I like to go online and find sites where people discuss Lovecraft, and it's always fun, when people say that Lovecraft is a bad writer, to inform those people how utterly stupid they are. I have my line down: "To say that Lovecraft is a bad writer is to reveal that one is ignorant, illiterate, and irrelevant." However, any writing talent that I have is mine by instinct, not by "know-how"--I don't understand the techniques or the vocabulary of literary criticism. I've learned to write by reading and by writing, not by being taught Literature in school. Because of this ignorance, I appreciate those who do know this stuff and can articulate it; and no one does this better, in reference to H. P. Lovecraft, than Steven J. Mariconda. I have pour'd over his wee chapbook from Necronomicon Press for years, fascinated, delighted, and instructed. But Monday's post brought his new book from Hippocampus Press (pictur'd above), for which he has revised his essays. And to read this book enhances and intensifies my belief that Lovecraft is not only an excellent writer but a great writer, one who knew exactly what he was trying to achieve in his fiction and, for ye moft part, succeeded.
Great Lovecraft scholarship works on me as potently as reading great fiction--it plants this ache within me, this love of Literature that must be express'd in the form of writing my own weird fiction. I catch an aesthetic "bug" from reading superb and knowledgeable critiques of Lovecraft's Works, and the only complete cure, the only way to exorcise that bug, is by writing. My plan for this month was to write a new story to submit to S. T. for Black Wings IV -- but I cannot concentrate on writing because of NecronomiCon Providence 2013, because in order to prepare for this wondrous event I need to read non-stop the fiction and poetry of H. P. Lovecraft and the best books of scholarship concerning his Work. That's why I'm not asleep at four this morning as I shou'd be--I am too enthrall'd by Mariconda's books and all it has to teach me about the genius of H. P. Lovecraft. I try to sleep, but all I do is brood about how sleep is robbing me of the intense pleasure of reading this magnificent book, and then I finally say, "Screw it, get up and read." I am now feeling a bit light-headed because I really need to sleep, but instead I am here at ye keyboard because of my need to proclaim to ye my profound love of Lovecraft and the way that my obsessive fan-boy devotion to him has changed my life--has given me my life. The Lovecraft fever does not fade with time--it grows brighter every day. It has never flamed more vigorously within me. And reading such a fine book as this new one by Mariconda utterly increases that Lovecraftian passion.
I have a feeling that five days in Providence at this convention is going to exhaust me. If I can't sleep now, how the hell am I gonna be able to sleep while in Providence--at a flipping Lovecraft convention???!!! It is an actual fever from which I happily and gloriously suffer. It is an aesthetic infiltration that ignites the need to create Lovecraftian weird fiction of mine own. It becomes more and more profound. It feels, at times, like some delicious insanity--and maybe that's what it is. If so, it is a lunacy that I wholeheartedly embrace. Soon--soon!--I will be haunting ye streets of Providence, alone or with other Lovecraftians--hordes of Lovecraftians. I swoon with adventurous expectancy!