Friday, February 21, 2014

YE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT

i AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS BOOK i CAN'T TELL YOU!  (oops, left me CAPS on....)  One of my great passions is ye collection of different editions of the weird fiction of H. P. Lovecraft.  Because the core foundation of my life is ye writing of book after book of horror fiction that pays homage to E'ch-Pi-El, I am forever returning to that fiction; & it helps make ye reading of the fiction a more vary'd experience to have those stories in different editions.  My favourite editions are the three superb volumes from Penguin Classics, but I also love to dip into the edition from The Library of America, or the two annotated volumes that were publish'd by Dell.  Soon we will have an amazing series, in several volumes, of THE ILLUSTRATED LOVECRAFT from PS Publishing.  And this year will bring us S. T. Joshi's THE VARIORUM LOVECRAFT in three thick wondrous volumes.  But THE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT edited by Leslie S. Klinger is really going to be a special volume.  I must confess, on seeing ye propos'd cover of ye book above, to being wretchedly unhappy.  I have grown so weary of Lovecraft being identify'd with bloody tentacles.  For me, the perfect cover for a Lovecraft tome
is the mug of H. P. Lovecraft.  Great Yuggoth, whut a face!!!  Centipede Press has it exactly right in yet another edition of Lovecraft that will appear this year, pictur'd at ye left, whut will be a part of their The Centipede Press Library of Weird Fiction, edited by S. T. Joshi and including volumes by Hodgson, Poe and Blackwood.  That photo on their Lovecraft volume is my absolute favourite image of Lovecraft, he looks haunted and haunting, every inch a weird fiction legend.  

So, THE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT has what is for me a very unimaginative cover.  However, I have just learned that the cover will probably be embossed,  and that perhaps will be amusing.  I cannot expect others to share my aesthetic concerns, and perhaps such a cover will catch ye attention of ye projected readership~~& that is exactly whut a cover should do.  Still -- still, Lovecraft is SO MUCH MORE than tentacular horror, & Grandpa's fiction is not so suffus'd with these ropy horrors as some clueless reviewers insist.  Here is what editor Leslie S. Klinger has to say about ye book, whut is scheduled for publication at ye end of this year:

A reader asked for more information about my next book, coming from Liveright in October.  In a perfect world, I would have liked to annotate all of Lovecraft's stories, numbering about 85.  However, this would have made the work almost 2,000 pages and put it into a different price category.  As a result, we decided to limit the collection to 22 stories, the key stories in what might be referred to as Lovecraft's "Arkham Cycle."  I was sorry to omit "The Shunned House," "The Outsider," "Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,"  but what remains is the core of the Cthulhu material.  Here's the Table of Contents:

Introduction by Alan Moore
Foreword
Editor's Note

Selected Fiction
Dagon
The Statement of Randolph Carter
"Beyond the Wall of Sleep
Nyarlathotep
The Picture in the House
Herbert West: Reanimator
The Nameless City
The Hound
The Festival
The Unnamable
The Call of Cthulhu
The Silver Key
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Colour Out of Space
The Dunwich Horror
The Whisperer in Darkness
At the Mountains of Madness
The Shadow over Innsmouth
The Dreams in the Witch House
The Thing on the Doorstep
The Shadow out of Time
The Haunter of the Dark

Additional Material
Appendix 1: Chronological Table
Appendix 2: Faculty of Miskatonic University
Appendix 3: History of the Necronomicon
Appendix 4: Genealogy of the Elder Races
Appendix 5: The Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft (a table)
Appendix 6: The 'Revisions" of H. P. Lovecraft (a table)
Appendix 7: H. P. Lovecraft in Popular Culture
Bibliography (selected)

There are over 900 notes and hundreds of photographs, drawings, maps, and illustrations.  It's still almost 380,000 words (that is, I've added about 90,000 words to the original text), but there's so much to say!

I have pre-order'd ye volume at Amazon.com, where it is offer'd at ye discount price of $29.37.  The book will feature 280 colour illustrations!!!  It's going to be a magnificent, beautiful, awesome edition of H. P. Lovecraft, and my hot hands ache to hold it.  Of course, it really SHOULD have included at least "The Outsider," -- and, my ghod Eliot!!, no "Pickman's Model," that story with which I am so obsess'd!!!  Alas, alas.  But 'tis foolishness to wail over what the book will not be, when whut it will be is so fantastic!!!



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