the addition of another FBL title to their mailing list." Squires did indeed later publish a handsome find press signed edition of Long's long poem - "The Marriage of Sir John de Mandeville" in 1976. FBL also comments "I've received some quite extravagant letters re: "The Horror from the Hills'. But I've always felt that book is over-written and dated." And he makes a prideful comment on receiving a very gracious letter from Ray Bradbury. Some nice Arkham House commentary.The letter is signed in ink, "Frank" and the original mailing envelope is also present.

Arkham Sampler Spring 1948


ARKHAM SAMPLER Spring, 1948 - 2nd issue Begun by August Derleth to fill the sometimes lengthy gaps between book publications of his publishing firm Arkham House, "The Arkham Sampler" was a noble effort encompassing both Fantasy & Science Fiction. "TAS" lasted only eight issues either because it was not as successful as Derleth had hoped or had he simply become too busy with his own writings. Regardless, as exemplified by this issue, "TAS" brought some of Arkham House's finest writers together. This issue devoted to H. P. Lovecraft contains "A Memoir of Lovecraft" by Rheinhart Kleiner, part 2 of HPL's Dunsanian fantasy - "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", fragments of ten letters written by HPL to Clark Ashton Smith, Richard Ely Morse and others. Additionally is poetry by Clark Ashton Smith, an article on fantasy by Fritz Leiber, and a tale by August Derleth under his pseudonym of Stephen Grendon. Small chip on front cover as pictured in the scan, the spine has a 1/2" chip and shows wear, with a tiny chip on the rear cover. Very good - or good + +.

Fantasy Fan February 1935


The seller states: THE FANTASY FAN February, 1935, Vol 2, No. 6 edited by Charles D. Hornig This, the February 1935 number, is the last issue of THE FANTASY FAN... "we have learned that there are not enough lovers of weird fiction who are interested enough in the subject to pay for a fan magazine." Thus, the greatest fantasy fanzine met its fate! This legendary paper ran to eighteen issues, and every issue featured works by not only HPL or Robert E. Howard, or Clark Ashton Smith, abut also other famous weird tales writers of the time. Seventeen out of the eighteen issues contained an installment of H. P. Lovecraft's - "Supernatural Horror in Literature" and this issue contains part 9 of "Annals of the Jinns" by Robert H. Barlow (most of these pieces were edited or rewritten by HPL before publication. A brief article on Adolph de Castro by F. Lee Baldwin highlights the author's upcoming books (most rewritten also by HPL!). A small chip missing from the right-hand corn of the paper is evident in the scan, else a very very good copy which was never folded for mailing. There were only about sixty copies of each issue printed! (No wonder they couldn't make any money!).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

1963 Symposium on Lovecraft


LOVECRAFT: A SYMPOSIUM; Sponsored by the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society; Soft cover,5 x 7.5 inches, 17 pages. 1963; Panelist:
*Fritz Leiber
*Robert Bloch
*Sam Russell
*Arthur Jean Cox
*Leland Sapiro
PREFACE: This discussion was recorded at the October 24th, 1963 meeting of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Solciety (LASFS).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lovecraft's Anti-Semitism (Gerry de la Ree book)


The seller of this item states: THE OCCULT LOVECRAFT - by Lovecraft & RavenPublished by Gerry de la Ree - limited to 990 numbered copies This publication by Gerry de la Ree reproduces two previously unpublished essays by Howard Phillips Lovecraft - "The Cosmos & Religion", and "The Incantation from Red Hook" wherein HPL discusses in this five-page paper (culled from a letter) the witches cauldron of materials he used to concoct his "Incantation from Red Hook" in his story "The Horror from Red Hook". There is also an article by Frank Belknap Long telling of his looking for an apartment in the notorious "Red Hook" district and HPL's living there in 1925. Anthony Raven - magician, mentalist and Occult expert expounds upon HPL's use of magic in a ten-page article entitled "Lovecraft & Black Magic". Lastly, there is a two-page article on HPL and his anti-semitical ravings by Samuel Loveman: Loveman lived in the same building as HPL during his "Red Hook" days and when he found out after Lovecraft's death what a pronounced anti-semite he was, he burned all of HPL's correspondence and wrote this note to de la Ree..."During that period I believed Howard was a saint. Of course he wasn't. What I did not know or realize is that he was an arrant anti-semite who concealed his smouldering hatred of me... it would be impossible for me to describe the smug cloaked hypocrisy of Lovecraft. One last letter to me advocates the extinction of Jews and their exclusion from colleges".

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lovecraft's Personal Life (Esoteric Order of Dagon)


Above is a reproduction of a hand drawn map by Lovecraft's hand. -CP.

The seller of this item states: HOWARD PHILLIPS LOVECRAFT & SEX OR:THE SEX LIFE OF A GENTLEMAN THE OUTSIDER edited by R. Alain Everts

This eight-page paper was prepared for the 2nd mailing of that group of HPL acolytes that call themselves "The Esoteric Order of Dagon" or simply "EOD". Despite some personal rants & raves (isn't that what Fandom is for!?) the editor did indeed present a most noteworthy mailing for the "EOD" here. The two-page headlines discussed by the editor with Sonia Haft Greene Lovecraft Davis during his visits with her, do open a window into HPL's most private life .
I won't spill any of the beans but suffice to say that you will be - if not surprised, at least more informed! In addition the cover depicts HPL's own drawing of his beloved "Providence" and there is another reproduction of HPL's holograph in a letter printed to an amateur regarding voting for the Amateurs, circa 1916.

William Hope Hodgson is present with poetry and a rebuttal of Sam Moskowitz's biographical facts about WHH's life by editor Everts. Additionally there is poetry by another of the California Romantics & a contemporary of Clark Ashton Smith, Nora May French, who took her own life at age twenty-six. A scant eight-page publication but loaded with many many more pages of relevance!

The seller estimates the production of this circular: "does twenty-five copies sound about right for this early paper?"

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lovecraft to Loveman


H. P. Lovecraft. Autograph Letter Signed "Theobaldus Love". Two pages, 8.5" x 11", n.p. [Providence, Rhode Island], n.d. [perhaps 1928], to Samuel Loveman "Endymion", plain paper, ink.
The text of the letter reads:

"Woden's Day

Aonian Endymion: -

Damn your postman! Shall Novanglian thrift capitulate to the standardized demands of metropolitan bureaucracy? What complaint has the rascal to make if addresses be clear & legible? Does he want headline-type the size of a barn-door? Why, sir, I make the addresses on all my cards just as plain & as large as the printed address-slips stuck on newspapers & magazines.....but this curst impertinent dog has to cavil because my particular specimens don't come off a printing-press! Pox on such presumption! 'Zounds, Sir, I shall write to the papers about it! Upstart publick servants - we'll see, by God, Sir, we'll see! However, if it comes to a question of your own visual comfort, that's another matter. Why, Sir, I'll have the next one embossed in Braille!

And now permit me to felicitate you upon the wisest move you have made since your rash step of 1927! Back to the old stand - where Grandpa advised you to stay in the first place! Make it permanent this time, Sir! The Dauber & Pine firm is clearly an institution of great and increasing importance, & they are now sensible of how great an asset they have in your presence as expert & cataloguer. Grow up with them - & you will find that for an aesthete, such a salaried post offers a future much more tolerable than could any independent commercial venture. I envy you - & sincerely wish I had the bibliophilic erudition to land one of those similar posts whose numerousness you remark....especially if any of them permitted a Providence locale. I don't know just what extent of specialisation they demand - one could easily learn the stock terms & charactertick fashions of cataloguing, but no doubt these positions require a genuine knowledge of books & bibliophily from the merchant's & collector's standpoint.

I trust you are duly refresh'd & reinvigorated by your Antaeus-like contact with Cleveland soil. If you have any vocational openings in the ensuing weeks, don't forget that eastward routes are equally open to traffick! Providence in the autumn is a mystick & glamorous place - & side trips to ancient Newport & the Boston region are perennially pleasing supplements.

Quebec........(o gawd, give me a vocabulary!) Que....Que....yes, I must see Old England before I totter irrevocably into the sunset. But how could I ever come back, once I saw ancient London, & the rural lanes of Kent, & the thatched-roof'd villages of Lincolnshire, & the sombre stretches of Dartmoor leading down to those Devonian shores whence full half my ancestral lines sprang! I would have to take along some Providence views & crank up a case of homesickness to break away from Britannia once I sat foot upon the beloved, never-beheld sod -

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise....
This precious stone set in the silver sea....
This blessed plot, this Earth, this realm, this ENGLAND!

Glad to hear that RK's return to the fold is proving stable. Tell him to make another Providence trip, & I'll try to hook up some crumb-cake to match the easily obtainable coffee of the region! And little ol' Arturo! What a damn shame you missed him! I'd like to see the old boy myself, & certainly hope he'll look me up if his itinerant outfit traverses this part of the world. Hope his prosperity is permanent - he deserves some ease and freedom from anxiety after the long gruelling years of the past. But what a beastly shame his Old Cap Collier's weren't waiting for him!

Heard from the Alfredus-child last week. He's back in Chicago from his summer at the old Appleton homestead, & has secured a better & more expensive flat. The new address (note for reference) is 1406 1/2 Elmwood Ave., Evanston, Ill. Next summer he hopes to go to Europe, spending much time at Antibes (the ancient Antipolis) on the Riviera. He reports the death of the old-time Wisconsin amateur Alfred L. Hutchinson of Weyaneuga. Do you recall this somewhat crude and eccentric old fellow? Speaking of amateurs - Paul J. Campbell is alas a Chicagoan now. Still in the oil-drilling business, & wants me to make a fortune by putting 200 bucks into some new project. What a pity I haven't the spare cash. I would so enjoy sudden affluence!

And so it goes. Once again, congratulations on the return to Swear 'Em & Weep! And get around to these parts when you can. Yes for politer postmen & larger postcards,

Theobaldus Love"

In this letter, Lovecraft implores Loveman to remain as a book dealer and cataloger with the firm of Dauber & Pine in New York City, and bemoans his own lack of skill for such a job. Samuel Loveman was a poet, friend and correspondent of Lovecraft's, and a great New York bookman who began as a cataloger at Dauber & Pine, an antiquarian bookshop on New York City's legendary Book Row. Loveman later owned and operated the Bodley Bookshop in New York City for over 30 years.

Lovecraft, ever the Anglophile, also concentrates a good portion of this letter on his yearning for "Old England," going so far as to quote five lines from William Shakespeare's famous appraisal of that "sceptred isle" from King Richard II.

Notably, Lovecraft also writes in this letter of "RK," which can only be his correspondent Rheinhart Kleiner, and of "Alfredus-child," most certainly he and Loveman's good friend Alfred Galpin. To close, Lovecraft signs his name "Theobaldus Love." He often signed some form of "Theobaldus" in letters to his closest friends, as well as referring to himself as "Grandpa," as he also does in the body of this letter.

The manuscript is in fine condition, with usual mailing folds, matching 1.5" closed tears at the top and bottom edges, and one small chip from the bottom edge less than .25" in diameter. A unique chance to obtain a Lovecraft to Loveman letter, as the former destroyed most of his correspondence upon learning of the latter's rampant anti-Semitism.

"Things that are permissible and even add to the flavor of his [Lovecraft's] fiction freeze into an attitude in his letters. And yet, even while one is prone to condemn their verbal vomit, one must admit that sound editing and the process of still sounder omission should free and add to the Lovecraft legend, and deliver him to posterity as he actually was - a charming companion, a wonderful human being, and a loyal friend." (Samuel Loveman, "Lovecraft as a Conversationalist") From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

Lovecraft to FBL Letter




H. P. Lovecraft. Autograph Letter with Great Content. First four pages of a longer letter, 5.75" x 9", n.p. [Providence, Rhode Island], Wednesday, [February 1927], to Frank Belknap Long, Marlborough-Blenheim Atlantic City, N.J. stationery, ink.
The text of the letter reads, in part:

"Young Man: -

[Symbol] [Symbol]
Y'AI 'NG'NGAH, OG THROD AI'F
YOG-SOTHOTH GEB'L-EE'H
H'EE-L'GEB YOG-SOTHOTH
F'AI THRODOG 'NGAH'NG AI'Y
UAAAH ZHRO

You don't know what these twin formulae mean? Ah, you are fortunate! Dr. Willett would give every hair of his well-trimmed white beard if he could only say the same-but God! He knows! He has seen! It all comes out on page 112 of the tale now drawing toward its close, and which I shall call either "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" or "The Madness out of Time." Like Midas of old, curs'd by the turning into a young novel of every story I begin. You will in all likelihood see neither this nor "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" till you come hither in your new shiny Essex, for the typing of MSS [manuscripts] of this length is utterly beyond the powers of a feeble old gentleman who loses interest in a tale the moment he completes it. As for South Main St. - your dollar is safe & drawing interest, & Grandpa will get to work just as soon as the weather becomes venal enough to bring energy & activity to sluggish old bones. Writer is a ridiculous institution, & I'm almost inclin'd to feel kindly toward your Mediterranean world..."

This is a fascinating letter for a number of reasons. First of all, at the opening of the letter, Lovecraft writes several lines in his Cthulhu language, invented by the author and used in many of his Cthulhu Mythos stories. "Yog Sothoth" is, in fact, an Outer God and one of "The Old Ones" in many Lovecraft stories, and first appeared in Lovecraft's story "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward", which the author mentions in the beginning of this very letter. Lovecraft also mentions "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" here, as well as his friends Donald Wandrei and Clark Ashton Smith, the latter of whom Lovecraft refers to as "Klarkash-Ton."

Lovecraft also writes of Providence in this letter, always an interesting prospect from the man who once proclaimed in a letter that "I am Providence." Here, Lovecraft writes that "well, Providence has not yet begun to take a census of the rats! (Of course, our figures do include the heterogeneous Labres west of the river, but we never think of Providence except as the compact old village of rooted stock on the hill & beyond, whose straight Yankee population may be 25,000 or so. I consider Providence a village, because the only part I inhabit is truly a separate social organism descending directly from the colonial town whose picture you may have seen on the walls.) As for the inspiration of New England - well, the landscape alone is enough for any man with even half an aesthetical sense!" He talks of New York, Virginia, Carolina, Georgia, Philadelphia, and Washington. None of these cities compare in Lovecraft's mind to his own little Providence, of course, though he does describe Philadelphia as "a place in which I could almost live." High praise, indeed, from a recluse who never desired to venture far from his own doorstep for very long. At the end of his discussion of other American cities, Lovecraft's racism surfaces again when he writes: "The three last strongholds of white civilisation in the Western Hemisphere are New England, Philadelphia, & the South! God save the King!"

The majority of the third and fourth pages of this letter show Lovecraft turning his critical eyes toward modern literature and modern poetry. He discusses or mentions "poor Tom Hardy," Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Ezra Pound, H. R. Haggard, and H. G. Wells. Lovecraft eventually comes around to addressing some of the work of the letter's recipient, Frank Belknap Long: "Speaking of poetry - your 'Homer at Five & Two' is altogether delightful, & ought to be amply welcome in any standard magazine."

The recipient of this letter, just like its writer, is a legend in the field of weird fiction. Frank Belknap Long was a prolific writer of all sorts, but is most remembered for his genre career, writing horror, fantasy, and science fiction alongside Lovecraft and for decades after "the gentleman of Providence" passed away. Long even wrote several stories in Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos universe, and was published on numerous occasions by Arkham House. And he was a frequent and long-standing correspondent of Lovecraft's.

The opening paragraph of this letter was excerpted as number 258 in Arkham House's Selected Letters II (p. 99), part of the legendary five-volume collection of Lovecraft's letters edited and published by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. The letter is in fine condition. Both pages have usual mailing folds and two diagonal creases. Each page also has a 2.5" to 4" circular spot of toning to the top half of the page. A fantastic letter loaded with great content, written from one legendary weird fiction writer to another. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

Lovecraft to Coates: Autograph Letter surfaces (1926)


H. P. Lovecraft. Autograph Letter Signed "HPL". Two pages, 5.5" x 9", n.p. [Providence, Rhode Island], n.d. ["Tuesday", perhaps 1926], to Walter J. Coates, plain paper, ink. The text of the letter reads, in full:"My dear Coates: - I wasn't especially defending Emily Dickinson, but was merely pointing out the multiplicity of the causes - & the soundness of a few of them - which impel occasional revaluations of literature from age to age. The present case is not unique, as you may easily see by following the reputation of any varied assortment of authors through a space of several centuries. It is a mistake, too, to single out Victorian opinion as a basis of comparison. In many ways the middle 19th century formed a naive & curious Dark Age of taste in all the arts - I hardly need point out its architectural barbarities. If we want to formulate a norm for the Anglo-Saxon main stream, we must consider the average massed opinion all the way down from Chaucer's time. The Elizabethan age represented a far truer flowering of our racial impulses than did the Victorian.However - as I said on my card, your main thesis seems to me perfectly sound & well taken. Undeniably - all apart from the effects of natural change and altered philosophic-scientific-psychological perspective - the world of American taste & opinion is distinctly & lamentably Jew-ridden as a result of the control of publicity media by New York Semitic groups. Some of this influence certainly seeps into Anglo-Saxon critical & creative writing to an unfortunate extent; so that we have a real problem of literary & aesthetic fumigation on our hands. The causes are many - but I think the worst factor is a sheer callous indifference which holds the native mind down to mere commercialism & size & speed worship, allowing the restless & ambitious alien to claim the centre of the intellectual stage by default. In a commercialised civilization, publicity & fame are determined by economic causes alone - & there is where the special talents of Messrs. Cohen & Levi count. Before we can put them in their place, we must de-commercialise the culture - & that, alas, is a full-sized man's job! Some progress could be made, though, if all the universities could get together & insist on strictly Aryan standards of taste. They could do much, in a quiet & subtle way, by cutting down the Semite percentage in faculty & student body alike. It is really amusing how we simple Western Europeans have allowed Orientals to trample over our brains for 1500 years & more - ever since we let them saddle us with the sickly Jew slave-religion of Christus instead of our own virile, healthy, Aryan polytheistic paganism. In this matter of religion, though, we are coming back - for the Jew-Christian tradition will be extinct in the Western world in two or three more generations, save for the nominal Catholic ritualism of the eternal rabble. We are getting back to the same Aryan philosophy & paganism which are naturally ours by right of blood & instinct.However - that isn't what we were discussing. As for literature - you'll find that the causes for contemporary change are many & complex, & that Semitisation is only one contributing influence. Let Great Britain, still largely un-Semitised, be your index of comparison. Scientific thought in England is pretty straight Anglo-Saxon stuff - Bertrand Russell, Aldous & Julian Huxley, H. G. Wells, Sir J. Jeans, Eddington, &c. &c. - but we find the forces of change emphatically at work. It was out of Ireland - where Jews are almost as happily scarce as snakes - that James Joyce's "Ulysses" came. The causes of our cultural changes, be they renaissances or decadences, are buried deep in complex historical & psychological phenomena. Our present convulsion - which is probably a renaissance in some phases & a decadence in others - is far too big an affair to be traced to any single origin. Roughly speaking, the thing is due to the effect of sudden new doses of knowledge, & of sensationally rapid changes in ways of living, travelling, earning money, & making things. Personally, I think we're losing more than we're gaining; for of all the current changes only the matter of added knowledge & intellectual liberation seems really good to me.Weiss & Harris write very interestingly - especially Harris, who is refreshingly intelligent despite a narrow aesthetic horizon. He'll expand with the years, I think.Rather cool autumn hereabouts, so that I haven't been outdoors as much as last fall. I don't envy you up in the Arctic regions! Best wishes - & I eagerly await your second article on literary transvaluations. Yr obt servtHPLP.S. Is the magazine you want The American Poetry Magazine, edited by Clara Catherine Prince, 358 Western Ave., Wauwautosa [sic], Wisconsin? The man who prints that is a friend of a friend of mine, & is thinking of founding a pedagogical publishing house. If he does, I shall probably be his chief reviser."Walter J. Coates was a fellow amateur journalist and small-time publisher introduced to Lovecraft, most likely, through W. Paul Cook (later to publish Lovecraft's The Shunned House). Coates' and Lovecraft's friendship developed over a mutual love for New England and poetry. Coates published a great amount of Lovecraft's writing in his regional magazine Driftwind, beginning with HPL's essay "The Materialist Today" in October 1926. Later, Coates would print a good amount of Lovecraft's poetry in the same periodical.The most striking content in this particular letter from Lovecraft to Coates is the former's bald articulation of an obvious anti-Semitism. In the midst of a letter discussing Emily Dickinson and socio-literary issues, and amongst discourse on writers such as Russell, Huxley, Wells, and Harris (most likely his friend Woodburn Harris, to whom he had probably been introduced by Coates) Lovecraft launches into a diatribe on a culture he sees as "Jew-ridden as a result of the control of publicity media by New York Semitic groups." Lovecraft's view of Jewish people is a most curious aspect of his personality. In many letters to friends and associates, Lovecraft espoused a similar opinion of Jewish people as he articulates here. Yet, he had numerous Jewish friends, and in his one marriage, betrothed himself to a Jewish woman, Sonia Greene. Debate rages over the depth and degree to which Lovecraft actually felt his own anti-Semitism, but there can be no doubt that "the gentleman of Providence" held a viewpoint that is quite unpopular and out of vogue in current times.Frank Belknap Long attempted to contextualize or rationalize Lovecraft's apparent racism in a letter to L. Sprague de Camp which appears in the latter's Lovecraft: A Biography. Whether or not one believes Long is his or her choice, for certainly enough evidence can be found from Lovecraft's own pen to support a charge of anti-Semitism. Still, Long attempts to come to the aid of an old friend: "This may be hard for you to believe. But during the entire NY period, in all the meetings and conversations I had with him, he never once displayed any actual hostility toward 'non-Nordics' - to use the term to which he was most addicted - in my presence, either in the subway or anywhere else...If one of them had been in distress he would have been the first to rush to his or her aid. Emotionally he was kindliness personified. It was all rhetorical - the kind of verbal overkill that so many of the hippie underground-press writers engaged in in the sixties. It was a sickness in him, if you wish - the verbalization part - but it wasn't characteristic of him in a deep, basic way."This letter is in remarkable shape, with usual mailing folds, one small crease at the bottom right corner, and a barely noticeable fingernail nick along the right edge. The page has toned slightly, but is overall in very fine condition. (S. T. Joshi, H. P. Lovecraft: A Life 427) From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

FRank Belknap Long autographs surface


Frank Belknap Long. Three Signed Items to Samuel Loveman, including: Autograph Letter Signed "Belknap", one page, 8.5" x 5.5", n.p., n.d., to Samuel Loveman, plain yellow paper, pencil. Long writes "Dear Sam: You said you would phone me concerning your leaving the bookstore position etc. some 6 months - or was it 8? - ago - the last time I saw you. But no phone call came, and in the intervening weeks I've been through the wringer in a half dozen ways. Dropped in this evening, on the off-chance you might be at home - 10:30 - but you weren't. Will try to drop in again tomorrow - circa 8 P.M. Belknap." Fine condition, with one horizontal mailing fold. [and:] Document Signed "Frank", one page, 8.5" x 11", n.p., n.d., plain peach paper. Long has signed the top left corner of a promotional biography of himself "For Sam from Frank." Fine condition, with minor wrinkling and two horizontal mailing folds. [and:] Typed Letter Signed "Belknapins", with envelope, one page, 8.5" x 11", n.p., n.d., to Samuel Loveman, plain typing paper. Includes Long's holographic corrections and notations, and the closing in blue ink. Fine condition, with two horizontal and two vertical mailing folds. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Arkham Sampler: Autumn 1949


ARKHAM SAMPLER Autumn, 1949

Begun by August Derleth to fill the sometimes lengthy gaps between book publications of his publishing firm Arkham House, "The Arkham Sampler" was a noble effort encompassing both Fantasy & Science Fiction. "TAS" lasted only eight issues either because it was not as successful as Derleth had hoped or had he simply become too busy with his own writings. Regardless, as exemplified by this issue, "TAS" brought some of Arkham House's finest writers together. This issue featured an uncollected "Martian" story by Ray Bradbury entitled "Holiday", the poem "Calenture" by Clark Ashton Smith, "The Triumph of Death" by H. Russell Wakefield, an article on the great Dunsanian illustrator "Sidney Sime of Worplesdon", and a symposium of SF writers including Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, Jr., Frank Belknap Long and others. ... A very good copy; one staple just rusted thru the cover - a common flaw of this publication.

Derleth to Long (1947)

Best Image available:


AUGUST DERLETH TO FRANK (BELKNAP LONG)28, March, 1947Offered here is a short but interesting letter from Arkham House founder August Derleth, upon Arkham House stationery, to one of his writers and friend to H. P. Lovecraft - Frank Belknap Long. Subject of letter: Derleth includes a payment to Long for selling the rights of his collection - "The Hounds of Tindalos" - to the British market.

Not Lovecraft: But very rare

Sorry, this is just too unique not to post it.


The seller states: IMAGINATIONJuly, 1938 Vol. 1., No. 10Long before the internet and even for some fans, before easy access to a telephone(!) there existed the mimeograph machine! And with mimeography came "Fanzines" - that highly energetic communication life-line between budding futurists across the United States. Virtually every Science Fiction writer during the "Golden Age", either edited, illustrated, or had his work published FIRST in "Fanzines". Seventeen year old Ray Bradbury recent arrival from Waukeegan threw himself heart & soul into his newly found Science Fiction surroundings and wrote, illustrated and finally edited "Fanzines". RB's earliest efforts were contributing to his friend Forrie Ackerman's "Fanmag of the Future" - "IMAGINATION!" RB is present herein with his humorous takes on Darwin's "THE ORGAN OF THE SPICES" and his:
"POEM-TREE"
"I think that I shall never see
A Science-Fiction fan like me,
Who sits and dreams of rocket-ships
And nourish-tablets on my lips.
I read my magazines all day,
With age their brown, and I am gray,
I'd go to Mars myself, know well
If it weren't for this padded cell"
This is E. E. Doc Smith's copy. Staples pulled thru the cover and folded for mailing. No trouble reading the mimeography.

"Levah keraph" Unique Gerry de la Ree book

Seller States: KLARKASH-TON & MONSTRO LIGRIV Published by Gerry de la Ree - limited to 500 numbered copies Klarkash-ton and Monstro Ligriv were the alter-egos provided by H. P. Lovecraft or "Levah keraph" for his friends Clark Ashton Smith and Virgil Finlay. This publication by Gerry de la Ree reproduces the only known letters between CAS and Virgil Finlay, and interesting correspondence they are too, however brief! Only the letters from CAS are reprinted wherein he discusses his artistic methods and by his responses to V. F., we get some insight also into his working methods, philosophies and loves. H. P. Lovecraft is mentioned throughout the letters as his death just weeks before had left a terrific impression upon both men. Additionally there are six pages of poetry by CAS and two pages of poetry by VF, also photographs of both. Reproductions of previously unpublished artwork by VF is also present.A most worthwhile publication indeed!Thumb-smudge on the title-page as de la Ree hadn't allowed the ink to dry! else fine

Various Classic Lovecraft Books


H. P. Lovecraft and Willis Conover. Lovecraft at Last. Arlington: Carrollton-Clark, 1975.First edition, limited to 1,000 numbered copies. Quarto. 272 pages. Original red cloth with titles in gilt on a black label on the spine. Light water stains at the bottom edges of the board. Dust jacket slightly cockled at the bottom corners of the front and rear panel. With a facsimile of Lovecraft's 1936 revision of the article "Supernatural Horror in Literature", his last manuscript and the matching slipcase which holds all items, as issued. Very good. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.


H. P. Lovecraft. Four Horror First Editions By or About H.P.L., One Signed, including: Supernatural Horror in Literature. With an Introduction by August Derleth. New York: Ben Abramson, 1945. Octavo. 106 pages. Index. Black cloth with silver spine titles. Overall near fine. No dust jacket. [and:] H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth. The Lurker at the Threshold. Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1945. Twelvemo. 196 pages. Black cloth with gilt spine titles. Overall, book and dust jacket are near fine with minor wear. [and:] H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth. The Survivor and Others. Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1957. Inscribed and signed on the front endpaper by August Derleth. Twelvemo. 161 pages. Black cloth with gilt spine titles. Overall, book and dust jacket are fine. [and:] L. Sprague de Camp. Lovecraft: A Biography. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1975. Octavo. 510 pages, untrimmed. Quarter black paper over red paper boards. Gilt spine titles. Bumps on corners of covers. Overall, book and dust jacket are near fine. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.



H. P. Lovecraft. Four Scarce Chapbooks, including: Memory, Ex Oblivione, What the Moon Brings, and Nyarlathotep. No place of publication listed: Miskatonic Edition, 1969-1970.Each a first edition, limited to 99 copies or less, numbered on a limitation page at back. Quarto. Not paginated.Each booklet has sewn wraps of varying colors and in their original envelopes as issued. Each is also accompanied by the original publisher's announcement letter. A complete set from The Prose Poems of H. P. Lovecraft series. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.





H. P. Lovecraft. Two Short Story and Poetry First Editions, including: Something About Cats and Other Pieces; Collected Poems Illustrated by Frank Utpatel. Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1949-1963. First hardcover editions. Two twelvemo volumes.Black cloth with gilt spine titles. Dust jackets. Overall, books and jackets are near fine to fine with minor wear. This lot includes two scarce volumes of collected Lovecraft prose and poetry. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.







H. P. Lovecraft. Five Horror Volumes, including: H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth. The Lurker at the Threshold: A Tale of Terror by the Master of the Macabre. London: Museum Press [n.d.]. Twelvemo. 224 pages. Black cloth with silver spine titles. Some toning in the paper. Overall fine. Dust jacket is very good with moderate wear and some paper loss. [and:] The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. London: Victor Gollancz, 1951. Twelvemo. 160 pages. Red cloth with black spine titles. Overall near fine. Dust jacket is very good with some wear and clipped lower corner on front flap. [and:] The Haunter of the Dark and Other Tales of Terror. London: Victor Gollancz, 1951. Twelvemo. 303 pages. orange cloth with black spine titles. Minor fading on spine. Some toning in paper. Overall very good. Dust jacket is very good with some wear and paper loss. [and:] Supernatural Horror in Literature as Revised in 1936. Arlington, VA: Carrollton Clark, 1974. 4-page oversized, limited edition pamphlet. Number 593 of 2000. Quarto. Stapled paper folder. Overall fine. [and:] H. P. Lovecraft and Willis Conover. Lovecraft at Last. Arlington, VA: Carrollton Clark [1975]. Limited edition. Number 592 of 1000 copies. Quarto. 272 pages. Red cloth with gilt spine titles. Overall, book and dust jacket are fine. Slipcase is near fine. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.














H. P. Lovecraft. Three First Editions, including: The Shuttered Room and Other Pieces; Dreams and Fancies; The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions. Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1959-1970.











H. P. Lovecraft. Two First Editions, including: To Quebec and the Stars, edited by L. Sprague de Camp; Henry L. P. Beckwith, Jr. Lovecraft's Providence and Adjacent Parts. West Kingston, RI: Donald M. Grant, 1976-1979.







H. P. Lovecraft. Three First-Edition Short Story Collections, including: H. P. Lovecraft and Divers Hands. The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces; H. P. Lovecraft and Others. Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos; H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth. The Watchers Out of Time. Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1964-1974.






The Shunned House resurfaces ($12,000)

I try to keep track each time this item surfaces. It pops up a lot more than one would think.



THE SHUNNED HOUSE
By H.P. Lovecraft
Athol, Massachusetts W. Paul Cook - Recluse Press 1928.
First Edition of the Authors First Book.
Of the first edition of 300 sets of sheets printed, the book was not issued during Lovecrafts lifetime and a number of unbound sheets were damaged and unused, this is one of 50 sets of folded unbound sheets that Arkham House started selling in circa 1952 with an Arkham House copyright notice affixed to the copyright page.
Enclosed in a custom full morocco clamshell box.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lovecraft's Legacy: Lovecraft Begins to Meet Role Playing (1978)


Lovecraft's Ideas (sometimes through the interpretation of August Derleth, Fritz Leiber, Brian Lumley, and others) are deeply incorporated into today's role playing games.

From the seller: Here is the main magazine for the role playing game community, no longer printed (this issue is from the second volume of the magazine & very early in the history of Dungeons & Dragons - popular fantasy RPG from TSR of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.) Beginning to appear more professional, this issue has features like the Illusionist that will later be incorporated into the Dungeons & Dragons and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games. Ads are an interesting look back at the the earliest RPG companies such as Judges Guild, Grenadier, Ral Partha, Chaosium. A great issue marred by the terrible cover damage as seen in the front scan! ... Contents Include The Humorous Side of D&D, The Druids, "Quag Keep" (fantasy story by Andre Norton), A New Look at Illusionists, The Persian Mythos, Ship's Cargo (seagoing treasures), Some Thoughts of the Speed of a Lightning Bolt (Jamea Ward), Sorcerer's Scroll (Rob Kuntz column, on H. P. Lovecraft mythos gods), Advanced D&D Monster Manual Review, Wormy (cartoon by Tramp), Fineous Fingers (cartoon by JDW). Item Identification The Dragon Magazine #12, Vol. II, #6. Size 11 x 8.5 inches, 32 pages. Publisher TSR Periodicals. Date February, 1978

Nodens: Part 2



Above are incriptions from: http://www.cafes.net/ditch/nodens.htm



The Strange High House in the Mist:

And then to the sound of obscure harmonies there floated into that room from the deep all the dreams and memories of earth's sunken Mighty Ones. And golden flames played about weedy locks, so that Olney was dazzled as he did them homage. Trident-bearing Neptune was there, and sportive tritons and fantastic nereids, and upon dolphins' backs was balanced a vast crenulate shell wherein rode the gay and awful form of primal Nodens, Lord of the Great Abyss. And the conchs of the tritons gave weird blasts, and the nereids made strange sounds by striking on the grotesque resonant shells of unknown lurkers in black seacaves. Then hoary Nodens reached forth a wizened hand and helped Olney and his host into the vast shell, whereat the conchs and the gongs set up a wild and awesome clamor. And out into the limitless aether reeled that fabulous train, the noise of whose shouting was lost in the echoes of thunder.

Nodens: Part 1

Long time readers of this blog know that it's not my intention to get into the many modern interpretations of Lovecraft's Mythos. Rev. Price and Mr. Joshi have spoken on this often, as to how first August Derleth reinvented the Mythos with dualism and pantheism, and how Mr. Lumley has taken a very different turn. Brian Keene has diligently set out his own new mythological system called the Labyrinth. So far it seems great fun.

In Dark Hollow (2008) which is identical to The Rutting Season (2006), Keene mentions Nodens. On pp. 226 he writes that "Found a picture in one of my history books. It's all in Latin ... a marker, a totem to Nodens, one of the Thirteen ... discovered by a scientist fella named Machen ... O'Connor had said we weren't supposed to say Noden's name out loud". The inscription is previously listed on p.26 of Dark Hollow.


DEVOMLABYRINTHI
NLEHORNPOSSVIT
PROPTERNVPTIAS
QUASVIDITSVBVMRA

This is basically from the story, The Great God Pan (1894). Arthur Machen hints that the identity of the god is actually the ancient British god Nodens. In the final chapter, an informant from the border of Wales tells of finding an inscription on a pillar in an ancient roman ruin near where Helen Vaughn lived.

On the side of the Pillar was an inscription, of which I took a note. Some of the letters had been defaced, but I do not think there can be any doubt as to those which I supply. The inscription reads as follows:

DEMOMNODENi
PLAvISSENILSPOSSVit
PROPERNVPtias
quasVIDITSVBVMBra

"To the great good Nodens (the god of the Great Deep or abyss) Flavius Senilis has erected this pillar on account of the marriage which he saw beneath the shade".

I don't know when Mr. Keene became entranced by Machen's work, but he has been a long time correspondent and friend to Mr. Tim Lebbon, whose work is very indebted to Machen.

***

A previous researcher has stated: the mental model was the Roman ruin at Caermaen, which war near the home where Machen grew up in in southeast Wales, he probably was also inspired by findings at Lydney Park, just across the border in Glouschestershire. Machen's fictional inscription seems to be a sinister parody of the kind of inscriptions which were found during the excavation of an extensive temple complex dedicated to Nodens located there. ... Machen probably became familiar with Nodens and his cult through William Hiley Bathhurst and C. W. King's Roman Antiquities at Lydney Park published in 1879, which included a number of similar obscure inscriptions to the mysterious god. ... Machen's use of Flavius Senilis as the author of the fictional inscrpition. Flavius Senilis is also the author of a famous inscription found by Bathurst and King on a mosaic floor at the temple at Lydney park (above) which reads, "D(eo) N(oenti) T(itus) Flavious Senilis, pr(aepositus) rel(oqiatopmo), ex stipibus possuit o [pus cur]ante Victorio inter[pret]e. 'The god Nodens, Titus Flavious Senilis, officer in charge of the supply-depot of the fleet, laid this pavement out of money offerings; the work being in charge of Victorious, interpreter of the Governor's staff.'"(Wheeler and Wheeler, p. 103; who reproduce Bathurst and King's drawing of the inscription).

Also: Sir John Rhys wrote, "Nodens, the Celitc Zeus was not simply a Neptune or a Posidon, in his connections with the sea; he was also a Mars, as his inscriptions at Lydney testify: (p 130, my emphasis).. Nodens is not simply to be compared with the classic Zeus, but with the pre-classical Zeus, was Zeus, Posidon and Pluto all in one; who also discharged the functions of his classical so-called sons. Greek Literature usually represents Greek theology in a highly departmental state; but traces are not lacking of a previous state. We have a well-known instance in Pluto, who was always a Zeus, with his realm in the deep earth as far below its surface as the sky above it. This is born out by the orphic myth of the union of Persephone of Zeus in the form of a snake, but still as father Zeus; and by the Pontic cult which did not did not disting Zeus Upatos and Zeus Chthonios, not to mention how near the ideas of Pluto, or Pluton, as a god associated with wealth, comes to that of Zeus Plousious (Celtic Heathendom, p. 131).

Machen's Pan is not the simple goat god of the mythology handboks, but one created in the orientalized syncretistic religious decadence of of the late Roman Empire. Machen's image of Pan is most likely the product of more esoteric reading, which could include the Hermetic Books, Gnosticism and Alchemy, and some more scandalous early studies such as Richard Payne Knight's Discourse on the Worship of Priapus, (1786), which were sold to later day Victorian as a kind of antiquarian pornography. This Pan was always closely associated with the cult of Dionysus, and often was his double.

Some Lovecraft Letter Fragments

"Regarding the solemnly cited myth-cycle of Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, R'lyeh, Nyarlathotep, Nug, Yeb, Shub-Niggurath, etc., etc.- let me confess that this is all a synthetic concotion of my own, like the populous and varied pantheon of Lord Dunsany's Pegana . The reason for its echoes in Dr. de Castro's work is that the latter gentleman is a revision-client of mine--into whose tales I have stuck these glancing references for sheer fun. If any other clients of mine get work placed in W.T., you will perhaps find a still-wider spread of the cult of Azathoth, Cthulhu, and the Great Old Ones! The Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred is likewise something which must yet be written in order to possess objective reality." - H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Robert E. Howard (August 14, 1930)


"Regarding the Necronomicon--I must confess that this monstrous & abhorred volume is merely a figment of my own imagination! Inventing horrible books is quite a pastime among devotees of the weird, &...many of the regular W.T. contributors have such things to their credit--or discredit. It rather amuses the different writers to use one another's synthetic demons & imaginary books in their stories--so that Clark Ashton Smith often speaks of my Necronomicon while I refer to his Book of Eibon . . & so on. This pooling of resources tends to build up quite a pseudo-convincing background of dark mythology, legendry, & bibliography--though of course none of us has the least wish actually to mislead readers." - H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Miss Margaret Sylvester (January 13, 1934)


"Abdul is a favourite dream-character of mine--indeed that is what I used to call myself when I was five years old and a transported devotee of Andrew Lang's version of the Arabian Nights. A few years ago I prepared a mock-erudite synopsis of Abdul's life, and of the posthumous vicissitudes and translations of his hideous and unmentionable work Al Azif ...--a synopsis which I shall follow in future references to the dark and accursed thing." - H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Robert E. Howard (August 14, 1930)

"The name 'Abdul Alhazred' is one which some adult (I can't recall who) devised for me when I was 5 years old & eager to be an Arab after reading the Arabian Nights. Years later I thought it would be fun to use it as the name of a forbidden-book author." - H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Harry O. Fischer (late February, 1937)


http://www.mystae.com/restricted/streams/scripts/necronomicon.html

Lovecraft, Comics, Julius Schwartz

This recently arrived in my mail box:

Mr. Perridas,

Just discovered your blog about the Gentleman from Providence. Good stuff, very enlightening.

Lovecraft's impact on sequential art, especially superhero comics, is immense. Curious if you're aware of how much his Mythos has informed modern superheroics, particularly those of the DC universe (where his young friend Julius Schwartz - another child of Abraham in his acquaintance!).

Here is a great blog on the subject at: http://aristagoras.blogspot.com/

It begins:

I think I'll creatively do so by briefly laying out the story I'd like to read that would explore Lovecraft's influence on the Silver Age of DC Comics, in particular. I mean, the editor at the time? Julius Schwartz, who in his younger days was a fan who acted as agent for Lovecraft.The following builds to the story I'd like to see from DC Comics, one that would reflect on Lovecraft's influence on comics as well as give an "alternate" end to the Silver Age.

more.

Robert E Howard


Bill has a terrific site for REH. Go check it out soon. http://howardworks.com/

If you have Howard informations you don't see, let him know.

For that matter, if one of my 1200 blogs doesn't cover some aspect of Lovecraft - email me!! As to comics, see the next post.

Kappa Alpha Tau Report & Possible Understanding of Young Lovecraft's Cat


As a teenager, Lovcraft had a triple blow. His grandfather passed necessitating a rapid move from the house he so loved into an apratment. Simultaneously his cat was "lost". No one, not even Lovecraft, knew what ahppened to the cat. Perhaps it was scared and disoriented, perhap returned to the old, familair home, perhaps was struck by a car?

In the 21st century, a mass exodus from over-mortgaged homes is causing a repercussion all to familar to the one that affected Lovecraft. Perhaps we get a glimpse of what happened to poor Lovecraft's cat.

Foreclosures Lead to Abandoned Animals
By EVELYN NIEVES – Jan 29, 2008

Pets "are getting dumped all over," said Traci Jennings, president of the Humane Society ... In one such colony in Modesto, two obviously tame cats watched alone from a distance as a group of feral cats devoured a pile of dry food Jennings offered. "These are obviously abandoned cats," Jennings said. "They're not afraid of people, and they stay away from the feral cats because they're ostracized by them."

Despite months of warning before a foreclosure, many desperate homeowners run out the clock hoping to forestall an eviction. Then they panic, particularly if they are moving to a home where pets are not permitted.

The problem is exacerbated because most people grappling with foreclosure are returning to rental housing or moving in with relatives — two situations where it can be difficult or impossible to bring pets. "What we've always known is that when times are hard for people, they're hard for their pets," said Stephen Zawistowski, a vice president at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. ... happy endings elude a majority of foreclosure animals.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Arkham Sampler of Winter 1949


{CAS copy directly above}

Two copies have recently surfaced of this notable item. Here are some gleanings and notes listed by the two sellers: Begun by August Derleth to fill the sometimes lengthy gaps between book publications of his publishing firm Arkham House, "The Arkham Sampler" was a noble effort encompassing both Fantasy & Science Fiction. "TAS" lasted only eight issues either because it was not as successful as Derleth had hoped or had he simply become too busy with his own writings. Regardless, as exemplified by this issue, "TAS" brought some of Arkham House's finest writers together. This issue featured an uncollected "Martian" story by Ray Bradbury entitled "The Spring Night", the poem "Avowal" by Clark Ashton Smith, and a symposium of SF writers including Theodore Sturgeon, Lewis Padgett, A. E. Van Vogt and others on "Building a Science Fiction Library". Other contributors include Robert Bloch, Fritz Leiber, Jr., and others. Additionally, this copy was once owned by Clark Ashton Smith as there is a word correction to his poem in his hand. {The better of the two images - CP} Sauk City:Arkham House Volume 2, number one (whole number five). Covers are soiled and worn, one. Interior clean and tight. 100 pages. All science fiction. Includes works by Ray Bradbury and Jules Verne. Condition:Fair

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fishy note on Beast in the Cave

As I often relate, I believe that The Beast in the Cave was influenced by the NeoLamarkian views of Apheus Spring Packard, Jr. He worked intensively at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky and it was a notable claim to his fame when he studied the blind fish in that cave study.

NoeLarkianism has fallen out of favor. It basically states that if a species is seculded in it's ecosytem and that ecosystem traumatizes part of it, then that trait will dominate. In this case, fish in caves do not need to see light frequencies, and therefore over millions of years the eyes are useless. The controversy is that many scenarios exist whereby this does NOT happen. You can cut the tails off of a dog and yet every dog will always be born with a tail. Billions of men have been circumcised, but peple are not born uncircumcised. Despite millions of apendectomies and gall bladder removals, people are still born with those organs.

Now we have some insight in 12 January 2008 Science News.

Richard Borowsky of New York University cross bred two different unsighted cave species. That crossoing bred some % of sighted fish. Lineages of the same sepcies, long sepereated in different caves may all end up being blind, but different genes have mutated to converge on the same result. Thus pairing them off again reactivates dormant functionality.

This is called the "Scenario of Convergence".

Borowsky mixed and matched fish from 29 different caves.

Now how does one rationalize Lovecraft's fictional Lamarkianism? Perhaps the advanced species - the gods, the Old Ones - realize that humans' traits are as limited and limiting as those of blind fish. A sudden transfusion of new Dna quickly and permannnetly alters the DNA of humans to becomes Icky Ichthus men, or froggish things, or lobster clawed morphs, ar even star-headed monsters?

Stay tuned as science gets closer to solving Lovecraft's mysterious ideas.

Myrta Alice Little

This note from Dave G.:


See what you're missing when you haven't joined the Lovecraft Google group? :)
***



No one remembers Myrta!


Myrta Little lived in New Hampshire, and is one of my favorite Lovecraft gals that no one remembers. Ol' Howard was crashing at her family farm in 1921 and 1922 but after her marriage in 1923, she drops off the radar.


Yes, she's mentioned briefly in Joshi. She was a Amateur Press member (an officer for a while too, if I recall). He visited her at least twice, based on SL1.


As far as anyone knows, only one letter from HPL to Little exists - it ran in LS#26.


Joshi paints her as an unsuccessful writer based on the lack of materials in Brown, but I've had access to some archival newspaper material and she actually did quite well: at least 8 short stories ran in newspaper syndication plus one that was anthologized. Plus pieces in The Tryout (of course).


Most of her published stuff is 100% fluff, but she was, in the short-term, more successful that HPL.


And yes, she visited Tryout Smoth with HPL and arranged the tour of Haverhill Historical Society with HPL. She was a direct descendant of Josiah Bartlett, which had a lot of pull in genealogical circles and she was able to have the museum opened even though it was closed that day.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Winifred Virginia Jackson

I have other blog entries on the controversial relationship of HPL to WVJ. But look at that picture. Could Helen of Troy be any more beautiful?




The seller states: WINIFRED VIRGINIA JACKSON - LOVECRAFT's LOST ROMANCEBy George T. Wetzel & R. Alain EvertsOne of the necessities & beauties of "fandom" publications is printing speculations such as this! Coincidental sharing of seemingly random information can lead to serious literary sleuthing! Taking the lead from the late HPL pioneer George T. Wetzel, Alain Everts dug even deeper and assembled a very convincing argument that, if HPL was not romantically involved with the lovely Ms. Jackson, he was certainly enamored with her! A fascinating woman in her own right, HPL was interested enough and thought highly enough of her writing to collaborate with her on two of her tales - "The Crawling Chaos" and "The Green Meadow" both published under her pseudonym of Elizabeth Berkeley. HPL also wrote a glowing four-page article on her poetry published in "The United Amateur", March, 1921 under the title - "Winifred Virginia Jackson: A 'different' poetess", which is reproduced herein. Photographs of Jackson are reproduced evidencing her beauty even into her 40's, along with a photograph of HPL AND A PHOTO TAKEN BY HPL!I believe this sixteen-page paper was prepared for a mailing of "The Esoteric Order of Dagon"A fine paper indeed.

Edith Miniter & H P Lovecraft (1921)



The seller states:



THE AFTERMATH Edited by Edith Miniter, November, 1921 H. P. Lovecraft forged his legendary reputation in the Amateur-zines and his name and works appeared in many many issues. Indeed, it was something of a literary coup to have HPL present within your pages - it guaranteed more than a minimumal number of readers! 1921 was an especially eventful year in his career as he was one of the prime speakers at the Boston National Amateur Convention. So taken was the enthralled crowd with HPL's wit & intellect that his speech was recalled even years later; too bad no one had the sense enough to take it down! Edith Miniter was one of those present and she dedicated this issue of her Amateur-zine to all the events leading up to, during, and after that notable event. HPL is noted throughout and so much so that this issue is dedicated to him.NOTE: If you've read about HPL's "romance" with Winifred Virginia Jackson in my other listing, this issue of "The Aftermath" makes mention of H. P. Lovecraft having a "Brownie" camera.A dust band along top & spine edge present in the scan, else fine.I'll be selling my entire HPL fanzine & amateur-zine collection on ebay beginning now so notify your HPL collecting friends!

More on the Ray Bradbury 1950 parody of Lovecraft

OK, here's a special treat, a special Lovecraft parody by Ray Bradbury. The background story as I've been able to piece together (with some help by my antiquarian Horror Mall pal Jimster on the ice cream portion) is thus.
In 1944 Donald Wandrei published the memorial, "The Dweller In Darkness" under Arkham House imprint in the book Marginalia, which I have; pp. 362-369. If you read that narrative, and compare it with Bradbury's excerpt, there are some remarkable parallels. Bradbury had a number of sources that would have told him about Lovecraft in the 12 years or so since Lovecraft's death. Virtually all of the eccentric behavior exhibited by Lovecraft in Wandrei's remebrance is paralleled and exagerated to hyperbole by Bradbury. I also note that in 1949, Bradbury let Arkham House publish one of his uncollected Martian stories in the Arkham Sampler (which I am trying to acquire currently, wish me luck). Finally, Jimster found this blurb in Wikipedia of Kuttner, a source he might have used to know more about Lovecraft: Bradbury has said that Kuttner actually wrote the last 300 words of Bradbury's first horror story, "The Candle" (Weird Tales, November 1942). Bradbury has referred to Kuttner as a neglected master and a "pomegranate writer: popping with seeds -- full of ideas".
We have already discussed the ice cream incident Wandrei witnessed in a blog post yesterday. (There were at least two trips to Maxfield's in two years). Wandrei states in The Dweller in the Darkness, "His conversation was of astonishing erudition ... had a dry sense of humor ... he talked the way the Eighteenth Century Gentleman wrote ... though it was afternoon, the windows were all closed and the curtains lowered ... one shaded electric bulb threw a weak cone of light upon a desk and chair ...". Wandrei states that HPL says, "I can not tolerate seafood in any form ... I have hated fish and feared the sea and everything connected to it since I was two years old ...", and, "the hotter the day, the better I feel. It is cold I can not endure."
In MacCleans Magazine, 1949, Bradbury published "The Exiles". It was a Martian story and in 1950 "The Martian Chronicles first came out in book form, though a few Martian stories did not make the cut. From what I've read, Anthony Boucher seized "The Exiles" as a reprint. F&SF was mostly reprints from what I can tell of my Vol. 1, Issue 2 magazine. Boucher must have encouraged Bradbury to add and modify the story. (There is nary a mention of MacCleans, nor theree need not be since it is modified enough to be a different version.) Then, as quickly as this Lovecraftian amendment appeared, it was never to see the light of day again. I can find no trace of it elsewhere. On a scholarly Ray Bradbury site, I found this: For the F&SF reprint, Bradbury added a whimsical encounter with H. P. Lovecraft as Poe, Bierce and Blackwood make their way to visit Dickens (an F&SF substitution for Hawthorne). Bradbury was not satisfied with this long 600-word parody of Lovecraft and deleted it from all further versions.
Now, here is Mr. Bradbury. Later, I'll try to type out the entirety of "The Exiles".

***

The Lovecraft portion of "The Exiles" by RAY BRADURY; The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Vol. 1, No. 2, Winter/Spring 1950, pp. 79-81
...On the way down the stairs they stopped at a heavy door and rapped. The door plate read: Mr. H. P. Lovecraft, and a voice from behind it said, "Come in."
The door was blistering hot to the touch.
"Watch out for the draft," said Lovecraft, wildly, as they entered and slammed the door. A shudder went through the gaunt frame of the man who sat in a fine antique chair, quill pen in his thin hand, his coat collar tight up about his neck, his back to a thundering, crackling hearth-fire. The room was so hellish that the candles were melted into tallowy pools. And the fire was so fiercely bright that it was like living in the sun. Lovecraft trembled his chilly hands out to the fire as if the brief opening of the door had let an arctic terror of wind at him. "We can not be too careful," he said. "There are drafts in castles like this. What is it?"
"Come along, we’re going to talk to Dickens."
"No, no, I am sorry." Lovecraft hurried to a small icebox which somehow survived this red furnace and brought forth two quarts of ice-cream. Emptying these into a large dish he hurried back to his table and began alternately tasting the vanilla ice and scurrying his pen over crisp sheets of writing paper. As the ice-cream melted upon his tongue, a look of almost dreamful exultancy dissolved his face; then he sent his pen dashing. "Sorry. Really, I am awfully busy, gentlemen, Mr. Poe, Mr. Bierce. I have so many letters to write."
"But how can that be?" protested Bierce, "You haven’t received any letters here."
"That means nothing." The writing man tried another delicate spoonful of the cold treasure. There were six empty vanilla ice-cream boxes piled neatly on the hearth from this day’s feasting. And the ice-box, in the quick flash they had seen of its interior, contained a good dozen quarts more. "I am writing a letter to Mr. L. Frank Baum, I am quite sure that we shall enjoy a delightful correspondence, once started ….
"But this is his castle, the Emerald City, he lives right downstairs," said Poe.
"And then I have a letter I must write to Mr. Samuel Johnson, and Mr. Alexander Pope, and Mr. Machen, and Mr. Coppard, and a thousand others. I do not know when I shall finish. But I shall take the time to help you with Mr. Dickens, nevertheless."
‘‘Will you?’’
"Yes." Lovecraft dipped his quill. "I shall write him a letter about this crisis."
"Come on, Edgar," said Bierce, with a laugh.
Poe’s eye fell upon a letter. "May I take this along?"
"Of course," said Lovecraft. "I wrote it to you, your name is on it, is it not?"
As they opened the door, Poe and Bierce had a last glimpse of Lovecraft cowering from the cold draft wering from the cold draft, ice-cream in his terrified mouth, dripping pen in hand.
Bang! The door slammed.
‘Remind me to send him a half ton of lobsters," said Poe.
Blackwood was waiting for them.
"Mr. L. Frank Baum was just here," he said. "He wants to see you, Mr. Poe. He’s terribly shocked and nervous at the way you’ve taken over the Emerald City. He doesn’t like the cobwebs and bats."
Tell him to see me later!"
...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"HPL & JFM to HW, 4 Aug 1934" Companion Letter Surfaces: "HPL & JFM to DW, 4 Aug 1934"


If you have Mysteries of Time and Spirit: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Donald Wandrei, turn to p. 348. That post card is to Donald Wandrei describing a convention and stating "Yesterday we cleaned up at Maxfield's and Jake's {Diner}." "Blessings - Grandpa Melmoth III". Morton says, "Only a line left to express greetings, hearty good-will and best wishes"
Here is the extant post card reverse found on-line by Jimster for us to Howard Wandrei at the very same moment in time.
Alas, it's sold and back in a colelctor's hand not to be seen for who knows when. The austion house wrote the blurb below.


***


Truly a remarkable piece of history and ephemera. A magnificent hand-written postcard by H.P. Lovecraft to his good friend Howard Wandrei (1909-1956). Howard Wandrei is noted as a fantastic fiction author with numerous short stories appearing in the 1930s and 1940s. He is also the brother of Arkham House co-founder Donald Wandrei. The postcard also has a short note by James F. Morton, another good friend of Lovecraft's. The postcard was sent to Howard to share an experience at an Ice Cream parlor. Lovecraft opens with a brilliant, typical Lovecraftian flourish "Hail, Spawner of Daemons!" Lovecraft continues, "I am harboring a guest of honor with whom I believe you [know]". This is James F. Morton, and thus the note added by Morton at the end of Lovecraft's writing.

Lovecraft continues to write about how he has "produced an ice-cream famine at Maxfield's", which of course is Mrs. Julia A. Maxfield's Ice Cream Parlor in Warren, Rhode Island. Lovecraft asks Howard if "Donald has told you about this famous counter of orifaction?" This Ice Cream Parlor has sort of obtained a legendary place in Lovecraftian history. From the 1944 Arkham House book Marginalia by H.P. Lovecraft, there is a section titled "The Dweller in Darkness" by Donald Wandrei. In that piece he explains the history and story behind the first 1927 trip to Maxfields:

We took a bus for Warren, Rhode Island, where they promised a great treat. At Warren we walked to an establishment called Maxfield's in a rambling old Colonial house. Its specialty was ice-cream, and it developed that our pilgrimage was solely for the purpose of consuming ice-cream.

There were thirty-two varieties on the menu. "Are they all available?" asked Lovecraft.
"No," said the waiter, "only twenty-eight today, Sir."

"Ah, the decay of modern commercial institutions," said Lovecraft dolefully. "Thirty-two varieties are advertised but only twenty-eight are prepared for the famished pilgrims."
We each ordered a double portion of a different flavor, and by dividing each other's choice, we ejoyed three flavors with each serving. The trams came on and on--chocolate, vanilla, peach, black raspberry, pistachio, black walnut, coffee, huckleberry, strawberry, orange, plum, mint, burnt almond, and exotic types whose names I do not recall. The ice-cream was superior; there was no doubt of its being of the finest quality. But on the twenty-first variety I was beyond capacity. I watched with awe while the remaining flavors arrived in the same huge portions, and Lovecraft and morton ate on with undiminshed zest, interspersing the astonishing meal with a wealth of literary allusions on the origins of ice-cream, its preparation in Italy, its appeal to famous men, the distinctions between meringues, ice-creams, and ices. I managed to sip each flavor for the record of twenty-eight, but I was a weak runner-up to the champions. I would estimate that Lovecraft and Morton consumed between two and three quarts of ice-cream apiece on that gastronomic triumph

The occasion was so memorable that we wrote a short note of appreciation of the twenty-eight varieties and our enjoyment, signed it, and left it at the table. A year later when we visited Warren, we were surprised to find our tribute decorating a wall. Lovecraft was both amused and delighted but all he said was, "What a disapointment that the other four varieties were not available."

The postcard continues, "Now by the shores at Buttonwoods [a city in Rhode Island]. Hope you'll get over to these parts before you blastaway toward the sunset. Regards--HP" After Lovecraft's note, is a short note written in blue pen by Morton: "Greetings ouf of the dark from the unknown, but not malefic. James F. Morton." The postcard is hand addressed by Lovecraft and was mailed at Buttonwoods, Rhode Island on August 4, 1934 at 7am. The postcard showcases the New Providence County Court House in Lovecraft's beloved Providence, Rhode Island. The postcard is in nice shape with slight yellowing due to age. There is little to no toning, and only very minor soiling (mostly to the face). There is one small chip on the front in the lower left hand corner (about 1/8"). The postcard has provenance, as it was from the Howard Wandrei estate and was auctioned off by his family at The Southern California Book Fair Auction on April 28, 1989. (Copies of the auction page and catalog with the item will be provided to purchaser.)

Not quite Lovecraft ...

... no, not quite Lovecraft, but HPL wrote mnay a eulogy in poetry. And Mr. Kuttner was an acquaintance. The cat poem is an homage to Kappa Alpha Tau.

***

In Memoriam: Henry Kuttner

(Los Angeles, 1914 - Santa Monica, February 4, 1958)

Tomorrow and tomorrow bring no more
Beggars in velvet, blind mice, piper's sons;
The fairy chessmen will take wind no more
In shock and clash by night where fury runs.
A gnome there was, whose paper ghost must know
That home there's no returning - that the line
To his tomorrow went with last year's snow.
Gallegher Plus no longer will design
Robots who have no tails; the private eye
That stirred two-handed engines, no more sees.
No vintage seasons more, or rich or wry,
That tantalize us even to the lees;
Their mutant branch now the dark angel shakes
And happy endings end when the bough breaks.

Karen Anderson

The Best From Fantasy and Science Fiction, Eighth Series, ed. Anthony Boucher, 1959, Doubleday & Company, Garden City, NY. p. 134.

***
Ye Phantasie Writer and His Catte

I conjured kitty from midnight sleep
A long-legged Beastie to find.
Or Ghoulies and Ghosties, struck all of a heap
By the Cornish litany.

"Good Lord, deliver us!"
"Anathema," he whined.

Thus, great for grue to shiver us,
Beating my cat for spite -
Cruel, as I tried, upset by his clews.

"Fool!" said his mews to me,
"Look in thy closet, and write!"

Winona McClintic

Lovecraft's Legacy: 1996 (The Hungry Maggot)



Cthulhu art!


The seller states: Hungry Maggot #7, April 1996. Small press publication with contributions by Don Webb, Eric York (the neat Cthulhu back cover scanned here), H. P. Lovecraft (a reprint of Memory fully illustrated by Eric York), Frank Uptatel, and others. There are also small press and film reviews and more. Digest sized and side stapled.

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