Friday, September 20, 2013

THE VARIORUM LOVECRAFT &C



In this year's issue's of LOVECRAFT ANNUAL, S. T. Joshi has an article entitled "Excised Passages from 'The Thing on the Doorstep,'" in which he writes: "In my proposed multi-volume edition of The Variorum Lovecraft, which could begin publication as early as next year, I hope to present all the relevant textual variants for all the stories that Lovecraft wrote over his short literary career.  One phase of that project may include the printing of passages from handwritten or typed manuscripts (chiefly the former) that were excised as Lovecraft was writing the story or as he performed a subsequent revision of it."  Yesterday S. T. sent me an fretful email, distress'd because he realised that he has never examined the original WEIRD TALES text of "Dagon," and he wondered if he could borrow the first volume of THE WEIRD WRITINGS OF H. P. LOVECRAFT ( Girasol Collectables Inc, 2010), two handsome hardcover volumes in which all of Lovecraft's writings that were published in WT (tales, poems, letters) are printed in facsimile, including all of the original artwork.  (These wonderful volumes are still available and may be order'd from the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society for $175.  www.cthulhulives.org

So this morning I took the first volume, and as we sat to chat for a few minutes, S. T. sheepishly mention'd that he might want to borrow the second volume as well.  Duh--I shou'd have thought to take both of them to him this morning.  I admit that I am extremely excited about The Variorum Lovecraft, to be publish'd by Hippocampus Press in four volumes.  S. T. shew'd me some of his files for this new extensive edition of Lovecraft's fiction, and they are amazing--huge chunks of writing found in ye original MSS. that Lovecraft crossed out, &c &c.  The first volume will probably cover the stories from "The Beast in the Cave" to "The Festival," and will probably be publish'd next year.  I asked this morning if there will be a hardcover edition, & S. T. was uncertain.  I stress'd that there really MUST be a limited hardcover edition, and I feel that, because it is Lovecraft, such an edition will easily sell out.  S. T. has continued to think about and work on Lovecraft's texts over the decades, and he has made amendments that will appear for the first and only time in The Variorum Lovecraft, bringing the texts closer, S. T. feels, to how Lovecraft wou'd want them preserved.  So these four volumes will have textual differences from the Arkham House, Penguin Classics and The Library of America editions.

I cannot get enough of Lovecraft's poetry & prose, and I thrill at ye idea of new editions.  I am drooling at ye mouth over ye forthcoming The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft that Leslie S. Klinger has edited for W. W. Norton.  I saw Leslie at NecronomiCon, and he mention's that the book (publish'd in folio size) will be as huge as a telephone book, and it will contain all of the original art that illustrated Lovecraft's works in Weird Tales.  Because I am forever returning to Lovecraft, to study his prose and continually learn from his genius, I desire different editions of the stories; & I have a special fondness for annotated editions.  I have much to look forward to.

 I finally got a close look at S. T.'s Robert Bloch award--in ye photo to ye right presented to him by Niels Hobbs, Esq.  The award is shaped as ye box in which lurks ye Shining Trapezohedron from "The Haunter of the Dark"; & with ye flip of a wee switch, the crazily angled stone lights up to reveal, at its center, a three-lobed burning eye!!  Ia!!  I will, at year's end. begin work on a new book, In Dark of Providence, in which all of the stories will take place entirely or partially in Providence.  The book will be publish'd by Hippocampus Press, in ye summer of 2015 so as to coincide with ye next NecronomiCon.  S. T. will be working with me as ye book's editor, and that will ensure no dreck--and correct grammar.  S. T. has been lecturing me on my grammar, & I confess it is difficult to stop my habit of adding "of" after the word all.  It just feels natural to write "all of Lovecraft's fiction thrills me" rather than, correctly, "all Lovecraft's fiction thrills me."  S. T. is obsess'd about correcting bad grammar, so lessons will be learn'd!


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