Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is there a doctor in the house?

Pause for speculation ...

As you read this, and if all has went according to plan, Chrispy is now away at a trade show in Chicago, and thus will rarely be reading emails. (Sorry). I will try to catch up as I can upon my return in several days.

In the meantime, I'm typing this on Saturday afternoon of 6 March 2010.

Something for you Lovecraftians to consider-

Lovecraft contracted, as best as I read the biographies, and at various or sundry times, rhuematic fever and scarlet fever, and suffered from frequent "colds" as well as later in life a weird syndrome called Poikilothermia syndrome. He froze at normal teperatures, and enjoyed hot temperatures.

He could walk for miles, and then suddenly collapse for no apparent reason as he did on the Chepatchet Trip with CM Eddy Jr. He avoided the sun (which might have been a latent Edwardian penchant). His mother and aunts doted on him, and he suddenly and sometime after 1910 began to refer to himself as "grandpa", "old", and feeble.

So, as best as I can tell from the literature, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, strep throat, and multiple sclerosis all come from the same or similar strands of streptococus A.


by Lance W. Christiansen D.O, "I am quite sure {Multiple Sclerosis} is related to the autoimmune response triggered by Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. That is right, the same germ, Strep A, as it is commonly termed, that causes strep throat, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, erysipelas (a skin infection), tonsillitis, ear infection, bronchitis, etc. A common germ causing a common autoimmune response." from link.


It seems to clear to me, at least, that Lovecraft was a bundle of energy - nervous energy though it be - and mentions that shoveling snow was nothing to him at 598 Angeel Street circa 1904. He obviously was running to the top of the Providence Journal Building nearly daily between 1904 and 1906 to get weather readings. He spent many a cold night staring through his telescope with nary a complaint.

Then suddenly, he missed school in 1906-1907 (if I recall correctly) precisiely when providence had its all time pandemic of scarlet fever. I have not read that these items, coincidental though they may be, have been coordinated.

Then and afterwards, Lovecraft took a light class work in 1907-1908, did not go to Brown University, may or may not have had chorea at this time (ST Vitus Dance), began a period of mild hermitry simultaneously with a drop off in family income.

It seems that the kindly, one-time, Dean of Brown University, Winslow Upton who was with out a doubt monitoring his protege's progress would have somehow found an opportunity for HPL - unless something catastrophic and unnamable happened.

It has commonly been applied that Susan Lovecraft might have been the culprit. I wonder. It was in her best interests for Lovecraft to go to college. She and HPL obviously started his correspondence classes in chemsitry, and he specifically wrote in the 1910 census that he was a chemist. And yet - nothing.

Rhuematic fever ravages the heart in virtually all cases. The same strep can cause multiple sclerosis.

From 1903 to January 1907 Lovecraft was on a fast track to astronomy. Yes, he might have been weak in mathematics, but there were tutors for that. And probaby scholarships available for the "grandson of Whipple Phillips". He was doing real meteorology, making a name for himself in newspapers, and even in Scientific American. He was introduced to Percival Lowell January 1907.

SOMETHING happened in 1907. Something amazing and of pulse-pounding importance.

Lovecraft danced around it in his letters, and even lied about it.

On one side of 1907, he was hell bent for the stars. His fall back position by 1908-1910 was chemistry ('The Alchemist', 1908 and correspondence courses). On the other side of 1910, Susan and he must have felt POETRY was his calling.

A radical shift based on - perhaps contracting a mysterious, unnamable disease?


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