Friday, March 27, 2015
In his snippy review of a pro-Derleth book that attack'd him continuously (a book for which I wrote a pro-Derleth foreword), S. T. Joshi wrote: "(The genial W. H. Pugmire, in his preface, now also vaunts Derleth's Mythos tales, but no one takes him seriously as a critic.)" O, bitches, people were outraged & expected me to be annoy'd with S. T., who is my greatest friend and has encouraged my writing more than any other soul. I wasn't at all annoy'd, I found it all hilarious; too, I understood S. T.'s emotional dislike of Derleth, a complicated issue. Shortly after this incident, Pete Von Sholly asked S. T. if he knew of anyone who cou'd write new essays for the forthcoming LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED volumes from PS Publishing, a nine-volume set of wondrously illustrated books, for each of which S. T. had provided the Lovecraft text and penned new Introductions. To my amazement, S. T. suggested that Pete ask me for some new essays. I was delighted and have written new essays of about 1,000 words@ for several volumes. It is a magnificent series, of which six volumes are now in print. I found that I really enjoy'd writing essays about HPL, even though I can never pretend to be a Lovecraft scholar. Thanks to mine beloved S. T. Joshi, I was given ye chance.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Alas, that we must wait until mid-October for ye release of this collection fromPenguin Classics. I have a passion for Penguin editions, and own three sets of their H. P. Lovecraft volumes. I have this book by Ligotti on pre-order, & will need to own at least two copies. To me, Tom is the perfect weird fiction author--a writer who is, in every way, superb. I think he is the finest supernatural/horror writer that has ever put pen to paper--or fingers to keyboard. I love Lovecraft, but Lovecraft wrote some rather poor stories, I admit. Thomas Ligotti has not.
Monday, March 16, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
I am far more haunted, as an artist, by H. P. Lovecraft, this year, than ever before. I sense a need to do so much more with Lovecraftian weird fiction, and to improve the way I write it. I strive for excellence, although I doubt I can ever truly achieve it. Still, one has to try. I've just finish'd proofing my next book for Hippocampus Press, MONSTROUS AFTERMATH, having printed out ye entire pdf file so that I could read the book as hard copy. My final piece in ye book is my revised/extended version of "Some Unknown Gulf of Night. When the piece was first publish'd in book form by Arcane Wisdom Press, I consider'd it the finest thing I have ever written. Reading it anew, these past several days, has left me a wee bit disappointed with it. I could have done so much more. I was obsess'd with having a repetition of motif. of character and language; but this new reading points of that there is too much repetition, especially if the piece is read entirely in one quick sweep. Another odd thing is that, in comparing some segments with the Lovecraft sonnets that inspir'd them, I can no longer comprehend how a particular sonnet inspired my prose response--there seems no clear correspondence at all.
This feeling of "I could have done so much more with this" came to me some time ago when I was rereading my other prose-poem sequence, "Uncommon Places". Indeed, I return'd to some of the segments in that work and, thinking they wou'd be so much better as actual short stories rather that prose-poems or vignettes, rewrote a number of them as regular short stories; & some few of those rewrites will be included among ye tales in MONSTROUS AFTERMATH. As I read over "Some Unknown Gulf of Night" to-day, and compared my prose-poem segment with the actual sonnet by H. P. Lovecraft that inspir'd it, I found myself thinking, "This could have been so much better. There is no connection between HPL's original sonnet and whut ye have written here. You could put the inspiration received from this sonnet to such better use." I felt this keen, some few hours ago, when I compared segment XXXI of "Gulf" to Lovecraft's "The Dweller" sonnet; and I experienced a wee ache to "try again," to write a full weird tale inspir'd by "The Dweller" that actual had real solid connections to Lovecraft's poem. I have a feeling I will be studying the sonnets anew later on this year, and use them as inspiration for a horde of new stories in ye Lovecraft tradition. I'll have, come summer, some new editions of Lovecraft's poems with which to cull inspiration: for PS Publishing will be bringing out a wee illustrated edition of Lovecraft's poems that were publish'd in Weird Tales, a number of which were ye Fungi; & Hippocampus Press will be bringing forth David Schultz's The Annotated Fungi from Yuggoth, complete with about 40 new illustrations created for that particular edition.
I need to improve, in order to excel. That will come about only with ye writing of many, many, many more Mythos stories. Happily, I have a feeling that there are going to be more Mythos anthologies forthcoming in ye next few years--I've just been invited to write for two new ones.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
My introduction to the weird fiction of H. P. Lovecraft came not from reading but from listening. The bloke who lived across the street owned his own record store, and knowing of my love of monsters, he would sometimes give me horror records. One of these was Roddy McDowell's reading of "The Outsider" and "The Hound." Thus, those two tales served as my introduction to the fabulous world of darkness that is ye fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. Perhaps, having so loved these audio renditions of the two tales, that is why "The Outsider" and "The Hound" remain among my all-time favourite tales by H. P. Lovecraft, stories that have so keenly influenced my own writing.