Monday, June 30, 2008
Yes, while I do go to trade shows all the time - big ones at the Sands, McCormick - but I'd never taken in a horror convention.
It was strange. People that I e-mail, and people whose books I read, I actually got to meet in person. I think that that's probably the impulse that Lovecraft got. All those 1 cent stamps and all those scribbled out letters he mailed, but he'd never MET anyone before.
And, amazingly to my complete surprise, people knew ME! I was on my cell phone, and someone rushed by on the way to a meeting, looked at my name tag, pointed at me, and said, "Hey! I know YOU. I'll catch you later!"
They'd either seen my stories at the +Horror Library+ and other publications, read my book reviews at Horror Mall, my posts at the T-12 blog, or best yet, they read the HPL blog. Very cool.
But I promised I'd tell you about Joe R. Lansdale.
He was the featured guest of honor at Hypericon and was there to talk about his new book Leather Maiden from Knopf.
He talked to me about Mr. Lovecraft and his circle.
Mr. Lansdale is well acquainted with Lovecraft, and more so with Robert E. Howard having often written stories reminiscent of Two-Gun Bob, written introductions and prefaces that discuss Howard.
So, we discussed the legacy of Mr. Lovecraft for a bit. After saying nice things about Mr. Lovecraft, he said he agreed that, "...he's the most important writer of horror after Poe."
I said that I've found that readers either like Lovecraft or they don't. Many don't.
We agreed that Lovecraft had a unique and old way of writing. Antiquarian. We laughed that even in Lovecraft's day his writing was considered old fashioned. That's when Mr. Lansdale stated that Lovecraft is one of those writers that when you read him, his story actually transcends the way he writes, transcends the words on the page, that you get past his style to the impact of the story itself, and that was his strength.
We both felt that while Lovecraft was arguably the more important writer, it was HPL's buddy, Robert E. Howard, that was the more pure story-teller.
That was all the time we had to talk, though.
I had to hurry off to talk to other people (like Fran Friel, my Stoker nominee & T-12 friend; publisher Jason Sizemore of Apex Magazine; Steven Shrewsbury author of Hawg; and Shane Moore), while there were many other folks who wanted to talk to Mr. Lansdale.
And, yes, Mr. Lansdale was a terrific, warm, nice guy. You'll have to meet him sometime.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
As for the blog, I'm trying to figure out it's next leg on it's destiny with fate. Blogger has given me some neat new tools and I'm a bit flustered to know precisely what to do with them to help explain Mr/ Lovecraft's legacy to fans (and to me!).
You may have noticed the slight facelift. The banner is gone. I think it was a bit overkill. The "word of the day" is a favorite with me, but I didn't see that it enhanced the casual reader's experience much. It's at the bottom of the page.
All the blog links I had to type in as html will have to be slowly converted over for blogger's new "blog list" feature. I love to advertise YOU and your HPL activities. And since it is my blog, I like to promote my writer friends who've stuck by me and helped me over the last (gosh, nearly a bit more than) half a decade now. Bless you.
It's amazing what 5 years or so brings. Somehave went on to write in non-horror fields, some have become publishers, and others have won awards with their writing. Not unlike Lovecraft's little circle of friends, eh?
Anyway, we've reached a pinnacle in the HPLblog, and for it to grow I have to spend time studying what's next for it. Hang tight, and we'll experience that together on the way to the 2,000-th post.
I know I promised Joe Lansdale, but let's try to talk about that tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
By CHARLES McGRATH
Published: October 7, 2007
THE latest inclusion in the Library of America, that clothbound hall of literary fame, is two big volumes of Edmund Wilson’s critical writings. It’s about time, considering that the Library of America was Wilson’s idea in the first place. He modeled it after the French Pléiade series, insisting back in the 1960s that the texts be readable and accessible, without a forest of footnotes, and it was he who chose the volumes’ pleasingly compact format. Wilson also thought that the library ought to be highly selective, and he would not be amused to learn that he got in only after the likes of Philip K. Dick and H. P. Lovecraft, about whose work he once wrote, “The only real horror in most of these fictions is the horror of bad taste and bad art.”
Friday, June 20, 2008
In the Chemical and Engineering News of 16 June 2008, a letter to the editor revealed this information.
“Absinthe Myths Finally Laid To Rest” was an interesting read, but those of us at Amalgamated Brewing disagree with the once-and-for-all evidence claimed by Dirk W. Lachenmeier (C&EN, May 5, page 42). Absinthe, like any alcoholic beverage, is a living, dynamic moiety and cannot be assumed to go unchanged during many years of storage. To the contrary, the complex mixture of volatile components in the “green fairy” makes this beverage particularly susceptible to chemical and physical changes.
Thujone is fairly volatile (BP 84 °C), and this small aliphatic ketone can be assumed to be rather reactive. We prepared a fresh 100-ppm standard of α-thujone (Aldrich 89231; 1058112 24706082) in a 50% ethanol/water solution to quantify levels of thujone in wormwood samples. The standard was stored in several tightly sealed glass vials to be used at a later date. After four months, these standards were found to contain less than 10 ppm thujone when compared with a freshly prepared solution.
To the credit of the study, we have also found the thujone content of the wormwood samples tested to date to be very low. Following a typical recipe, the highest theoretical concentration of thujone in absinthe produced from these wormwood samples would be less than 5 ppm.
Mike StapletonSt. Louis
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Lovecraft, H[oward] P[hillips] and Sonia H. Davis. "LOVE AND MARRIAGE" a.k.a. "LOVECRAFT IN LOVE" [essay]. AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT SIGNED (AMsS). Written on rectos of twelve sheets of letter-size paper on rectos only, all in Davis' hand. "A de-facto collaboration by Greene and Lovecraft, written out here entirely in Sonia's hand but with notes indicating where each one's contributions start and stop.
Lovecraft's section runs from the middle of page  to the end of page , sandwiched in between Sonia's; according to the ARKHAM COLLECTOR, (number eight, winter 1971), it is transcribed in its entirety from a letter written by HPL to Sonia around 1922, two years before the beginning of their ill-fated marriage.
A discerning reader might have noticed some warning signs in Lovecraft's epistle, which makes the Sears, Roebuck catalog sound romantic, but both authors here come across as starry-eyed and Sunday schoolish, consumed by high-flown, ethereal ideas about conjugal love having little to do with real men and women.
Written in Sonia's broad hand, using a black fountain pen, with a short added section near the end in blue fountain ink, and a few later corrections and notes using a blue ball-point pen.
The sheets are numbered at the top in Roman numerals, signed 'S. H. Davis' in pencil at top of first page, with 'LOVE AND MARRIAGE' written on verso of page  and 'For A. Derleth' on verso of page . It's not clear whether this was ever published as a jointly written essay.
That a man of Lovecraft's temperament and convictions should ever have married is one of the more improbable facets of a life that outdoes his own fiction in its strangeness. The present manuscript documents that marriage unconsciously in the way the contributions lie calmly side by side with very little intellectual intercourse between them." - Robert Eldridge.
Sheets are a bit rumpled, with a few minor stains and blots, edge-nicking, old staple stabs, still, in general, very good or better condition. (#114491) Price: $1,000.00
Lovecraft, H[oward] P[hillips]. "THE CRIME OF CRIMES (LUSITANIA, 1915)" [poem]. TYPED MANUSCRIPT SIGNED (TMsS), carbon copy. Typed on the rectos of two sheets of plain 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper. Boldly signed "H. P. Lovecraft" at the conclusion on page two. One correction in Lovecraft's hand on line eight. "Many of Lovecraft's early poems were on political subjects. Political events of the period 1914-17 offered abundant opportunities for Lovecraft's polemical pen, given his early attitudes on race, social class, and militarism... The sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915 -- resulting in the loss of 128 Americans in its death toll of more than 1200... led Lovecraft to write a thunderous polemic in verse, 'The Crime of Crimes: Lusitania, 1915"... [The poem] has the distinction of being Lovecraft's first separately published work. It appeared in a Welsh amateur journal, INTERESTING ITEMS, for July 1915, and apparently at about the same time was issued as a four-page pamphlet by the editor of INTERESTING ITEMS, Arthur Harris of Llandudno, Wales. This item is now one of the rarest of Lovecraft's publications; only three copies are known to exist. I do not know how Lovecraft came in touch with Harris; perhaps he sent him the first issue of the CONSERVATIVE. In any event, Lovecraft stayed sporadically in touch with Harris for the rest of his life." - Joshi, H. P. Lovecraft: A Life, pp. 131-32. Joshi I-B-iii-26. Several small nicks to edges, the usual creases where folded for mailing, but nearly fine. Provenance: The Barlow/Derleth Papers. (#114479) Price: $2,000.00
At auction, a manuscript of HPL described thusly by the auction house.
Lovecraft, H[oward] P[hillips]. "ALETHEIA PHRIKODES" [poem]. TYPED MANUSCRIPT (TMs) of the central portion of "Poe-et's Nightmare," typed on rectos of seven sheets of letter-size paper. "The present typescript has several erasures and holograph corrections as well as the note 'Vagrant -- July 1918' (underneath the typed date of '1916' at the bottom), all in a hand that is probably that of R. H. Barlow, but presumably executing the instructions of Lovecraft.
The typing was probably done by Barlow as well, though it's hard to say when. 'Poe-et's Nightmare,' which was 'perhaps his most ambitious single weird poem' (Joshi, An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia, p. 208), was written in 1916 and published in THE VAGRANT, No. 8 (July 1918).
It is just over 300 lines and relates a dream journey through the universe in which the poem's hero, Lucullus, comes to see the insignificance of man. The account of the nightmare journey (the Greek phrase means 'frightful truth') itself takes up the middle of the poem, running to almost 200 lines, and is definitely the meat of the poem. It is composed in blank verse, unlike the frame narrative, which consists of heroic couplets -- Miltonic thunder sandwiched in between slices of Popish irony.
Lovecraft came to see the incongruity of this pairing and instructed R. H. Barlow, who at one time was considering the publication of a collected edition of HPL's poems, to omit the frame narrative altogether. Lovecraft evidently instructed Barlow to make several other small textual changes.
'Alethia Phrikodes' was reprinted by itself in the July 1952 issue of WEIRD TALES, but using the older text (presumably taken directly from THE VAGRANT), without the several emendations found here.
The text of the present typescript is the basis for the text found in COLLECTED POEMS (Arkham House, 1963), although that version includes the original frame narrative which HPL jettisoned sometime after its appearance in THE VAGRANT. The text found in the present typescript represents the last and best judgments of its author -- and is 'perhaps HPL's first enunciation of cosmicism, predating even his early stories (e.g., "Dagon").' (ibid)
An important record of the formation of the Lovecraftian aesthetic of weird horror." - Robert Eldridge.
See Joshi I-B-iii-145.
Typed on cream-colored paper watermarked "Animation Bond." Bottom left corners bumped, faint indent at upper left from old paperclip, but fine overall. An important manuscript. (#114485) Price: $1,500.00
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Dave examines the Sacrificial Table at Mystery Hill in preparation of the first chapter of Ancient Stones Sites, dealing with Lye Stones, Cider Presses and why this isn't either.
These and other items can be found by clicking here.
The Octopus is a symbol of Transformation and Regeneration. Because of its reputation of changing colors to match its backgrounds, the octopus is also known as the Master of Disguise. Octopuses also have the power to regenerate. If an octopus loses an arm in battle it can grow a new one. Some can even detach and arm to distract predators and then grow another! Don't mess with the octopus because they can stun or kill you with one poisonous bite. The poison is called tetrodotoxin which is the same as Fugu, the puffer fish served in Japan. So treat your Octopus with Love! (o)(o)(o) (suction sound) - OctopusME!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Imagine an alternate reality, one in which Howard Lovecraft finished high school, went on to acquire a degree from Brown University, and then returned to his old Hope Street High School as - perhaps - a science teacher. At age 39, he might easily have been an instructor in this very classroom. The lower image pictures Hope Street High Scool's science room of 1929.
It's been a while since we looked at Lovecraft's sitz im leben. At age 26, Lovecraft was traveling about to amateur journalism meetings, and perhpas many of the women he met might have had coats similar to these, albeit a little less expensive than the ones pictured here.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
1923 was a pivotal year for Lovecraft. While 1914 might have been his beginning with Amateur Journalism, the eyars of 1923 & 1924 became his path to stardom. He visited C M Eddy, learned of Weird Tales, soon quickly married Sonia, and Henneberger, Baird, and Houdiini all learned of him. The Brooklyn group virtually kidnapped Lovecraft in New York and he - once and for all - became annointed as the NEW POE.
(epegana) THE CONSERVATIVE, March, 1923 Howard Phillips Lovecraft was discovered by Amateur Journalism wherein he honed his tools that would serve him in his breakthrough into professional publication with "Weird Tales" magazine. Lovecraft was so caught up with AJ's that he published his own paper; his "Conservative" was one of the most respected papers in Amateur history.This issue features an article by Frank Belknap Long entitled "An Amateur Humorist"; Lovecraft in turn criticizes the highly lauded T. S. Eliot poem "The Waste Land", or as HPL remarked "....disjointed and incoherent ...a practically meaningless collection of phrases, learned allusions, quotations, slang, and scraps...offered to the public as something justified by our modern mind with its own chaotic triviality and disorganisation..." - HPL.
LETTER FROM:FRANK BELKNAP LONG TO ROY A. SQUIRES
Frank Belknap Long was not only a fine writer in the old Weird Tales tradition, but one of Howard Phillips Lovecraft's greatest friends. In later years he sold his Lovecraft letters and his entire collection to just try to make ends meet. Roy A. Squires printed his "Marriage of Sir John de Maundeville" not only because he liked the poem, but it would throw FBL a few much needed bucks. Squires also paid Long to sign numerous books. As suggested in the letter Long was under enormous financial pressure ... Signed in ball-point "Frank".
ROBERT H. BARLOW TO HOWARD WANDREI SIGNED - CIRCA 1934
Robert H. Barlow was a protege of Howard Phillips Lovecraft; indeed HPL thought so much of RHB that he made him executor after his death and Barlow inherited his papers and library.In the '30's Barlow was trying to build a collection of not only weird literature manuscripts and books, but also original artwork and loans of artwork he could photograph. With HPL's help he solicited materials from virtually every big name in the field; Howard Wandrei was a much underrated artist that Barlow particularly enjoyed. In this letter Barlow tells Wandrei that his artwork was returned and would have it traced if he didn't receive it. Signed in fountain-pen "RHBarlow".
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Here you go all.... (but mostly for Chris) ... Another nifty HPL item ... it is faux vintage so I'm fudging the format here .... The HP Lovecraft Historical Society has just released their 2nd audio adaptation of HPL, THE DUNWICH HORROR. Its terrific, done as a vintage 1930's radio drama which captures HPL perfectly I think. The first adaptation was AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS....its VERY cool. They have also made what is IMHO the best film adaptation of HPL of all...THE CALL OF CTHULHU, done as a "lost" 1920's silent film. There is a trailer for it on YouTube, along with a trailer for their upcoming production WHISPERER IN DARKNESS, done in the style of a 1930's Universal horror film. Can't wait for that one!
By the way, Larry thinks that Horror Mall will carry these items int he future.
There are a lot of HP Lovecraft myths (as in untruths) floating about. I patrol the ebayeum frequently, and when I saw this, I had to post it.
H.P.L: A MEMOIR (1945)
BY AUGUST DERLETH (aka H.P. Lovecraft)
Now, Derleth had a lot of pen names, but Lovecraft wasn't one of them. However, as time goes on and memory conflates, these misunderstandings can easily happen - thus increasing the legend and mythology of Lovecraft's legacy.
Lovecraft, H[oward] P[hillips]. THE CATS OF ULTHAR. [Cassia, Florida: The Dragon-Fly Press], Christmas 1935.
Small octavo, pp. [1-2] 1-10 [11-14: blank] [note: last two leaves are blanks], title page printed in red and black, original unprinted green wrappers, sewn. First edition. 42 copies printed, two on Red Lion Text, the others on ordinary paper, this being one of the latter.
A highly important presentation copy with a signed inscription by Lovecraft to Samuel Loveman on the front free endpaper: "To Sam.l E. Loveman, Esq., / A 'Rare First Edition' with ye / Perpetrator's Compliments -- / H. P. Lovecraft / -- MDCCCCXXXVI"
"This is the legendary pamphlet issued by Barlow as a Christmas present for Lovecraft... The text was handset by Barlow; the pamphlet was probably not sold but given to Lovecraft's associates." - Joshi I-A-8-a.1. Currey, p. 321. The very fragile paper cover has two small chips from the fore-edge of the front cover, one at center, the other at lower corner, and a smaller chip from upper left corner of rear cover, 45 mm closed split to lower spine fold, the recto of title leaf and verso of last leaf are just a bit tanned (interaction with cover stock which is basically cheap construction paper). A superior copy of this book with distinguished provenance Rare. (#108200)
Saturday, June 07, 2008
THE FOSSIL - July, 1957
"When a man's personality so overshadows his work to his friends as to make them think of the man instead of his writings, they are quite unfit to utter a udgement"
- W Paul Cook
Howard Phillips Lovecraft's presence changed and challenged the field of Amateur
Journalism and the modern Weird Tale। Twenty years after his death this influence was examined in this 10 page article of Helen V. Wesson. Interesting viewpoints from his friends are quoted, biographical information, and photographs of HPL and some of his rarest appearances in print are pictured.
Friday, June 06, 2008
"You see not all the angels are these ethereal white-robed, wondrous, golden-winged refugees from a beauty contest ... oh, no. Mnay of them - and I'm talking about those that sit by God's side and have his favor and love and respect and are the first to get tickets for the WWF Summer Slam - the good guys, capiche? A lot of them are so hideous in their appearance that they make Lovecraft's Great Old Ones look like Playboy centerfolds. We're talkin' class-A uggos here, tentacles and dripping teeth and putrescent flesh all dark and oily with larval eruptions that drip phosphorescent goo. All clear on that? Good."
Gary Braunbeck, In Silent Graves, Leisure, April 2004, isbn 0-8439-5329-2
Thursday, June 05, 2008
The seller costermongerstu (which is likely Stuart David Schiff) states this:
Howard Philips Lovecraft (H.P. Lovecraft) was noted for his horror fiction but also was quite adept at poetry. Most of the his poems were not horror-fantasy, but his FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH cycle was (and is his most famous poetry). Here is the RARE chance to obtain a handwritten manuscript of one of the FUNGI sonnets that is SIGNED by Lovecraft. While his letters are expensive (and very few contain such as this), to find a separate and SIGNED Lovecraft manuscript is a major coup. Penned on a half sheet (3 1/2" x 5 1/2"), the paper has held up well over the past seventy-plus years. There is a mailing fold (evident in the second photograph) that has been pretty much pressed out over years of storage. Some foxing is present. All in all, this is a prime treasure and a lucky bit of survival. Having once owned all of Robert Bloch's Lovecraft letters, I can assure the authenticity of this piece.
Price listed at approximately $1600-2000.
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- Lovecraft Conversation at Hypericon Nashville
- Did you miss Chrispy?
- New Lovecraft Comic Coming Soon
- Edmund Wilson: Lovecraft Despiser
- Absinthe and Thiujone: A Modern Study
- Interesting: Edith Miniter's Tribute Issue
- Tryout 1934 Vol 16 No 8
- Tryout (1925) Vol 10 No 6
- Tryout (1927) Vol 11 No 3
- Tryout (1927) Vol 11 No 2
- Tryout (1926) Vol 11, No 1
- Brief Notes on "Some Current Motives & Practices" ...
- Copy and Brief History of "Charleston".
- Sonia's Typescript & Signed Essay on Lovecraft
- Rare Lovecraft Typescript w/Autograph
- Description of Rare Manuscript (poem)
- Louise Imogen Guiney
- Cthulhu Crunch
- 21st Century Lovecraft
- Dave Goudsward
- Cthulhu Jewelry?
- Kappa Alpha Tau Club Update
- Dread Cthulhu Tries to Relax?
- Disturbing Image of Cthulhu
- Science Room Hope Street High School Providence RI...
- Lovecraft's Providence: 1914
- Lovecraft's Providence: 1916
- Centipede Press' Artists Inspired by H. P. Lovecra...
- 1923 Conservative (with Samuel Loveman poem)
- Frank Long Letter to Roy Squires.
- Rare R H Barlow Signature
- Dark Adventure Radio Theater
- How misunderstandings happen
- Barlow's Handset Copy of Cats of Ulthar
- 1957 Memorial to HP Lovecraft
- Gary Braunbeck's In Silent Graves
- (Theoretical) Model Kits of Lovecraft Horror
- Rare Autographed Item In Lovecraft's Handwriting.
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