Lovecraft in Historical Context: further essays and notes
Paperback, 138 Pages
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CONTENTS: Story - "The Quest to Azathoth" (new 5,000 word short story). Essays and Historical Notes - 1. The Typewriter of H.P. Lovecraft; 2. Some Notes on the Origins of Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space”; 3. Appendix: Quabbin and “The Colour Out of Space”; 4. Lovecraft, Houdini, and Egypt in Fantastic Literature; 5. What Does Danforth See At The End of Mountains?; 6. A Fainting Spell: Lovecraft and fainting; 7. Looking into Lovecraft’s Toilet; 8. Loveman as a Source for “Hypnos”. 9. The Mystery of “J.N."; 10. A Note on the Pickwick Club Disaster; 11. On The Real Mammoth Cave and “The Beast in the Cave”; 12. The Winds of Insanity; 13. The Cats of H.P. Lovecraft; 14. Cats and the Fantastical (a bibliography); 15. A Note on the Elder Signs; 16. Secrecy and Secretions; 17. Postcards from the High House; 18. Two Postcards from the Providence Public Library; 19. "An Alternate Ending: a... More > fiction". Illustrated. 31,000 words. 136 pages. 2011.< Less
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Jan 1, 2014The essays range in length from 3 pages to 31; this long piece, “Some Notes on the Origins of Lovecraft’s The Colour out of Space” is easily the best & most comprehensive of the collection, & perhaps worth the price of admission by itself. In it, author Haden traces the (real) history of “star slime”, & likely sources of other features of the story. Other pieces are definitely lighter fare. One speculates on the origin & model of HPL’s typewriter, & is well padded out with reproductions of contemporary typewriter ads & photographs of similar machines. Another speculates on just what it was that Danforth saw at the end of “The Mountains of Madness” to make him shriek in helpless insanity. And, with perhaps tongue firmly planted in cheek, we even have an essay proposing that the inspiration for Lovecraft’s otherwise forgettable story “From Beyond” was problems with his toilet. The volume actually ends with a 5pp “alternate ending”, outlining the career of a... More > longer-lived HPL, who ends up becoming a supporter of Ayn Rand’s work, a pioneer of the “open-source movement” (Haden’s term; I presume “Creative Commons” would be a better fit), & even a progenitor of steampunk with a final published novel. All in all a very nice assemblage of pieces delving into the trivia & esoterica of HPL’s life & work. There are some irritants. Perhaps the most irksome to me is that while the book has page numbers, there are none in the Table of Contents; the reader has to flip through the book to find anything he’s looking for. Another weakness is that while Haden can be very thorough in his research, he seems to be largely limited to whatever is online; at times he has to leave gaps in his uncovering of sources because he cannot get access to something that exists only in hard-copy form. (Perhaps we can be charitable & thank him for leaving such handy starting-points for future scholars) And while he puts a list of germane works at the end of nearly every essay, they aren’t really bibliographies, nor, indeed, has he necessarily even read them all. This sort of informality related to sources keeps work like this from becoming a true scholarly resource. Typography is in general pretty good, which in the self-published world sadly cannot be taken for granted. Outside of some minor (& debatable) punctuation quibbles, perhaps the only outright typos I can recall at this point are 2 instances of “—” showing up in the text in place of the actual punctuation mark.< Less
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- D. Haden (Standard Copyright License)
- July 9, 2012
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 0.57 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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