Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Glimpses Inside 1947 Arkham House

There are great images (Derleth, Hodgson & Bradbury), a Derleth poem, and some historic texts below, including the announcement of "Arkham House Samples" in the following year.

The seller states:
Book Description: Arkham House, Sauk City, WI, circa 1946-47. 40 pages. Chap book / Pamphlet. Original blue grey paper wraps, stapled binding. Book Condition: Near Fine. First Edition. No Jacket as issued. A excellent copy, tight and solid, very, very rare in this condition. Light sunning/ slight discoloration. Typed by hand on cover 'See pages 1 and 9." and there is a price crossed out in ink and corrected to read $4.00 could possibly be attributed to Derleth. This was after all a DIY operation! An essential reference book which catalogs all of the Arkham House books up to 1948! Includes Poem by Derleth titled ‘Book Review‘and 4 pages of photos and art. A tough book/ pamphlet to find in collectible condition. Comes with a genuine vintage passport plastic sleeve! This was sent to a subscriber & Arkham House collector. Uncommon. Extremely scarce!

Breaking News from Laird Barron

Award Winner & Lovecraftian, Laird Barron, has new stories out now. He tells us, "I've a Lovecraftian tale called "The Forest," in Ellen Datlow's INFERNO anthology and a weird/horror story called "The Lagerstatte," in The DEL REY BOOK of SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY.

"Both are available at Amazon.

"I've another horror short in an anthology called CLOCKWORK PHOENIX, coming out from Norilana Books in July.

"The INFERNO anthology may be of particular interest to this group as it contains (not so much cosmic horror besides mine, but spooky nonetheless) a lot of dark, weird stuff. Mark Samuels, Lee Thomas, Joyce Carol Oates, among others."

OK, folks. Count your shekels and if you can swing it, support our 21st century Lovecraftians.

New Take on the Original Dagon Myth

I use "myth" in the technical sense, that is a story that assists a sociological group to understand about their preceived history and destiny. In Lovecraft's day, Dagon was believed to be a root word which connotated fish. Therefore he made Dagon a fish god. Of course, he loathed fish and fishy smells, so it was a powerful personal disgust which he was able to translate to horror, thust creating a new kind of myth.

The other images of the ceramic phalluses discussed can be found in the original article:


Biblical Archaeology Review,

Did Captured Ark Afflict Philistines with E.D.?
By Aren M. Maeir

I’ve always been troubled by the Philistine hemorrhoids. The Hebrew word is ‘opalim (Mylpe). That was supposedly their affliction when they captured the Ark of the Covenant and placed it before a statue of their god Dagon.

The story is told about the Ark (sometimes called the Ark of God) when it was resting at Shiloh, cared for by Eli the priest, before it was ultimately brought to Jerusalem by King David. The Israelites had engaged their enemies the Philistines in battle at Ebenezer.a The battle went badly for the Israelites, and Eli’s sons allowed the Ark to be brought from Shiloh to the battlefield at Ebenezer as a paladin in the hope that this would turn the tide of battle. Instead, the Philistines captured the Ark (1Samuel 5–6).

The Philistines took the Ark to Ashdod and placed it before a statue of Dagon in the Philistine temple. The next day, the Philistines found Dagon toppled, lying on the ground. They set him back up, but the same thing happened the next day. The text goes on to tell us that “the hand of the Lord was heavy on the Ashdodites.” The Lord afflicted them with “hemorrhoids” (‘opalim).
The Philistines then took the Ark to Gath, another city of the Philistine pentapolis. This time the men of Gath were afflicted with “hemorrhoids.”

Finally, the Philistines decided to send the Ark back to the Israelites. To mollify the Israelite God, the Philistines included five golden “hemorrhoids” (one for each city of the Philistine pentapolis) and five golden mice. (The text tells us that “hemorrhoids” and mice had been ravaging the land of the Philistines.)

These ‘opalim have caused scholars lots of problems. The root of the word is ‘pl (lpe, or Ophel, as in the acropolis [upper city] of ancient Jerusalem), which means “high” or “rise,” hence a swelling.

But there is something strange, even a bit peculiar about ‘opalim. Is it a vulgarity? Is it simply too intimate for use in a holy text? Or does it perhaps mean something entirely different?
The King James translation calls them “emerods.” Modern translations, apparently a little embarrassed at hemorrhoids, often translate ‘opalim as “tumors.” To some scholars this suggests that the word isn’t really referring to blood-rich rectal swellings, but to another kind of swelling, perhaps bubonic plague. Admittedly, in either event it is difficult to imagine what the golden hemorrhoids or tumors that the Philistines sent back with the Ark looked like.

The history of the Hebrew text also suggests that ‘opalim is in some ways a strange or at least unusual word. Until about the tenth century C.E., Hebrew was written essentially without vowels (in modern Israel it still is). At that time a group of Hebrew textual scholars called Masoretes gathered in Tiberias and developed a series of superscripts and subscripts, called pointing, to indicate the proper vowels in the Hebrew text. Hence, the authoritative Hebrew text is referred to as the Masoretic Text, or simply MT. The Masoretes also included elaborate notes on the text, called the Masorah.

In these notes, the Masoretes indicated that some words written in the text were to be read aloud entirely differently. In their terms, they distinguished between the ketib (what is written) and the qere (what is read aloud). What is written is one thing, but what is read aloud in the synagogue may be entirely different.

Biblical passages containing the word ‘opalim are still read aloud in synagogues on Sabbath in the annual cycle of Bible readings.1 But ‘opalim is one of those words that is not pronounced. The Hebrew word tehorim (Myrwjf) is substituted instead. That is the modern word for hemorrhoids; it appears nowhere in the Bible. It is the word for hemorrhoids used in polite society.

There is, however, another possibility. Based on recently recovered archaeological evidence, I believe that ‘opalim refers not to hemorrhoids or tumors or the bubonic plague, but to the male sexual organ. The Philistines were afflicted in their membra virile.

In 604 B.C.E. the Babylonian monarch Nebuchadnezzar, who would soon destroy Jerusalem and the Israelite Temple, destroyed the Philistine city of Ashkelon. In this destruction level, archaeologist Lawrence Stager of Harvard University recovered seven small vial-shaped vessels called situlae. Based on comparative archaeological evidence, Stager concluded that these vessels were meant to represent uncircumcised, non-erect phalluses.b I agree with him.

The situlae were found in what was apparently a “cultic corner,” along with other cult objects and a votive offering table. The situlae were apparently votives, much like the arms or legs that are often found in Egyptian and Greek (Aegean) cultic contexts.

The most prominent depiction on the Ashkelon situlae is of the Egyptian god Min, closely associated with male sexual potency. He is depicted on the situlae with an erect penis, which probably reflects the cure that the depositors of the votive situlae were seeking. Stager suggests that these situlae may have been filled with semen, milk or water symbolizing the life-giving force that the votive was intended to induce.

Stager’s interpretation has been strengthened and, I believe, can now be elaborated based on the recent finds from Tell es-Safi/Gath.c 2

In the 2004 excavation season at Tell es-Safi/Gath, we found two clay situlae in the shape of phalluses in a destruction level from the late ninth or early eighth century B.C.E. (This destruction was apparently the work of Hazael, king of Aram Damascus, as mentioned in 2 Kings 12:17.) Each of the situlae is hollow. Each is cylindrical with a bulbous-like thickening at the closed end. The identification of these vessels as ithyphallii (erect penises) has been confirmed by several urologists. Like the situlae from Ashkelon, they, too, were found in what appears to be a cult-related context.

In our 2007 excavation season at Tell es-Safi/Gath, we discovered an additional cultic context, also from the destruction level attributed to Hazael: an apparent cultic corner in a largely domestic building. In the “corner” we discovered a group of clearly cult-related objects, including a complete kernos* (and fragments of other ritual libation vessels), a zoomorphic vessel, various platters and seven additional phallic-shaped vessels. Interestingly, most of the vessels had holes that would have enabled them to be hung—apparently an ancient cultic mobile!

These phallic-shaped objects from Ashkelon and Gath are clear indications of the symbolic importance of the phallus in Philistine culture. While such depictions are relatively common in Egyptian and Greek (Aegean) religious iconography, they are very rare in Semitic religious iconography. The Philistines are, of course, widely believed to have originated in the Aegean area and arrived in Canaan via Egypt, and the phallus is known to be an attribute of various ancient Greek, Anatolian and Cypriot goddesses.

With this background, I suggest that the ‘opalim with which the Philistines were afflicted after they captured the Ark of the Covenant and placed it in the temple of Dagon involved penises rather than hemorrhoids. It is unclear precisely what the nature of the affliction of the Philistine membra virile was. Perhaps it was the failure to attain erection, the condition referred to today as E.D., or erectile dysfunction. Or perhaps it was some malady causing penile pain.
The root of ‘opalim, which means “a rise,” suits the penile context as well as it does a hemorrhoid swelling. But it is far easier to visualize the Philistine offering, apparently to placate the Israelite God, as golden penises than golden hemorrhoids. Although we have much Philistine cultic material, nothing in it suggests the possibility of a visual reproduction of a hemorrhoid. Understanding ‘opalim as penises, on the other hand, has excellent parallels in the archaeological record.

The word ‘opalim is still very much a dirty word, inappropriate for use in the synagogue. But it would be quite appropriate (for reading), given the fact that the Biblical text is clearly making fun of the Philistines and their penile malady.

This coming summer we will be in the field again. Why don’t you join us? Who knows—perhaps we will find some more ‘opalim.3

For additional details see Aren M. Maeir, “A New Interpretation of the Term ‘opalim (Mylpe) in the Light of Recent Archaeological Finds from Philistia,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 32, no. 1 (2007), p. 23.

Footnote Articles
Shiloh Yields Some, but Not All, of Its Secrets, by Israel FinkelsteinBAR 12:01, January/February 1986.
An Israelite Village from the Days of the Judges, by Moshe Kochavi, with Aaron DemskyBAR 04:03, September/October 1978.
DNA Analysis Sheds New Light on Oldest Profession at Ashkelon, by Patricia Smith and Lawrence E. StagerBAR 23:04, July/August 1997.
The Fury of Babylon: Ashkelon and the Archaeology of Destruction, by Lawrence E. StagerBAR 22:01, January/February 1996.
Eroticism and Infanticide at Ashkelon, by Lawrence E. StagerBAR 17:04, July/August 1991.
Why Were Hundreds of Dogs Buried at Ashkelon? by Lawrence E. StagerBAR 17:03, May/June 1991.
When Canaanites and Philistines Ruled Ashkelon, by Lawrence E. StagerBAR 17:02, March/April 1991.
Excavating Philistine Gath: Have We Found Goliath’s Hometown? by Carl S. Ehrlich and Aren M. MaeirBAR 27:06, November/December 2001.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New Comic Series on Lovecraft (2008)

WWLA: Ketchum Talks "Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft
by Dave Richards, Staff Writer
( )

With 2006's "Haunt of Horror: Edgar Allan Poe," legendary artist Richard Corben reimagined some of the visionary writer's classic tales of terror. In June 2008, Corben will turn his eye to the stories of another renowned and highly influential horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft, with the release of the "Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft" mini-series from Marvel Comics MAX line. CBR News spoke with Editor Daniel Ketchum about the series.

"Lovecraft" was always intended to be the follow up to the previous "Poe" series and will be published in the exact same format. "It will be three issues. In each issue you'll have three different pieces by Richard Corben as well as the original source text by H.P. Lovecraft," Ketchum told CBR News. "With each story, Richard has been true to the different core elements of the source text, but in typical fashion he's put his own twist and signature stylings on each story

"The idea was that in each one of these issues we'd have an adaptation of a short story and the other two are generally based on Lovecraft's poems," Ketchum continued. "So we're hoping in that any given issue there's at least one Lovecraft work that fans will recognize."

Marvel and Corben jointly decided which stories would be part of "Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft." "Obviously we had to play in the bounds of what we could legally do because only certain works were in the public domain. Also the stories we ended up choosing were dependant on which stories really lent themselves to doing something different visually," Ketchum explained. "But Richard had a whole list of Lovecraft stories and poems that he wanted to adapt and we went through and kind of selected the best ones. Some were very easy like the story 'Dagon' rose right to the top as one he'd do. And 'Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family' was one as well."

"What's nice about Lovecraft and his stories is there's room to dive into a number of different worlds," Ketchum continued. "'Dagon' brings us this aquatic, amphibian race of people. 'Arthur Jermyn' takes place more in a jungle type setting. Than we have an adaptation of 'The Lamp' which takes us into the pyramids and deserts of ancient Egypt. So over the course of the three issues we'll see a variety of settings, creatures, and modes of stories."

On "Poe," Corben provided all the visuals and co-wrote the series with Rich Margopulos, but on "Lovecraft," Corben will handle both the text and visuals all on his own.

Ketchum has been consistently wowed by Corben's visual interpretations of Lovecraft's stories. "With Lovecraft, there's all that interesting Lovecraftian imagery and Richard has been able to go to town on it," Ketchum said. "I'm really impressed and kind of awed by everything that has come in so far."

H.P. Lovecraft's tales are often dark, macabre stories where the protagonist's exposure to forbidden knowledge drives them insane. Ketchum feels publishing "Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft" under the MAX imprint allows the series to be as dark and horrific as it needs to be to capture the spirit of the original tales.

Ketchum hopes "Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft" will appeal to fans of the celebrated author and create some new Lovecraft fans as well. "Oddly enough I wasn't so familiar with Lovecraft before this project," he said. "I think my fun as an editor on this project was doing the research. I got to be exposed to all these different Lovecraft stories. So hopefully readers will get to have that same kind of experience. There will be some old favorites but they'll also be exposed to some things that are new as well."

Marvel is leaving the door open for Corben to do more "Haunt of Horror" mini-series after "Lovecraft." "We'll have to see. We're always batting ideas around," Ketchum said. "This is Richard's element so I wouldn't be surprised if there was another series somewhere down the line."

Lovecraft USA Trends: Google

Here I've run only the USA results. The smaller data base (compared to International) shows some oddities. That's why I added the news bullet points. The interest does seem to be waning. I'll wait until my 1300-th post to discuss my blog stats.

Here are the states. I think it's obvious that Rhode Island would be a primary area of googling. What surprises me is that Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee ranks so high. That is my region, and a small state like Kentucky with about 3 Million people really caught me off guard. The name "Lovecraft" is not a name one sees here.

I was worried that I might personally have skewed the numbers, but I think that's impossible. I don;t actually google Lovecraft often. "Chris Perridas" is more of interest to me, heh. Besides, look below at the cities - none of these three states register high.

In this report, obviously Providence scores high. Philadelphia and Boston are Lovecraft's backyard. College towns on the West Coast score high. Austin is a bit of a mystery sicne Texas was not a high registrant. Perhpas it's becuase of the language graph.

Lovecraft may be more popular among Spanish speakers than English. Lovecraft may have freaked! The young Lovecraft would be amazed, but the trending socialist 40-something Lovecraft may have chuckled.

Again, any comments on these trends would be of interest to the Google-Group - and to me.

Recent Interest in Lovecraft: Google

First we see that "Lovecraft" is a waning search value "In English and in the USA". It is a gradual trend downwards.

What is interesting here is that Lovecraft is far more of interest in non-traditional places. I see this on the web site frequently, though my blog is published in English which skews the results for me. I often see my blog posts picked up and translated.

This confirms that Hungary is a hot bed of Lovecraft interest, though I can't say why. South America dominates the nations that seem to google Lovecraft.

Here are the top cities rated for Lovecraft interest.

If anyone has more knowledge than I do (probably everyone) feel free to post comments and interpretations.

These graphs were generated on 28 April 2008 with

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Dunwich Horror by David McCallum

The seller states: CAEDMON Records TC-1467 H.P. LOVECRAFT's "THE DUNWICH HORROR" read by DAVID (Man From U.N.C.L.E.) McCALLUM ... Collectors indeed this one has got to be one of the toughest and finest renditions ever of the LOVECRAFT horror tale. Utilizing the superb talents of Mr. McCALLUM was absolute genius on this spoken word LP. Just removed from 20+ years in secured dry storage this is a Classic Wax hunters dream. Both the cover jacket and the high gloss vinyl remain in extrodinary shape. The cover jacket has no sign of any storage or age wear and the seams are sturdy tight and remain together. The high gloss vinyl has been gently played and very well cared for.
This seems to have been a series of records. Look elesewhere on the blog for other recording artists who did Lovecraft on vinyl. -CP

Interesting Blog: "Schmeldritch"

Here is the link (click). Particularly interesting is one from 2007 that has a few Lovecraft quotes. (Here. Click).

... in 1906, at age 16 -- ... a scathing letter about an astrologist: "To the Editor of The Sunday Journal: In the Journal for May 17, I notice among the letters to the editor a set of astrological predictions for 1906. Passing over the fact that astrology is but a pseudo science, not entitled to intelligent consideration, I wish to call attention to a striking inaccuracy in the aforementioned article. Its writer mentions a transit of Mars over the sun in July. Of course, as Mars is a superior planet, or one outside of earth's orbit, it cannot transit over the sun."

& one from Mr. Joshi:

No one could tell the story better than S.T. Joshi in Collected Essays Volume 3:
"In 1926 the magician Harry Houdini hired Lovecraft and his friend C. M. Eddy, Jr., to write an entire book combating superstition. This work -- perhaps analogous to Houdini's own previous work, A Magician Among the Spirits (1924), a debunking of spiritualism -- was to be called The Cancer of Superstition. Houdini had earlier asked Lovecraft to write a rush article on astrology, for which he paid $75; this article apparently does not survive. A detailed synopsis prepared by Lovecraft for The Cancer of Superstition does survive, as do three chapters of the treatise written by Eddy; but Houdini's sudden death on 31 October 1926 derailed the plans, as his widow did not wish to pursue the project."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Copy of Shunned House Surfaces Again

There is precious little information about this copy. Here's what is featured on the ebayeum.

(SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY) LOVECRAFT, H. P. // The Shunned House. Athol, Mass.: W. Paul Cook at the Recluse Press, 1928. 8vo, unbound sheets, housed in suede cover and slipcase. With a label affixed to flyleaf describing the history of this edition, which was never bound or circulated. An incomplete copy, lacking one gathering (pp. 41-48). Browning to exterior and some leaves; otherwise a fine copy. ... Fine Books and Manuscripts; 5/6/2008, 12:00 CSTLot 2227: LOVECRAFT, H. P. The Shunned House. Athol, Mass.,

Winifred Jordan's 1915 poem

Life's Sunshine and Shadows

'Tis easy to follow sunbeams
That chance like a fairy fay,
'Tis easy to pluck the blossoms
That bloom in a dream-like way,
"Tis easy to smile and be pleasant
When speech shows a golden tongue,
And easy to laugh and be merry
When hearts are joyous and youung.
'Tis harder to follow the struggle
That grips an approaching ill,
'Tis harder to smile when a sorrow
Comes limping down Misery's hill,
"Tis harder to pick up a burden,
A duty that must be borne,
"Tis harder to walk in a garden
From which all orses are shorn.
But life must have laughing and weeping,
There must be darkness and light,
It must have its thorns and blossoms,
There must be blindness and sight,
It must have its sweetness and sharpness,
There must be the new and the worn,
But what counts most in the living
Is how joy or grief in borne.

-Winifred Virginia Jordan

Rare 1915 Lovecraft Appearance with Winifred

From epegana's collection: H. P. LOVECRAFT IN DOWDELL'S BEARCAT - DECEMBER, 1915 // H. P. Lovecraft made three appearances in William Dowdell's amateur journal - "Dowdell's Bearcat". This issue features the Lovecraft poem - "To Samuel Loveman, Esquire" - S. T. Joshi listing I-B-iii-198. Lovecraft love interest Winifred V. Jordan is also present with poetry. These AJ's are rare, especially of this vintage!

From Spring 1948 Arkham Sampler

By H. P. LOVECRAFT The late H. P. Lovecraft was a letter-writer without peer in his time. His range of subjects was virtually unlimited, and he wrote with scholarly erudition but never with academic stodginess. He wrote far more letters than his combined total of all other writing, ranging all the way from his early astronomical articles for his Providence newspaper through his poems, essays, and stories. The letters presented herewith are selected at random to impart the flavor of H. P. Lovecraft’s letters, primarily, and afford readers a taste of what is to come in the Selected Letters. Readers will note especially the headings, the salutations, and the closings of certain of these letters. These are selected extracts and not complete letters.

To his Aunt, Lillian Clark
259 Parkside Avenue Brooklyn, New York September 29, 1924 (Finish’d Tuesday, Sept. 30)
My dear Daughter Lillian: — On Friday the 19th, at four-thirty p. m., I welcomed Samuelus (Loveman). He was feeling rather weak, however, so that he slept in the morris-chair most of the time, whilst I continued to work. After dinner he felt much better, and I accompanied him to his room in Columbia Heights, where I met the redoubtable Hart Crane, a little ruddier, a little puffier, and slightly more moustached than when I saw him in Cleveland two years ago. Crane, whatever his limitations, is a thorough aesthete; and I had some enjoyable conversation with him. His room is in excellent taste, with a few paintings by ‘William Sommer (that elderly eccentric whom I described when I visited Cleveland), a choice collection of modern books, and some splendid small objets d’art of which a carven Buddha and an exquisitely carved Chinese ivory box are the high spots. Loveman’s room is at the other end of the hall, with an outlook over the East River and a stupendous panorama of the Manhattan skyline. I nearly swooned with aesthetic exaltation when I beheld the panorama—the evening scene with innumerable lights in the skyscrapers, shimmering reflections and bobbing ship lights on the water, and at the extreme left and right, the flaming Statue of Liberty and the scintillant arc of the Brooklyn Bridge, respectively. But even this was not exactly the climax. That came when we went out on the flat roof (Crane and Loveman are on the fourth and top story) and saw the thing in all its unlimited and unglassed magnificence. It was something mightier than the dreams of old-world legend - a constellation of infernal majesty - a poem in Babylonian fire! No wonder Dunsany waxed rhapsodic about it when he saw it for the first time - it is beyond description by any but him! Added to the weird lights are the weird sounds of the port, where the trraffick {sic} of all the world cmes to a focus. Fog-horns, ships' bells, the creak of distant windlasses - visions of far shores of India, where bright-plumed birds are roused to song by the incense of strange garden-girt pagodas, and gaudy-robed camel-drivers barter before sandal-wood taverns with deep-voiced sailors having the sea's mystery in their eyes. Silks and spices, curiously-wrought ornaments of Bengal gold, and gods and elephants starngely carven in jade and carnelian. Ah, me! Would that I could express the magick of the scene! Crane is writing a long poem on Brooklyn Bridge in a modern medium, which may some time be printed in the Dial. ... I subscribe myself as ever Yr. most aff: mephew and pbt: Servt: H.P.L.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Black Satellite

{This si the best image available. No date is given on the ebayeum, but elsewhere I disci=overed that it was published in 2003. More details after the sellers' blurb.}
Black Satellite #5, a hard to find small press magazine that covers horror, sci-fi, and Cthulhu Mythos elements. This issue contains 5 short stories and 1 poem including "Charnel World" by Tim Curran, author of the excellent Cthulhu Mythos novel, HIVE. Being from a small press and a back issue you are not likely to see this magazine for sale anywhere again so don’t miss it.
{Here are details I also found.}
Author Name: Black Satellite Brian Lingard James R. Cain Bill Wilson Tom Olbert Lee Clark Zumpe Tim Curran Kendall Evans Allen Koszowski
Binding: ChapbookBook
PressSize: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall
Publisher: USA Dark Tree Press 2003
52 pages.
Black Satellite is a magazine of weird horror and startling science fiction. Black Satellite hopes to capture some of the spirit of The Outer Limits, The Twilight ZonE, the Alien movies or even the old magazine Argonaut.
FICTION: Toward Infinity by James R. Cain. / Wrong Turn by Bill Wilson / Immortal Beloved by Tom Olbert / Prowlers by Lee Clark Zumpe. / Charnel World by Tim Curran.
POETRY: The Shaman of Guadot by Kendall Evans.
NONFICTION: Editorial by Brian Lingard; Cover by Allen Koszowski.
Priced at 3.99 USD

Examples of Classic Arkham House Artwork

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Robert E Howard (Lovecraft's friend) Image

From epegana's collection, who states:
THE HOWARD REVIEW #3 Edited & Published by Dennis McHaney From the "Golden Age of Robert E. Howard" (the 1970's) many, many REH fanzines came and went. My buddy Dennis McHaney published one of the better ones with his "Howard Review" and his enthusiasm continues to this day. This particular issue I thought especially interesting as it pictures REH on the cover bearing a side-arm and two of REH's lesser known tales "The Reformation of a Dream", and "The Beast from the Abyss"; also a poem entitled "The Soul Eater" facsimile reprinted from "Weird Tales" magazine. In addition is a brief feature entitled "The Illustrators of Robert E. Howard". Dennis M., experimented with various formats and this particular issue is chapbook size and very tidily printed.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Postcard: Form Lovecraft, Cook & Munn to Smith

From the web site ...
Aug 14, 1927

To: Clark Ashton SmithBox 385,Auburn,California.
“Still another conclave! Wandrei & Belhuap are both in their respective heavens again, but the spirit of assemblage is yet abroad in the land. I am told that the New Braithwaite [England; Robert Braithwaite?) Anthology contains a very fine (or: fiery?) appreciation of your work by Sterling. I must look it up. Heard from galpin lately, & he’s enthusiastic about your French verse. In my next I’ll enclose his list of expert linguistic emendations.”

The History:
The Postcard was purchased by Dennis L. Siluk, 12/8/2005, from Tom Strausky, whom purchased it in the l970s form Roy Sequins (sp).
The Postcard is signed by: H.P. Lovecraft; W. Munn (Poet/Writer) and P. Cook (publisher/editor); all were associated with ‘Weird Tales,’ magazine.
The people mentioned in the postcard:George Sterling (Poet, and friend of Jack London (novelist)H.P. Lovecraft (fantasy/horror writer, similar to Edgar Allen Poe)Ambrose Pierce (reporter, short story writer, and poet)B. Lang (Poet/writer for ‘Weird Tales’)Wandrei (Poet/writer for ‘Weird Tales’)A. Gulpin (writer)C.A. Smith (Novelist/short story writer/poet; also wrote for ‘Weird Tales’)

George Sterling Letter

From epegana's collection: GEORGE STERLING // ORIGINAL HOLOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT // SIGNED - "THE SOWERS" // George Sterling now remembered as the prime mentor of Poet/Writer/Artist Clark Ashton Smith, and friend of Jack London, was once the Poet Laureate of California. Neglected now as poetic styles and the muse of academia shifted her fancy to "more relevant" poetic expression, the author's masterpieces of the Romantic era "A Wine of Wizardry" and "Duandan" are no longer in print, but I would urge the curious reader to seek out these pieces & experience the power and beauty that these "poetic spells" still hold for the reader after nearly a hundred years!In the meantime I offer a signed holograph manuscript of the author's poem "The Sowers" in blue fountain pen. This poem was penned upon "Bohemian Club" stationary - the private club where Sterling committed suicide in 1926. Folded for mailing, else fine.
I typed the poem as best as I could decipher it. **edit** Thanks, Casey, for your keen eyes! Corrections made.

The Sonora

Now it is April, and the phlox are out.
In Manitoba and the vast Ukraine
The {horses} of the sun go forth again,
And wide Dakota hears the plowing-shout.
No California plays against the drought
And on manchuria falls the chnageless rain.

The broken earth accepts the pregnant grain,
And now forget the winter and the doubt.
Slowly the clouds pass up the mighty sky
Where channeled azure deepens for their snow,
And softer winds are in the plowboy's hair.

Over the field he hears a crystal cry,
As the mad lark, with xxx wry xxx fenceless fields to sow,
Flings immemorial music to the air.

George Sterling

Sunday, April 20, 2008

St Augustine circa 1935

A linen era, circa 1930's - 1940's. FLORIDA St. Augustine Dungeons, Castillo do San Marco National Monument. SA-19. Published by Duval News Company, Jacksonvillle, Fla. FL. Think fo the creepy ideas this would have given HPL.
The garden at the St Augustine post office in 1935.

You can imagine Lovecraft doing this pose! (In fact one of you artist folks should transpose Lovecraft's physique and image into this post card!) It declares it the narrowest road in America at 6 feet 1 inch.

Lovecraft visited this city in 1935.

A typical 1935 Lovecraft meal

Magazine - Cosmopolitan March 1935 Ad Size - 6 x 10 inches

From O Fortunate Floridian (p. 286,287): Had a dinner of Franco-American spaghetti (very good - I'd never sampled that brand before) with a full pint of ice cream for desert. Not the dime sherbet I'd been getting, but real vanilla ice cream (& good, too!) from an unasuming joint next to the Alexander. Only a dime - surprising value!
The spaghetti was listed at 12 cents a can in a 1931 ad I saw on line. Apparently the brand was discontinued in 2004.
Friday, November 19, 2004 9:17:27 PM // PHILADELPHIA -- Here's one for nostalgia buffs: the Franco-American brand -- best known for SpaghettiOs -- is no more. // Campbell Soup Co. has quietly retired it, though not SpaghettiOs, which were introduced in 1965. SpaghettiOs are now sold under the Campbell brand.

Heirloom Lost! & Kitten

From a postcard listed in Lovecraft's Letters to barlow (O Fortunate Floridian):

{18 August 1935} Sad History! I have lost something ... the little porcelain ball on the end of my watch fob - ... initials WVP ... it is about 60 years old (i.e. circa 1875}, & was my grandfather's ... I think I lost it in St Augustine.
{20 August 1935} Haven't found my watch-fob ornament yet.

Then Lovecraft moves from that subject to K.A.T.

{18 August 1935} There is a delightful grey kitten at the old fort with whom I played a long time yesterday. Just a double handful ... {elipsis original} I call him Pablo de Menendez y Aviles, after St. Aug's founder.

More Roy Squires

From the epegana collection: H. P. LOVECRAFT & THE LOVECRAFT CIRCLE // Books Autographs - Catalog 8 // Another smashing Squires catalog here with offerings ranging from Lovecraft's own copy of "The Shunned House" bound in leather by Robert H. Barlow with the inscription - "For HPL --Who only wrote it-- With the compliments of the binder. R. H. B. June 9, 1935" (on the occasion of Lovecraft's 2nd visit to the Barlows in Florida) to a large collection of Lovecraft letters.Also offered two Clark Ashton Smith manuscripts : "Selected Poems" and "Sandalwood" - the entire books !

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lovecraft's Coomonpace Bok by Krum

John Rowlands sent this alert to me about this great image over at Fantastic Horror.
"Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book #2" by Krum
Fantastic Horror Magazine is working hard to get creative fiction and has a neat forum, too. For most posts on Fantastic Horror click on the label below.

More From Jeff's Blog

Jeff is a loyal participant in the Lovecraft-Google-Group. Pazuzu's Petals is his blog, and besides words of wisdom from his daily life, he adds interesting bits of research and arcana.

Robert Bloch image from Pazuzu's Petals

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Unusual and Historic Court Case About Lovecraft

R. Alain Everts {See other posts by clicking the label below}

757 F.2d 124
23 Ed. Law Rep. 871
BROWN UNIVERSITY IN PROVIDENCE IN the STATE OF RHODE ISLANDand Providence Plantations, and Wilfred B. Talman,Plaintiffs-Appellees,v.Randal Alan KIRSCH, a/k/a R. Alaine Kirsch, a/k/a RandallAlaine Kirsch, a/k/a R. Alain Everts, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 84-1027.
United States Court of Appeals,Seventh Circuit.
Argued Nov. 5, 1984.Decided March 7, 1985.As Amended March 8, 1985.
David E. Lasker, Buffett, Dew, Blaney, Olson & Lasker, Madison, Wis., for defendant-appellant.
John C. Carlson, Lawton & Cates, Madison, Wis., for plaintiffs-appellees.
Before ESCHBACH and POSNER, Circuit Judges, and WISDOM, Senior Circuit Judge.*
WISDOM, Senior Circuit Judge.
This appeal presents the question whether the district court erred in dismissing defendant Randal Alan Kirsch's counterclaim against Brown University for libel.1 Brown University published a "Notice to Bookmen" in several prominent bibliographic publications stating, in effect, that Kirsch had solicited or accepted materials in the name of Brown University without Brown's authorization, and that Kirsch had not turned over this material to Brown University. On appeal, Kirsch alleges that the district judge usurped the role of the jury in determining the defamatory meaning of the Notice to Bookmen and that the district court erred in finding there was no genuine issue as to any material fact concerning the truthfulness of the Notice. We find no error in either determination and accordingly affirm.
Randal Kirsch collects the works, manuscripts, and letters of Howard P. Lovecraft, an early twentieth century author of science fiction and fantasy tales. In June 1968, Kirsch, then a student at U.C.L.A., visited Brown University's John Hay Library, which houses a large collection of materials relating to Mr. Lovecraft. Kirsch proposed that the library pay the rental on a tape recorder and furnish him with tapes to enable him to travel about the country to conduct taped interviews with persons who had known Lovecraft or had corresponded with him. He proposed to donate the tapes to the Lovecraft collection at the Library. The librarians accepted this offer.
Kirsch had been in communication with Wilfred B. Talman, who had known Lovecraft from the early 1920's until Lovecraft's death in March 1937. Kirsch had written four letters to Mr. Talman before finally meeting him in July 1968. In the first and second letters, Kirsch asked mainly for documentary information. In the third letter, Kirsch wrote: "I would certainly be grateful for whatever material you may be able to give me regarding yourself and HPL and the Lovecraft Circle Members."
After that request for material, Mr. Talman answered that he did indeed have some materials and had recently been sorting through "some Lovecraftiana". Mr. Talman asked, "I trust your desire for information is purely personal, and that you're not counting on me to help with information for a book or something."
Kirsch answered, saying that the research was not for a book, "but all goes to Brown University":
"My research is not for a book, but all goes to Brown University, who is sponsoring my trip around New England to tape the reminscenses [sic] of those who know HPL."
On or about July 13, 1968, Kirsch visited Talman's home in New Jersey and interviewed him there. Near the outset of the taped interview, Mr. Talman again asked about the nature of Kirsch's research:
Talman: "Tell me before we start in, or perhaps we are already started, what is the--under what section of Brown University is this being done?"
Kirsch: "Well, the special collections department. A Mrs. Hathaway is the head of it, had given me the tapes, the recorder to go and do this material gathering."
In a later, unrecorded portion of the visit Talman told Kirsch that he wished to donate some materials to the library at Brown University. Kirsch told Talman that he had no idea when he would return to Brown University, except that he had to return the tape recorder after two months. Kirsch accepted the materials, and hand wrote a receipt which he left with Talman. It read in full:
"Saturday, July 13, 1968
"Received from Wilfred Blanch Talman, one box of material, including diverse letters from H.P.L. (complete), several MSS, several pulp magazines, several amateur journals, 3 books by Randall Alan Kirsch, on behalf of Brown University."
The district court found, and the record supports, that Talman had formed an intention to donate his collection of Lovecraft letters to Brown University several years before Kirsch's visit. Talman later explained why he had given Kirsch the materials: "[S]ince Kirsch represented Brown, he could save me some moving trouble and the trouble of a subsequent donation to Brown myself, if he could readily deliver the Lovecraft letters I felt should eventually go to Brown." Talman also gave some materials to Kirsch that Kirsch was to keep for himself. Kirsch took both his own gifts and the materials intended for Brown when he left. He did not give the materials to Brown despite the University's written request for them.2 Nor did he return the tapes.
Kirsch had also communicated with Sonia Lovecraft Davis, the widow of H.P. Lovecraft. Mrs. Davis intended to donate some or all of her material to the special collections library at Brown. Mrs. Davis later alleged, both in letters to him and to his grandparents, that Kirsch had kept materials intended for the library. The library received a copy of Mrs. Davis's letter to Kirsch's grandparents.
Kirsch also obtained Lovecraft materials from Ethel Morrish, another of Lovecraft's relatives. Mrs. Morrish lent Kirsch some photographs, which he promised to return "within ten days of receipt". Over six months later, her grandson, an attorney, wrote Kirsch asking for the return of material. Five weeks later, he again wrote Kirsch requesting immediate return of the Lovecraft material and threatening legal action if the material was not returned by October 15, 1972. On July 19, 1973, Robert Harrall wrote to the attorneys for Brown University indicating that Mrs. Morrish would be willing to join in a suit to retrieve her material.3
In late July and early August 1973, librarians David Jonah and Stuart Sherman worked with other persons, including an attorney, in drafting a notice to Bookmen. The Notice, in full, read:
"The Brown University Library wishes to alert antiquarian booksellers, dealers in manuscript material, collectors and librarians that Mr. R. Alain Kersch, also known as R. Alain Everts, Randal Alan Kirsch and other variations, is known to have solicited in the name of Brown University, letters, manuscripts and possibly printed materials and photographs by and about Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937), the Providence author of weird and fantastic tales. Such material has been for his own personal use and has not been turned over to Brown University.
"We wish to disclaim having at any time authorized Mr. Kirsch to solicit or accept Lovecraft or any other materials in the name of Brown University. We request that persons having information about materials solicited by Mr. Kirsch, alias Everts, in the name of Brown University Library communicate with the Director of Libraries, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 02912, or telephone collect to 401-863-2162."
In 1974 Brown filed an action for replevin of certain Lovecraft material that Kirsch had collected. Kirsch removed the action to United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin under diversity jurisdiction. Upon removal to the district court, Kirsch filed a counterclaim stating a cause of action for libel against Brown based on the Notice to Bookmen and alleging damages in excess of $10,000. In 1984 the district court entered a judgment for Brown on its original complaint. That judgment was not appealed. On December 3, 1983, the district court adopted the magistrate's findings and granted Brown's motion for summary judgment, dismissing the Kirsch's counterclaim with prejudice. This appeal followed.
A. The District Court Did Not Usurp the Role of the Jury
On appeal, Kirsch argues that the district court erred in not permitting the jury to ascribe a "more derogatory meaning" to the Notice to Bookmen. The district judge acknowledged that a reasonable innuendo was that Kirsch was a "thief, crook, or conversioner" but held that "[t]his goes to the gravity of the possible consequences flowing from the language" rather than being a "reasonable perimeter of implication of the advertisement".4
In ruling on the motion for summary judgment against the libel claim, the district court outlined two areas in which a genuine issue of material fact could exist: (1) what Brown University stated or implied in its Notice to Bookmen, and (2) whether the statements were substantially true. Although there was no dispute as to the actual language of the Notice, the parties differ on the limits of the words' capability for defamatory meaning. Kirsch argues on appeal that the district court abused its discretion in determining the perimeters of the words' meaning rather than leaving this question for the jury.
The district court recognized that "[i]t is for the fact-finder--in this case, a jury--to determine the perimeter broadly or narrowly, thus casting heavily or lightly the burden of persuasion imposed upon the accused libellant to prove substantial truth". The court reasoned, however, that this "perimeter-setting" must be within the bounds of reason as determined by the court. The court then established the interpretation of the Notice that was least favorable to Brown, the moving party, but that was still within the bounds of reason, to rule upon the motion for summary judgment.
Kirsch relies on Fitzgerald v. Penthouse International, Ltd., 4 Cir.1981, 639 F.2d 1076, to support his argument that the meaning of a communication is always a jury question. In Fitzgerald, however, the Court held that the publication was capable of both a defamatory and a nondefamatory meaning, and therefore presented a question for a jury. The district court in Fitzgerald, by stating that the article was not defamatory, went beyond its authority to make the determination of whether the statements in the article were capable of being defamatory and resolved the factual issue of whether the statements were actually defamatory. But here the district court has, upon the motion for summary judgment by the alleged libelee, judged the publication by the reasonable light least favorable to the moving party, and so he is not required to submit all possible meanings of the alleged defamation to the jury. As stated in Meier v. Meuer, Wisc.1959, 8 Wis.2d 24, 98 N.W.2d 411, 414:
"The duty of the court at this stage is to determine whether the language used is reasonably capable of conveying a defamatory meaning to the ordinary mind and whether the meaning ascribed by plaintiffs is a natural and proper one. 'The words used must be construed in the plain and popular sense in which they would naturally be understood.' "
The district judge's reading of the Notice to Bookmen, for purposes of summary judgment, captured all of the reasonable defamatory meanings and inference of the publication. The remaining question is whether the publication, read by this light, was true. The truth of an allegedly defamatory statement is a complete defense. As this Court held in Simonson v. UPI, 7 Cir.1981, 654 F.2d 478, 481, "Under Wisconsin tort law, [a] defamation action cannot succeed unless it is shown that the alleged defamatory statements were both defamatory and false". There are both state and federal cases where courts have taken the course of the district court here, to find the words to be defamatory, then grant summary judgment because there was no material dispute as to the truthfulness of the statements as construed. Lathan v. Journal Co., Wisc.1966, 30 Wis.2d 146, 140 N.W.2d 417, 421-23; Simonson v. UPI, 7 Cir.1981, 654 F.2d 478. We now turn to the issue of genuine disputes over material facts.
B. Genuine Issue of Material Fact Regarding the Truth of the Statement
It is well established that summary judgment is to be "cautiously invoked to the end that parties may always be afforded a trial where there is a bona fide dispute of facts between them". Associated Press v. United States, 1945, 326 U.S. 1, 6, 65 S.Ct. 1416, 1418, 89 L.Ed. 2013, 2022-23. The court is to determine whether there are issues to be tried; it is not to try disputed issues on the affidavits. Jaroslawicz v. Seedman, 2 Cir.1975, 528 F.2d 727, 731. The burden is on the moving party to establish the absence of any genuine issues of material fact. Rose v. Bridgeport Brass Co., 7 Cir.1973, 487 F.2d 804, 808.
The defendant argues on appeal that the plaintiff did not meet this burden to establish the absence of any genuine issue of material fact. Specifically, Kirsch alleges that there was an issue of fact as to whether he solicited materials in the name of Brown University, as to whether he had been authorized by Brown University to make such solicitations, and whether the defendant kept the material for his own use. The statement asserted defensively as true need not be "true in every particular"; all that is required is that the statement be "substantially true". Lathan v. Journal Co., Wisc.1966, 30 Wis.2d 146, 140 N.W.2d 417, 423 (citing Meiur v. Meurer, Wis.1959, 8 Wis.2d 24, 29, 98 N.W.2d 411). Based on the factual propositions set forth in the district court opinion--none of which is clearly erroneous--the trial court is correct in holding that "as of the time of the advertisement, [Kirsch] had solicited materials in the name of Brown University when he had not been authorized to do so, and had kept such materials for his own use." Brown University has therefore presented a complete defense to the libel claim as a matter of law.
The district court did not err in establishing the outer bounds of reasonable inferences from the Notice to Bookmen. Nor was there any genuine issue of material fact with respect to summary judgment. We have examined Kirsch's other claims, including his allegation that the district court applied an improper legal standard in determining summary judgment, and find them without merit. The order of the district court is accordingly affirmed.
The Honorable John Minor Wisdom, Senior Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, is sitting by designation
The original claim was Brown University's action for replevin. The district court entered judgment for Brown on its original complaint. Only Kirsch's counterclaim for libel presents issues on this appeal
On December 4, 1969, David A. Jonah, the director of libraries at Brown, wrote Kirsch for the materials from Mr. Talman:
"I have recently learned through a letter received at the Library inquiring about Lovecraft material that Wilfred Talman of Upper Saddle, New Jersey had given you the letters which Lovecraft had written to him, with the understanding that they were to be passed on to Brown. To date we have not received them and Mr. Talman is wondering why we have not acknowledged their receipt.
"Would you kindly forward these to me at your earliest convenience so that I may write to Mr. Talman and tell him that the letters are now at Brown. I did not wish to write to him that you have not turned them over to the Library.
"May I please have a prompt response."
There is no allegation here that Kirsch took these materials in the name of Brown
In so holding, the judge apparently determined that although some people reading the Notice may conclude that the defendant was a thief who should be arrested on sight, this was not a reasonable inference or innuendo
The district court held:
"The jury would make its choice between or among the alternative perimeters, and would then proceed to answer whether, within that perimeter, substantial truth was uttered.
"However, this perimeter-setting, like all jury functions, must be performed within the bounds of reason, and it is the judge who must determine those bounds. There are many cases, of course, in which, until the judge has heard the evidence, she or he is not equipped to circumscribe the jury's role in terms of reasonableness. But when the question is to determine the limits of reasonableness in the effect to be given the words of a document, such as the advertisement in the present case, the judge is as well equipped sooner as later to determine the limits of reasonableness. There are many exceptions to this, when the interpretation of the words of a document can be informed and facilitated by evidence of its setting, such as the use of scientific or commercial terms, but this is not one of them. The Lovecraft materials apparently addressed the occult, but there is nothing exotic about the language of the advertisement in question.
"I hold that the broadest, yet reasonable capability [sic] of defamatory meaning, and the most extended, yet reasonable perimeter of implication of the advertisement is: that defendant had solicited materials in the name of Brown University when he had not been authorized by Brown University to do so, and that he kept such material for his own use."

Neanderthals & Rats in The Walls?

Curse you, Thornton, I'll teach you to faint at what my family do! ... 'Sblood, thou stinkard, I'll learn ye how to gust ... wolde ye swynke me thilke wys?... Magna Mater! Magna Mater!... Atys... Dia ad aghaidh's ad aodaun... agus bas dunarch ort! Dhonas 's dholas ort, agus leat-sa!... Ungl unl... rrlh ... chchch...

Thanks to T Peter Park for sending this along.

Neanderthals speak out after 30,000 years * 15:00 15 April 2008 * Ewen Callaway

Talk about a long silence – no one has heard their voices for 30,000years. Now the long-extinct Neanderthals are speaking up – or atleast a computer synthesiser is doing so on their behalf.
Robert McCarthy, an anthropologist at Florida Atlantic University inBoca Raton has used new reconstructions of Neanderthal vocal tractsto simulate the voice. He says the ancient human's speech lacked the"quantal vowel" sounds that underlie modern speech.
Quantal vowels provide cues that help speakers with different sizevocal tracts understand one another, says McCarthy, who was talkingat the annual meeting of the American Association of PhysicalAnthropologists in Columbus, Ohio, on April 11.
"They would have spoken a bit differently. They wouldn't have beenable to produce these quantal vowels that form the basis of spokenlanguage," he says.
Talking heads
In the 1970s, linguist Phil Lieberman, of Brown University inProvidence, Rhode Island, inferred the dimensions of the larynx of aNeanderthal based on its skull. His team concluded that Neanderthalspeech did not have the subtlety of modern human speech.
Some researchers have criticised this finding, citing archaeologicalevidence of an oral culture and even errors in Lieberman's originalvocal tract reconstruction.
Undeterred, the linguist teamed with McCarthy to simulate Neanderthalspeech based on new reconstructions of three Neanderthal vocaltracts. The 50,000-year old fossils all came from France.
By modelling the sounds the Neanderthal pipes would have made,McCarthy's team engineered the sound of a Neanderthal saying "E". Heplans to eventually simulate an entire Neanderthal sentence.
In contrast to a modern human "E", the Neanderthal version doesn'thave a quantal hallmark, which helps a listener distinguish the word"beat" from "bit," for instance.
Though subtle, the linguistic difference would have limitedNeanderthal speech, McCarthy says.
The language gene
That conclusion doesn't fit in with Neanderthals' large brains, whichmay have been an adaptation to language, says Erik Trinkaus, ananthropologist at Washington University in St Louis. "Ultimately whatis important is not the anatomy of the mouth but the neuronal controlof it."
Neanderthals may have also boasted the genes for language, Trinkaussays. Last year, researchers discovered that Neanderthals shared aversion of a gene called FOXP2 with humans.
People missing a copy of FOXP2 suffer from language and speechdisorders, and humans have a version of the gene that is differentfrom other animals – including chimpanzees, our nearest relatives.
Yet other genetic evidence suggests that spoken language shaped therecent evolution of humans. John Hawks, a biological anthropologistat the University of Wisconsin in Madison, also spoke at the Ohiomeeting. He says that some genes important to hearing changed rapidlyin modern humans, perhaps because the genes helped decode new, morecomplex spoken languages.
"Something's changing in the last 40,000 years," he says. "Maybe thisis because our ears are becoming tuned to listening to sounds thathave recently been changing."

Lovecraft's Legacy: Roy Squires

{Epegana states}: SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY // Books Ephemerae Autographs - Catalog 14 // I'm not surprised at the spirited bidding I've been receiving (thank you!) on the Roy Squires book catalogs I've offered, for they are a wonderfully enthusiastic monographs on H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith and Science Fiction & Fantasy rarities in general. Catalog 14 for instance offers a rare opportunity to procure one of Lovecraft's scarcest pieces, his "Battle That Ended the Century" , equally intriguing is the offering of a typed signed letter from Robert E. Howard; Lord Dunsany is present with a proof copy of "Mr. Jorkens Remembers Africa" with sixty-two corrections in the author's hand.Anecdotes and information in abundance!

Cthluhuesque Anatomy?

In order to keep everyone up on the latest investigations of Cthulhu and his (her?) anatomy here is a late breaking bulletin. {Hopefully, this helps folks with their fiction and role playing games.}
Squid beaks are hardly soft by Davide Castelvecchi

Although "mollusk" comes from the Latin word for "soft," squid beaks are so hard they can crack a fish's spine with one bite. Yet somehow, a squid's soft-tissue mouth can clench the beak without cutting itself—something akin to holding the naked blade of an X-Acto knife with a block of Jell-O, says biochemist Herbert Waite of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The secret, Waite and his collaborators write in the March 28 Science, is that squid beaks are not uniformly hard. Instead, they transition smoothly from a relatively soft base—soft enough not to damage the muscle they rest on—to a tip that's about a hundred times harder.

Counterintuitively, the researchers also found that chitin, a complex carbohydrate that makes insect exoskeletons hard, is not more abundant at the tip of the squid's beak than at the base. But it's not just chitin that matters. Another molecule, a protein, is actually more abundant at the tip. The protein "micromanages" how water molecules wrap around chitin, as Waite puts it. More of the protein squeezes the water out. "You pack the bigger molecules more tightly," and those molecules can link more robustly, leading to a harder tissue, Waite says.

Similar transitions exist elsewhere in nature where soft and hard tissues meet, says Waite, such as between our teeth's enamel and dentin layers (enamel is a lot harder) or on the inside of an insect's exoskeleton.

Bioengineers could take inspiration from squid beaks, Waite says. For example, prosthetics such as hip replacements are a lot harder than the surrounding bone tissue, and a smoother transition could help prevent long-term wear and tear.
Science News 5 April 2008, Vol. 173

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lovecraft & Gang In Weird Tales (1939)

Here is a rare situation - a glimpse inside the pages of Weird Tales. Not eveyone can own a copy, or can afford to get a copy so this is a real time trip back nearly 70 years.
Besides the table of contents with nearly everyone - Bloch, Lovecraft, Kuttner, Moore, Zealia Bishop (=Lovecraft), Finlay, Hamilton, Quinn, Starrett, and a newcomer that made his own path: Manly Wade Wellman.
Bloch's story illustration has a subscript that states: A horrendous story of the Spanish Mein and an unscrupulous English pirate - a tale of the Elixir of Life, and horrible red arms that reached out of the sea.
I can't say I ever read a "horrendous" story by Bloch! It goes to show the purple prose of promotion of the day.
"The Wicked Clergyman" is alleged to be by Lovecraft.


LES BIBLIOTHEQUES, Volume One, Number One, March 1984, first edition, 150 numbered copies. This is number 113. // Compiled and edited by JOSEPH BELL Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Soft Books, 1984 // Contents: H. P. Lovecraft Chronology Part One: An Annotated Chronology of the Writing & Printing of the Works of H. P. Lovecraft, Part One, 1896 – 1914 The Little Glass Bottle // Three Letters by H. P. Lovecraft // Delavan’s Comet & Astrology // To My Old Friend Chester Pierce Munroe, on His Instructive & Entertaining Geographical Treatise on Switzerland (by H. P. Lovecraft, with a foreword by Ray H. Zorn) // A FINE copy. Stapled. 20 pages.
LES BIBLIOTHEQUES, Volume One, Number Two, April 1984, first edition, 150 numbered copies. This is number 113. // Compiled and edited by JOSEPH BELL Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Soft Books, 1984 // Contents: H. P. Lovecraft Chronology Part Two: An Annotated Chronology of the Writing & Printing of the Works of H. P. Lovecraft, Part Two, 1915 – 1917 H. P. Lovecraft Chronology Part Three: An Annotated Chronology of the Writing & Printing of the Works of H. P. Lovecraft, Part Three, 1918 – 1919 // A FINE copy, tiny crease to front bottom corner. Stapled. 20 pages.

LES BIBLIOTHEQUES, Volume Two, Number One, Whole Number Three, first edition, 150 numbered copies, February 1985. This is number 149. // Compiled and edited by JOSEPH BELL Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Soft Books, 1985 // Contents: H. P. Lovecraft Chronology Part Four: An Annotated Chronology of the Writing & Printing of the Works of H. P. Lovecraft, Part Four, 1920 – 1929 Checklist of Soft Book Publications // A NEAR FINE copy, shallow staining to front top edge. Stapled. 22 pages.

LES BIBLIOTHEQUES, Volume Two, Number Four, Whole Number Six, first edition, 150 numbered copies, December 1985. This is number 100. // Compiled and edited by JOSEPH BELL Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Soft Books, 1985 // Contents: H. P. Lovecraft Chronology Part Six: An Annotated Chronology of the Writing & Printing of the Works of H. P. Lovecraft, Part Six, Alphabetical Index – January 1896 – March 1937 // A FINE copy. Stapled. 15 pages.

LES BIBLIOTHEQUES, Volume Four, Number One, Whole Number Eight, first edition, 150 numbered copies, April 1987. This is number 125. // Compiled and edited by JOSEPH BELL Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Soft Books, 1987 // Contents: Howard Phillips Lovecraft: A Chronology 1950 – 1986 Index to Parts Seven & Eight // A FINE copy. Stapled. 28 pages.


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