Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Festival, by H P Lovecraft Audiobook Audio Book Horror Occult Goth...




One of the ways in which I enjoy the weird fiction of H. P. Lovecraft is to listen to audio readings of the stories found on YouTube.  To listen to Lovecraft's prose is one way in which to discover its beauty, its poetry, its excellence.  I listen'd, this morning, to this reading of "The Festival," inspir'd by a re-reading of Essential Solitude: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth.  In a letter by Lovecraft of 14 November 1931, we find:

"The plot I am now experimenting on concerns another fictitious Mass. town--'Innsmouth'--which is vaguely suggested by the ancient & almost dead city of Newburyport.  Of course, there is no sinister, un-human shadow over poor old Newburyport--but then, there never was a festival of worms at Marblehead (Kingsport)!"

That phrase--"A festival of worms"--struck a cord with my imagination, & I now have a hankering to write a wee tale thus entitled, set in Kingsport.  It is one of the pleasures of listening to a Lovecraft text that certain words or phrases pop out, as they don't when I am silently reading ye text.  Listening to this story this morning, I was impress'd again at its dream-like quality, and it occurred to me that it may indeed be a dream narrative.  There are other tales that strike me as such--"The Outsider" and "The Music of Erich Zann" being two such--in which the things that happen seem so outlandish and unlikely that the narrative can only be a recollection of dream.  "The Festival" is a favourite of mine, and it has had a profound effect on my own Lovecraftian weird fiction.  I am obsess'd with using, over and over again, certain images from it, such as ye antique grimoire, the spinning wheel, and the mask.  And so I am slowly dreaming a wee idea that I hope I will be able to write out, a tale set in Kingsport, "A Festival of Worms."

The writing goes well.  Some friends requested that I write a wee thing that they can publish as separate chapbook, & this inspir'd to finally write an idea that has been itching at ye back of my brain for quite some time, a story set in that region of secret worship evoked in "The Call of Cthulhu," the place where lies a hidden lake with its formless white inhabitant, and where Black Winged Ones perform ritual murder.  I completed the polish of my new story to-day, at 3,000 words.  I wanted the tale to be that length, as my last publish'd chapbook, JESTER OF YELLOW DAY, was too wee, being little more than 1,000 words.

I continue to be entranc'd by The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft!!!

Ye above illustration is by Pete Von Sholly, for ye forthcoming volume THE CALL OF CTHULHU in ye PS Publishing LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED series.   This scene is ye setting for my newly completed weird tale.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NEW ANNOTATED LOVECRAFT AT LAST!!!!



I've been trying this morning (Thursday, 9/25/14) to record another vlog shewing more of ye tome, but YouTube keeps fucking up and my recordings won't complete.  Very annoying.  I wanted to actually discuss, on video, some of ye annotations.  The approach is similar to that of Klinger's THE NEW ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES, in that Holmes is treated as a historical figure and the short stories and novels are in fact historical recordings of actual events.  This approach is also employ'd in YE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT. For the most part it works and does indeed bring out aspects of the stories that are of interest.  I have found one note, however, that completely mystifies me, on page 12, for "The Statement of Randolph Carter".  The long note reads, in part, "More of Carter's history is given in 'Through the Gates of the Silver Key,' written by Lovecraft and E. Hoffmann Price . . . However, this tale is thought to be largely the work of Price and must be regarded as an unreliable source of information."  This is pure nonsense--the story as we have it is almoft entirely the writing of H. P. Lovecraft, so I don't understand this note at all.  Moftly, however, the notes are extremely informative and entertaining.  In one note for "The Hound," many lines from Clark Ashton Smith's poem "The Eldritch Dark" are quoted.  

There has been so much online chatter concerning the World Fantasy award, Lovecraft's racism, and what a "bad" writer Lovecraft was.  I'm hoping that the popularity of THE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT (& I expect ye book to be very popular indeed) will help to shift ye discussion to the excellence of Lovecraft's prose and ye originality of his imagination.  Klinger has scheduled many signing and readings in various cities, and some of these will include guests such as Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman and S. T. Joshi, with whom Klinger will discuss Lovecraft and his place in Literature.

Monday, September 22, 2014

If I vanish for a wee while.........


If I vanish for a wee while from ye Internet, it is because my copies of YE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT have finally arriv'd.  My plan, my keen desire, is to enter into an intense study of the book, to examine Lovecrft's texts as I have never scrutinized them afore, and to makes notes in my ornate Commonplace Book on anything that particularly strikes me.  I want to be utterly consum'd in this fresh new study of the tales that are in this book, to approach them again as a student and to let them teach me the art of good writing.  Lovecraft is the world I want to live in entirely for the weeks (or months) requir'd for such an examination of the texts.  I then hope to use what I have glean'd in ye crafting of 50,000 words of new weird fiction for my forthcoming collection from Centipede Press.  Nu, I won't be active here or at Facebook if I can bring this plan to fruition.  I am hoping that my copies of the book will arrive in to-day's poft.  If so, I will add a wee video to this blog shewing ye hardcover edition of the book in all its nameless glory.  Shalom.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wilum Pugmire: Splintered Kiss

Lovecraft is my aspirin



Oy, I have such a headache.  I need to stop reading all of these blogs and Facebook comments regarding H. P. Lovecraft and the World Fantasy Award.  I am too emotionally entangled to approach the subject without subjectivity.  I am too huge a Lovecraft freak not to want to defend his writing, defend it to people who don't read him and couldn't care less about his work.  Listening to ye new Streisand cd helps to calm my soul--but the real balm will come from working on a new Cthulhu story that I am writing for Paula Guran, and thus to immerse myself into that rich and wonderful Lovecraftian realm that brings such perfect joy, such eldritch bliss.
The writing of a new Mythos story brings me such keen pleasure because it returns me to Lovecraft's fiction, the world I love more than all others.  Because the story is for a book that has "Cthulhu" in its title, I want my story to be linked to "The Call of Cthulhu"; & so I am returning to an old idea that I had set aside, the idea of a wee tale set near the haunted lake mention'd in Part II of ye tale, "...a hidden lake unglimpsed by mortal sight, in which dwelt a huge, formless white polypous thing with luminous eyes; and squatters whispered that bat-winged devils flew up out of caverns in inner earth to worship it at midnight. ... It was nightmare itself, and to see it was to die.  But it made men dream."  But it made men dream -- that is the thing that inspir'd me to have my main character a child of Sesqua Valley; for ye shadow children of the valley, it is said, do not dream, it is not in their nature to do so.  But this particular child wants very much to dream--to dream horribly.  Nu, she seeks out this hidden lake "unseen by mortal eyes," and of course she will not die, for she isn't mortal, being a spawn of Sesqua's shadow and mist.  That gives me something to work with, and from it I hope to conjure a Lovecraftian weird tale that is rich in mood and nameless mystery.

Okay, time to get offline and get to work.  Shalom.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

THE VARIORUM LOVECRAFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

H. P. LOVECRAFT'S COLLECTED FICTION: A VARIORUM EDITION.
Edited by S. T. Joshi
1,600 pages in three volumes
Limited edition: 500 sets only
November 2014

ORDER NOW AND SAVE 10%
www.hippocampuspress.com

In the 1980's, S. T. Joshi prepared revised editions of H. P. Lovecraft's stories for Arkham House.  Basing his work on consultation of manuscripts, early publications, and other sources, Joshi corrected thousands or errors in the existing texts of Lovecraft's fiction, allowing readers to appreciate the stories as Lovecraft originally wrote them.

In the thirty years that have followed, Joshi has continued to do research on the textual accuracy of Lovecraft's stories, and this comprehensive new edition is the result.  For the first time, students and scholars of Lovecraft can see at a glance all the variants in all relevant appearances of a story--manuscript, first publication in magazines, and first book publications.  The result is an illuminating record of the textual history of the tales, along with how Lovecraft significantly revised his stories after initial publication.

Along the way, Joshi has made small but significant revisions to his earlier corrected texts.  He has determined, for example, that Lovecraft slightly revised some stories when a reprint of them was scheduled in Weird Tales, and he has altered some readings in light of a better understanding of Lovecraft's customary linguistic usages.

The result is the definitive text of Lovecraft's fiction--an edition that suspersedes all those that preceded it and should endure as the standard text of Lovecraft's stories for many years.

[Volume 1]
In this first volume, Lovecraft's earliest stories are printed in chronological order by date of writing.  Included are such early triumphs as "Dagon" and "The Outsider," along with the many tales Lovecraft wrote under the inspiration of Lord Dunsany.  The celebrated "Herbert West--Reanimator" and "The Rats in the Walls" show Lovecraft experimenting with longer narratives--a tendency that will culminate in the novelettes and novellas of his final decade of writing.

[Volume 2]
In this second volume, the tales that Lovecraft wrote immediately after returning to his native Providence, R. I., from two years of "exile" in New York, are presented.  The landmark tale "The Call of Cthulhu" was only the tip of the iceberg of a flood of stories he wrote in 1926-27, which include the two short novels The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.  "The Colour out of Space" is a pioneering tale that initiates Lovecraft's distinctive melding of horror and science fiction, while "The Dunwich Horror" and "The Whisperer in Darkness" are rich novellas simultaneously evoking terrors from outer space and the brooding darkness of the New England backwoods.

[Volume 3]
In this final volume, the tales of Lovecraft's final years are presented.  The Antarctic novella At the Mountains of Madness is perhaps Lovecraft's most finished work, a superb fusion of weirdness and science fiction that he referred to as "cosmicism."  "The Shadow over Innsmouth" is a chilling evocation of the terrors inherent in a lonely New England backwater, while "The Thing on the Doorstep" and "The Haunter of the Dark" feature physical horrors with cosmic implications.  "The Shadow out of Time" is the culmination of Lovecraft's portrayal of the vast vistas of space and time--his signature contribution to literature.

S. T. Joshi is a leading Lovecraft scholar and author of H. P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West (1990), I am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft (2010), Lovecraft and a World in Transition (2014), and other critical and biographical works.  He has also done significant research on such writers as Lord Dunsany, Ambrose Bierce, Arthur Machen, and Ramsey Campbell.

H. P. LOVECRAFT'S COLLECTED FICTION: A VARIORUM EDITION
will be published in celebration of the 125th anniversary of
H. P. Lovecraft's birth.

Editor S. T. Joshi presents all the relevant textual variants from all the stories
that Lovecraft wrote over his short literary career.

The first three volumes, available in November 2014 exclusively as a set,
collect all of Lovecraft's canonical tales.  
A fourth volume, 
H. P. Lovecraft's Revisions and Collaborations: A Variorum Edition,
is scheduled to appear in 2015 and will be offered for sale disparately.

H. P. LOVECRAFT'S COLLECTED FICTION: A VARIORUM EDITION
features Smythe-sewn signatures and illustrated dust wrappers, with each copy individually shrink-wrapped.  All Hippocampus Press limited editions are printed on 60# offset paper,
acid free and elemental chlorine free.

www.hippocampuspress.com