Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
My convention began with a poetic picnic in St. John's churchyard, just below Benefit Street, in Providence, for a wee Kickstarter group. We dined on cheese and crackers and coffee ice-cream and other goodies, and I read some acrostic sonnets that Lovecraft and others wrote in memory of Poe while sitting on ye tomb slabs pictured above. I then read a poem that August Derleth had written concerning the ghosts of Poe and Lovecraft meeting in this churchyard, but I prefaced the poem with a warning that by reading a work of Derleth I was risking arousing ye cosmic wrath of S. T. Joshi, and I waved to the clear early afternoon sky. Finally we went to the tabletop tombs pictured above so as to pose for a group photo--and suddenly, in ye distance, came the sound of thunder! GREAT YUGGOTH!!! I really had arous'd ye cosmic wrath of S. T. by reading Derleth, whom he despises! Our group parted and I and a couple of others walked up to Benefit Street, where they took my photo as I stood in ye sequestered garden park adjacent to ye Shunned House. And then ye heavens open'd, and heavy rain pour'd down. By the time we return'd to the Biltmore hotel, I was utterly soaked.
Then, my room mate came home late Friday night. The door to our room didn't latch tightly unless one pulled it shut. He must have left it slightly opened. Around four or five in the morning I heard someone moving in the room, and I thought it was my room mate. Then I saw a dark, muscular silhouette holding a penknife flashlight. I moved, and the figure was gone. So was my wallet, with its $300, two credit cards and driver's license. I had ye cards cancelled, and had to jump through hoops to get the airline to let me fly home without any kind of photo I. D.
But things come in threes, my darlings. I entered the ballroom Saturday afternoon to be on a panel about gender identity and sexuality in Lovecraft, and climbed up onto the platform whereon were our chairs and microphones. I was walking behind S. T. so as to give Caitlin some books to sign, did not see where the back of the platform ended, and stepped into thin air, falling three feet and landing on my bad foot.
It is a wonder that I survived this convention. I vow never to read another work by Derleth in public and thus evoke such Cosmic Rage! Ia!!
|with my sweet chum, Pete Rawlik, author of REANIMATORS.|
|with Jeffrey Thomas, with whom I created Enoch Coffin|
Monday, August 26, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
|Bryan Moore and his bronze bust of HPL|
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
|at H. P. Lovecraft's high school|
|at 10 Barnes Street, where HPL wrote so many classics|
|a moment of inspiration within S. John's churchyard, 2007|
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
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!
Friday, August 2, 2013
I am still awaiting word that this is real rather than a photo-shop jest. This is a cross-section in Providence that has been renamed in honour of HPL, as part of the huge Lovecraftian celebration beginning in Providence this month. The bust, above, by Bryan Moore, cast in bronze, will have its official unveiling at the Providence Athenaeum at the convention's opening, following opening ceremonies with speeches by the city mayor and S. T. Joshi.
I am standing, above, before the house where Lovecraft and his mother lived at the time he wrote "The Outsider." I am holding all three of the Lovecraft volumes from Penguin Classics, and ye pb edition of Fungi from Yuggoth and Other Poems. I carry'd those books with me everywhere when I walk'd ye streets of Providence during my four-day visit; & I will be carrying them again, for the five days I spend at NecronomiCon Providence 2013. I find myself completely distracted as I contemplate this convention. I think membership now is around 1,200 attending. Four or five or my publishers will have tables there. Got a feeling my signing hand is gonna be rather busy. I'm trying to keep myself limited to only one suitcase, and that is such a dilemma for an old drag queen like me, having to fit all of my makeup and stuff in one wee rectangular space. I look forward to hanging out with hundreds of Lovecraftians--but also to some quiet solitary midnight strolls in secret places of the city. To drink the air of Providence is to drink an exquisite elixir that vibrates with the soul of this magnificent artist. He shade haunts the city absolutely, and we feel that enchantment on our haunted eyes. O---Providence! O!
Thursday, August 1, 2013
S. T. Joshi has a review of John D. Haefele's excellent book, A LOOK BEHIND THE DERLETH MYTHOS, on his blog, and he makes some interesting points, although he is wrong when he dismisses Derleth's entire Mythos writing as garbage. I was delighted by this, near ye end of the review: "Only the critical naive--or inept--could find virtues in this mass of sub-literary rubbish. (The genial W. H. Pugmire, in his preface, now also vaunts Derleth's Mythos tales, but no one takes him seriously as a critic.)" I am now tempted to collect all of my critical writing into a volume to be entitled . . . Not To Be Taken Seriously.
In the first video below, it should be pointed out that I am very suspicious about the solo Lovecraft byline. Derleth never (to my knowledge) published these collaborations as anything other than "by H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth." -- and DARK THINGS was his final anthology, perhaps brought out just after his death. I want to believe that some other hand, some last-minute editor other than Augie, is responsible for the grotesquely vile solo Lovecraft byline