Monday, February 08, 2010

1910 Amateur Astronomy Book

It's a little later than HPL's active pursuit of a career, but it's also a little dated as it mentions some late 1890's issues, so it was probably drafted contemporaneous with Lovecraft's 1903-1907 headlong run at being an astronomer.

It's completely young-Howard geek-speak.

"Da Google" is continuing to make available old texts of HPL's era. Chrispy is deep into unraveling - as best I can - Lovecraft's youthful endeavors and placing them in context (sitz im leben). This weekend I began to lay out chronolgically every precisely dated instance of young Howard's 1903-1908 period, and I was stunned to see how very few precise dates there are.

Chrispy has a college ruled notebook with each month and year at the top, and a day on each line. There are massive numbers of blank pages.

All we seem to have are a few decades old remembrances from childhood acquaintances, and his own recollections many years after the fact. In most cases he's spot on, and in a few cases either fibs (graduating from high school, for instance) or spins the memory.

However, I'm not daunted. I believe if Biblical scholars can uncover fist century Christianity, and Greek scholars can uncover Homeric Greece, we can take 70,000 pages of Lovecraft letters, his dozens of stories, and reproduce 1903-1908 much more accurately than has yet been done.

All we need is 3,000 Lovecraft scholars and a quantum-computer and we're home free. Heh!

Well, we might not live that long, but the day will come if we can keep from blowing ourselves up. Still, we should give it a try. Or at least Chrispy is. :)

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