Friday, October 01, 2010

James Morton on Lovecraft (1920)

In a recent auction, this item's descritpion appeared.

THE STRAY ONE, May, 1920
Published by James F. Morton

Now it's interesting to read current critical analyses of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, but it is FAR more interesting to read what his contemporaries had to say about him!

James F. Morton was one of H. P. Lovecraft's earliest and greatest friends amongst Amateur Journalists, and they remained friends until HPL's death. Morton like Lovecraft was an intellectual, like HPL he served as President of the National Amateurs, and also like HPL published his own "AJ". But Morton was also a severe critic and be ye friend or be ye foe made no difference as evidenced by his appraisal of HPL's poetry..."...with reference to the poetical work of Howard P. Lovecraft. To many of us it does not seem that the Queen Anne period in English literature was that from which the finest inspiration might be drawn. There is a heaviness and stiltedness of phrase in all but the very best work...and modern imitations ring somewhat hollow. "

But regarding Lovecraft's prose, Morton was equally honest..."His gift in the construction of tales of fantastic and terrible marks him out for a coming master in this restricted but fascinating field of literary endeavor. Already much of his work displays a craftmanship and a genuine creative power scarcely inferior to the those of the recognized geniuses in this department...."

I will not divulge the entirety of this lengthy paragraph, that is reserved for the privilege of ownership, but Morton summarizes......"If Mr. Lovecraft has not fully mastered the secret known to the author of 'Dracula,' he is well on the road to such mastery"

A most worthy offering as an associational item on its own, but much much more!

Folded for mailing, with a few short splits closed with clear tape.

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