Saturday, June 15, 2013

Recent Reading


Reading works of Lovecraft scholarship is as rewarding for me, as an author, as studying the texts of Lovecraft's poetry and prose.  I've just finish'd reading a dead good anthology of brilliant essays, LOVECRAFT AND INFLUENCE--HIS PREDECESSORS AND SUCCESSORS, edited by Robert H. Waugh (to whom I dedicated the new prose-poem sequence in my most recent book, BOHEMIANS OF SESQUA VALLEY).  This anthology contains thrilling examinations of Lovecraft and those who influenced him, with essays by J. D. Worthington, T. R. Livesey, Darrell Schweitzer, S. T. Joshi, Michael Cisco and others.  It is a book that I will return to.  I am also reading for the fifth or sixth time Peter Cannon's H. P. LOVECRAFT, in the Twayne United States Authors Series.  Peter seems, these days, to rather dismiss his book, but I find it excellent.  I am also reading again Peter's book from Arkham House, LOVECRAFT REMEMBERED.
I am searching this book of 468 pages, which is made up mostly of memoirs of H. P. Lovecraft by people who knew him as personal friend or correspondent, for mention of his racism.  I am grown tired of this new dreary fixation of commentary on Lovecraft that identifies him primarily as a racist writer.  I find such emphasis misguided to the point of perversity.  Lovecraft's racism was grotesque and ignorant, and it echoes indeed throughout his fiction; but there is much more to Lovecraft's genius that is far more vital and interesting.  This new school of judgmental critics, who emphasis first and foremost that Lovecraft was racist, and then follow this up to explain why he was "a good bad writer," shews the absurdity and ineffectiveness of  much modern Lovecraft critique, critique that reveals far more ignorance regarding Lovecraft and his work than anything else.  So I am searching LOVECRAFT REMEMBERED to see if there were any echoes of such criticism from people who actually knew the man.  I seem to remember reading that there was one correspondent who directly challenged Lovecraft's racism, but I cannot now remember the gentleman's name.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Mike Davis, of ye Lovecraft eZine--www.lovecraftzine.com--has express'd a desire for me to return to submitting my wee vignettes that I was writing monthly for him.  Still feeling lost in regards to current writing projects, this seems an excellent idea.  I was writing a series of what I hoped would be short stories between 2,000-3,000 words, all of which were inspir'd by HPL's Fungi from Yuggoth.  This project was inspir'd by the brilliant reading of Lovecraft's sonnets by Paul of Cthulhu:
I love love love Paul's reading, just as I love Will Hart's reading, which was the inspiration for my writing Some Unknown Gulf of Night.  So I think I will return to this project, trying to write a monthly "thing" inspir'd by Paul's reading, which may be purchased for download at Innsmouth House-- www.innsmouthhouse.com -- and then my plan is to collect my wee things as a book that I will dedicate to Paul.  

I wish I was in New Orleans at the World Horror Convention to-day, where there will be a Lovecraft panel.  But I know that I will drink my fill of Lovecraft panels in August-- in Providence!!!


2 comments:

  1. James F. Morton took HPL to task. Their friendship grew out of early broadsides at each other in the amateur press. I was sorry that Morton's letters weren't included in the recent Hippocampus vol. I guess most were lost but not all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! How are you? I really wish you could help me. I am currently taking my Master's on Lovecraft, and I really need to read an essay that is part of Lovecraft Remebered (which I see you have a copy). I can't afford the book, but I really need the text. I was wondering if it wouldn't be too much for you to help me, maybe photographing of scanning this essay for me. It's Matthew Onderdonk's "The Lord of R'yleh". Could you help me? Please? Thanks :D

    ReplyDelete