"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." So begins H. P. Lovecraft's essay “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” arguably the most important analysis of horror ever written. Yet while hordes of writers have created works based on Lovecraft's fiction, never before has an anthology taken its inspiration directly from the literary manifesto behind his entire mythos . . . until now. Like cultists poring over a forbidden tome, 18 modern masters of horror have gathered here to engage with Lovecraft's treatise. Rather than responding with articles of their own, these authors have written new short stories inspired by intriguing quotes from the essay, offering their own whispers to the darkness. They tell of monsters and madmen, of our strange past and our weirder future, of terrors stalking the winter woods, the broiling desert, and eeriest of all, our bustling cities and our family homes. This collection is a unique contribution to the booming Lovecraft/Cthulhu craze that will stand out from the pack due to its one-of-a-kind premise.
H. P. Lovecraft's generous tutelage of younger literary colleagues earned him their lifelong devotion and admiration. Few profited more by his assistance than Robert Bloch, who went on to become the celebrated author of "Psycho" and other classic works of horror and suspense. Establishing a correspondence with Lovecraft when he was sixteen, Bloch learned so much about the craft of writing-and about other matters-that he later stated: "Lovecraft was my university." This volume brings together Lovecraft's complete extant correspondence with Bloch as well as with such other young writers, editors, and fans of the 1930s as Kenneth Sterling (who collaborated with Lovecraft on "In the Walls of Eryx"), Donald A. Wollheim (editor of the "Phantagraph" and a leading figure in science fiction in the decades that followed), Willis Conover (whose "Lovecraft at Last" is one of the most poignant books ever written about the Providence writer), and others. As in all previous volumes in the "Collected Letters" series, these letters have been meticulously edited by David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi, two of the leading authorities on Lovecraft. Also included are many rare and pertinent writings by the various correspondents, which shed light on their relationship to Lovecraft. An exhaustive bibliography and a comprehensive index conclude the volume.
The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard: 1930-1932
Author: H. P. Lovecraft
Category: Literary Collections
H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard are two of the titans of weird fiction of their era. Dominating the pages of Weird Tales in the 1920s and 1930s, they have gained worldwide followings for their compelling writings and also for the very different lives they led. The two writers came in touch in 1930, when Howard wrote to Lovecraft via Weird Tales. A rich and vibrant correspondence immediately ensued. Both writers were fascinated with the past, especially the history of Roman and Celtic Britain, and their letters are full of intriguing discussions of contemporary theories on this subject. Gradually, a new discussion came to the fore-a complex dispute over the respective virtues of barbarism and civilisation, the frontier and settled life, and the physical and the mental. Lovecraft, a scion of centuries-old New England, and Howard, a product of recently settled Texas, were diametrically opposed on these and other issues, and each writes compellingly of his beliefs, attitudes, and theories. The result is a dramatic debate-livened by wit, learning, and personal revelation-that is as enthralling as the fiction they were writing at the time. All the letters have been exhaustively annotated by the editors.
H. P. Lovecraft is not generally known as a "family man," but he was in fact very close to his grandfather, Whipple Phillips; his mother, Sarah Susan Lovecraft; and his two aunts, Lillian D. Clark and Annie E. P. Gamwell. His letters to these family members and to friends of the family are among the most revelatory documents he ever wrote, and they provide a unique glimpse of the granular details of his daily life. Lovecraft's letters to his mother are few, but they reveal his slow emergence from hermitry after her hospitalization in 1919. After her death in 1921, Lovecraft relied on his two aunts to maintain the household. In 1922 he began traveling more widely, and his accounts of his visits to New York, Cleveland, and elsewhere exhibit a broadening of his horizons as he meets new friends and absorbs new impressions. His sudden decision in March 1924 to marry Sonia H. Greene resulted in his uprooting from his native Providence, R.I., to the metropolis of New York City. The hundreds of thousands of words he wrote to Lillian and Annie over the next two years chronicle in fascinating and, at times, painful detail the trials and tribulations Lovecraft faced during this difficult time: he was unable to find a job, his wife's finances collapsed, and he did little creative writing in New York. As this volume ends, we see Lovecraft nearly at the end of his tether, aesthetically and psychologically. The volume has been edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, two leading authorities on Lovecraft, with careful preparation of the text and exhaustive annotations.
This latest volume of H. P. Lovecraft's complete unabridged correspondence is unique in that it contains a substantial amount of letters by one of his most distinctive later colleagues--the weird writer C. L. Moore, whose stories mingling fantasy and sexuality were among the most striking contributions to Weird Tales in the 1930s. Lovecraft's letters to Moore survive only fragmentarily, but Moore wrote more than 60,000 words of letters to Lovecraft, and these are now published for the first time, revealing a vivid imagination and keen analytical mind who held her own in debates with her older colleague. Lovecraft introduced Moore to her future husband and writing partner, Henry Kuttner, whose own brief correspondence is included here. Fritz and Jonquil Leiber were already married when Jonquil wrote to Lovecraft, as Fritz was too shy to approach him. There ensued a lively correspondence with both individuals that lasted less than a year, but was filled with profound discussions of the nature of weird fiction. Lovecraft wrote a long, detailed letter analyzing Leiber's early novella "Adept's Gambit," and Leiber revised the story accordingly. Lovecraft also engaged in a short correspondence with Harry O. Fischer, who initially collaborated with Leiber in conceiving the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series of fantasy tales. This volume also prints the complete letters to a little-known correspondent, Frederic Jay Pabody. These letters have surfaced only recently, and they show Lovecraft at the height of his powers as an intellect: he conducts a searching dissection of the classic weird tale "Thurnley Abbey" by Perceval Landon, he is also unremitting in his condemnation of pulp hackwork. As with other volumes in this series, the letters have been meticulously edited and annotated by David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi, with an appendix containing rare material by Moore, Kuttner, and Leiber.
This volume presents H. P. Lovecraft's letters to three individuals-J. Vernon Shea, Carl Ferdinand Strauch, and Lee McBride White-who were not exclusively interested in weird fiction nor were involved in the realms of amateur journalism or fantasy fandom. Although Shea did come into contact with Lovecraft through Weird Tales, his interests, even as a young man, were far wider-current politics, general literature, film, and socio-cultural trends. As such, Lovecraft's letters to him broach broad topics relating to aesthetics, philosophy, politics, and general culture. In one letter Lovecraft expounds on his fascination with the film "Berkeley Square, " a time-travel drama that markedly inspired one of his later stories, "The Shadow out of Time." Carl F. Strauch was a librarian and an academic-he wrote a dissertation on Ralph Waldo Emerson and taught for many years at Lehigh University-and Lovecraft was intrigued by Strauch's recital of witch legendry from the Pennsylvania Dutch region of Pennsylvania where he resided. The young Lee White was a student at Howard College in Alabama when he came into contact with Lovecraft, and the ten letters they exchanged over several years cover a wide range of literary topics. In one of his last letters Lovecraft makes extensive revisions on a poem about John Donne that White had written. These letters reveal Lovecraft to have as wide a range of intellectual and aesthetic interests as his diverse and multifaceted correspondents. As in all previous volumes in the Collected Letters series, these letters have been meticulously edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, two of the leading authorities on Lovecraft. Also included are many rare and pertinent writings by the various correspondents, which shed light on their relationship to Lovecraft. An exhaustive bibliography and a comprehensive index conclude the volume.
Publisher: Ohio University Center for International Studies
Category: Biography & Autobiography
They also outline his views on history, aesthetics, society, politics, and economics - among a myriad of subjects that engaged his wide-ranging intellect. This selection of Lovecraft letters and essays, some of which have never been published, bring to light much about the era, the circle in which he worked, and his candid and sometimes surprising reactions to the circumstances of his life."--BOOK JACKET.
"H. P. Lovecraft has come to be recognised as the leading author of supernatural fiction in the twentieth century. But how did a man who died in poverty, with no book of his stories published in his lifetime, become such an icon in horror literature? S. T. Joshi, the leading authority on Lovecraft, has traced in detail the course of Lovecraft's life, spent largely in Providence, Rhode Island, and has shown how Lovecraft was engaged in the political, economic, social, and intellectual currents of his time, and how his developing thought informed his fiction and other writings. Lovecraft's reaction to World War I, the Jazz Age, and the Depression, as well as to literary modernism and scientific advance, markedly affected his thought and work, so that by the end of his life he had become both a 'mechanistic materialist' and a 'cosmic regionalist' who looked to his New England heritage as a bulwark against the meaninglessness of a godless cosmos. It was the wonder and terror of that cosmos that Lovecraft depicted, with poetic grandeur, in his work." --Book Jacket.
The author writes: This book began as an expansion of my essay, "H. P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West," in The Weird Tale, but very quickly became something quite different, to the degree that the two works have little save the title in common. I have always been interested in Lovecraft the philosopher, and in my Starmont Reader’s Guide to Lovecraft (1982) I attempted a very compressed account of his philosophical views. To treat so complex a thinker as Lovecraft in a few pages was obviously untenable, even though I think those few pages at least convey the unity of his thought -- perhaps better than this fuller study does. One reviewer, however, was correct in noting that I did not sufficiently integrate Lovecraft’s thought and his fiction, and I have now attempted to remedy the failing. I am still not convinced that I have really written one rather than two books here. Does Lovecraft’s fiction really depend upon his philosophy? I wrestle with this question further in my introduction, but here I can note that I had great difficulty deciding upon the proper structure for this book. I deal with four principal facets of Lovecraft's philosophy -- metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, and politics -- in Part I, and those same facets as applied to the fiction in Part II. It might have made more sense to juxtapose the corresponding chapters of each part, but I finally determined that this would be both methodologically and practically unsound; methodologically for reasons explained in the introduction, and practically because it would fail to demonstrate the interconnectedness of Lovecraft’s thought and because in Part II I frequently rely upon conceptions expressed throughout the whole of Part I. In Part I, the author deals with four principal facets of Lovecraft's philosophy: metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, and politics. In Part II, he studies those same facets as applied to the fiction.
It is safe to say that Donald Wandrei (1908-1987) was one of Lovecraft's leading correspondents. In 1924 Wandrei came in touch with his literary idol, Clark Ashton Smith, and two years later Smith referred him to Lovecraft. There began a rich, expansive communication in which both sides of the correspondence are preserved largely intact, allowing for an unprecedented glimpse into the life and beliefs of the two authors. Wandrei began as a fiery, cosmic poet in the tradition of Smith, but later took to writing weird fiction. He persuaded Farnsworth Wright of Weird Tales to accept Lovecraft's seminal tale "The Call of Cthulhu," just as Lovecraft urged Wright to take Wandrei's "The Red Brain." Lovecraft introduced Wandrei to his fellow Midwesterner August Derleth, and after Lovecraft's death they founded Arkham House to publish the work of Lovecraft and other writers of weird fiction. Lovecraft came to believe that Donald Wandrei's brother Howard was a weird artist of the first order, and this volume features the letters and postcards they exchanged in the 1930s. Another late colleague, Emil Petaja, was of Finnish ancestry, and Lovecraft's letters to him are full of discussions into the fantasy fandom of that era along with his later beliefs on politics, society, and religion. As with other volumes of the Letters of H. P. Lovecraft series, this book prints all surviving letters unabridged and with exhaustive annotations by David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi. In addition, a rare interview of Donald Wandrei is included, along with poems, essays, and stories by Petaja.
He was the premier writer of horror fiction in the first half of the 20th Century, perhaps the major American practitioner of the art between the time of Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King. Born into an upper middle class family in Providence, Rhode Island, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) had a lonely childhood, but read voraciously from his earliest years. He soon became interested in science and astronomy and began penning stories, poetry, and essays in great profusion, publishing them himself when no other market was available. The advent of Weird Tales in 1923 gave him a small outlet for his work, and he attracted a large number of followers, with whom he exchanged literally tens of thousands of letters, many of them quite lengthy. A number of these young correspondents eventually became professional writers and editors themselves. Lovecraft's fame began spreading beyond fandom with the publication of his first significant collection, The Outsider and Others, in 1939, two years after his untimely death. Book jacket.
Mysteries of Time and Spirit is a collection of all the correspondence between Lovecraft and future Arkham-House co-founder Donald Wandrei. Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.