A Conversation for HP Lovecraft

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Post 1

Researcher Volk

I'm currently working on some extra info for this HP Lovecraft entry, like a bibliography and a quick sketch of the recurring themes in his literature. Any more ideas, or maybe somebody is already working on this? My plan was to put it up as an extra entry and have them merged by the powers that be. How does this work usually? (I'm relatively new to the Guide...)

Maybe I should put up an entry called 'Work by HP Lovecraft' and have you refer to it?

(btw: I -will- mention the Necronomicon, as well as Randolph Carter, the Cthulhu and some other points of major importance. I'm not too familiar with his letters, so any info on that would be welcome)

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Post 2

Researcher Kittie

I realise that this is late in coming, but I've only just found this!!
OK: recurring themes?
One major theme in his best works is survival, on a variety of levels. Look at "Colour", "Mountains", and "Innsmouth" (e'en in "The Wall Of Sleep", tho' it's not a great story). Other themes pervading is best work is that of his own cosmic philosphy/belief.
Letters and life? The "Selected Letters" from Arkham House are a good start, but also leave out a great deal, I'm told. Try S.T. Joshi. Everything I've read of his on the subject is wonderful. He has a great biog. of Mr. Lovecraft, as well as an edition of letters that help to flesh out his life, beliefs, etc (yes, e'en some of the more distasteful ones --- he makes no apologies for Mr. Lovecraft, e'en if he disagrees). Mr. Joshi has also done notations and introductions for several annotated editions of the works of Mr. Lovecraft. To go e'en further, check out "The Ancient Track" -- a complete collection of his poetry. Some of which is excellent...some of which is not, as expected. I can also recommend, if you've the extended interest in his influences and competant literary comtemporaries, the poetry of C. A. Smith, the stories of Lord Dunsany, and "The Hill of Dreams" by Mr. Machen (representing the other side of weird fiction).
But now I must go, for believe it or not, we are leaving for Providence in the morning.

PS: A word to the wise...although he is credited with writing a great deal of "supernatural" fiction, Mr. Lovecraft had stated in at least one letter that he knew rather little of things "occult". Cthulhu and company are more representative of his belief in humanity's hubris and the immensity of the universe (the unknowns of the universe) than the 'supernatural'. Cthulhu is not a 'god' (tho' he is thought of as such by many of the characters who can't comprehend his immensity), but a critter from another planet.....who just happens to be bigger, and further up on the food chain than we are.

Additional info re: Mr. Lovecraft's "occult" resources!!

Post 3

Researcher Kittie

Mr. Lovecraft admitted to a limited knowledge of things "occult", in his letter to C.A. Smith, on 9th October, 1925, regarding his primary source..... the 9th edition of the "Brittanica"!
An exerpt can be found in "Lord of a Visible World", by ST Joshi and DE Schultz, on page 176.
PS: I'm not underlining book titles, not out of a lack of respect, but because I can't yet figure out how to do that on this here!

Additional info re: Mr. Lovecraft's "occult" resources!!

Post 4


As for a list of novels, I own the collections At the Mountains of Madness, The Lurking Fear, The Shuttered Room and The Tomb,as well as the novel The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadeth.

Additional info re: Mr. Lovecraft's "occult" resources!!

Post 5


In terms of Lovecraft and the occult yes he had only a very minimal knowledge. The reason is he considered it all childish superstition. You might want to consider adding in some notations regarding his extreme skepticism and nature as a materialist which had a major impact on his books. He was in fact coauthoring a book with Houdini denouncing a wide range of supernatural beliefs prior to the great magicians death.

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