53 minute podcast lecture by an astronomer from the University of Bath, in the UK, on how poetry portrays astronomy. Preamble ends at 6:35.
More additions to the Open Lovecraft page:
* Richard Palvik (2013), H.P. Lovecraft: narratologisk analys av atmosfar och fasor (Masters dissertation. Title translates as “H.P. Lovecraft: a narratological analysis of atmospheres and horrors”. In Swedish, with English abstract).
* James Odelle Butler (2012), “Name, Place, and Emotional Space: Themed Semantics in Literary Onomastic Research” (PhD thesis for University of Glasgow, UK. Examines “The Interlaced Realities of Lovecraft County” on pp. 172-188).
* Gert Jan Willem Bekenkamp (2006), The World of Wonder: on children’s lust for terror (PhD thesis for the University of Leuven, Netherlands. With an introduction by Ramsey Campbell).
* Bruce Lord (2004), The Genetics of Horror: Sex and Racism in H.P. Lovecraft’s Fiction (Part of Lord’s archive of writings at www.contrasoma.com).
There’s another new biographical book about the Lovecraft Circle in New York, hot on the heels of my biographical book on Everett McNeil. So Many Lovely Days is by Mara Kirk Hart, daughter of George and Lucy Kirk. Her book tells the story of Kirk’s Chelsea Book Shop, 1927-1939.
By August 1925 the shop operated for about four months from Kirk’s rooms at 317 West 14th Street in Manhattan (the inspiration for the setting of Lovecraft’s “Cool Air”). Kirk also sold book by printed catalogue. Then the shop moved to retail premises at 365 West 15th Street. In late January 1927 Kirk took out a new shop lease at 58 West Eighth Street (“the south side of Eighth Street near Sixth Avenue”) where…
“He [Kirk] had a circulating library, mainly, but he was also interested in first editions and remainders. His shop [at 58 West Eighth] was taken over by somebody who could pay four times as much rent — that was in the days just when Eighth Street was starting to boom — either Marboro [Marlboro cigarettes?] or some other kind of shop took over his place and paid some fantastic rent, which he could not possibly touch. So he had to go out of business. And it was just at that time when I put my brother into the [book] auction business, and George became his partner.” (from New York City Bookshops in the 1930s and 1940s: The Recollections of Walter Goldwater).
Samuel Loveman of the Lovecraft circle wrote two poems “For the Chelsea Book-Shop” of which this is one…
[ Hat-tip: Hippocampus, and The Tippler for the picture. ]
“Weird Tales: The Unique Magazine and the evolution of American fantasy and horror”. Call for chapter proposals for a collection of essays. Abstracts due 31st August 2013.
“This volume will collect critical essays that seek to provide a broader understanding of the magazine Weird Tales and its authors, artists, readers, and editorial practices, as well as the larger impact that the periodical had on popular culture and genre fiction.”
The flyer doesn’t say who’s going to publish it, and at what price. One suspects it’ll be an academic publisher, with a “for academic libraries only” $90-$100 price.
From Barcelona, Spain, Brumal: research journal on the fantastic. Out now, under Creative Commons, Vol.1, No.1, Spring 2013 (PDF link). Mostly in Spanish, but with an Introduction and lead essay in English, “The Fantastic Hole: towards a theorisation of the fantastic transgression as a phenomenon of space”.
The Brumal website also has a link to another new open access journal, Pasavento: revista de estudios hispanicos. This also has its inaugural Vol.1, No.1 issue out now, and begins its run with a special Monsters issue. All Pasavento contents are in Spanish.
Also news from Brumal of…
* The first conference in Costa Rica (Central America) on fantastic literature, set for mid September 2013.
* A conference in Brazil in 2014, (Re)Visions of the Fantastic, for which the website is currently dead for me in the UK.
It appears that the 1925/6 lost Houdini spiritualism scrapbook has turned up. Possibly a hoax, but the photos look genuine. Lovecraft scholars will remember that Lovecraft was closely involved with Houdini in researching and ghost-writing a book debunking the evils of spiritualism and other fraudulent modern superstitions. The finder reports…
“The majority of the material is from 1925 with a few clippings from early 1926.”
Which is shortly before Lovecraft set to work with Houdini and Eddy on preparing The Cancer of Superstition, although it seems there’s no Lovecraft material in the scrapbook. Interesting to think that Lovecraft might well have once looked through the scrapbook while preparing the book.
Added to the Open Lovecraft page, a mostly well-researched new (June 2013) local history article on the Arthur Goodenough farmhouse, “The Levi Goodenough Farm 1783” with lots of new pictures of the site. Although the short section discussing “The Whisperer in Darkness” is bizarre. The farmhouse was the home of Arthur H. Goodenough, the elderly amateur press man and friend of Lovecraft living near Brattleboro. His home was in part the inspiration for the setting of Lovecraft’s “The Whisperer in Darkness”. Interesting to learn that it’s set directly back into the hillside, like the house in “The Dunwich Horror”…
“his house — a spacious, peak-roofed affair whose rear end was buried entirely in the rocky hillside” (“The Dunwich Horror”).
Investors are currently being sought to help keep the historic site open for visitors.
Some of Lovecraft’s friends, Paul Cook; Edith Dowe Miniter; a young James Ferdinand Morton Jr.; George J. Houtain. Mrs Miniter I’ve seen before, although this is perhaps a better scan than some faded ones online. From the book Ex-presidents of the National Amateur Press Association : sketches published by Paul Cook from Athol, 1919. Which also has potted biographies: did you know Cook wrote much fiction, under a pseudonym? That he was a story writer is not a fact not found in the Lovecraft Encyclopedia entry for Cook. Although it seems a limited-edition book of his stories has been collected as Willis T. Crossman’s Vermont: Stories (2005).
And Edward H. Cole of Boston, who Lovecraft visited frequently in the 1920s and 30s.
Available and shipping now, my new book Good Old Mac: Henry Everett McNeil, 1862—1929.
“It does seem hard to imagine the gang without good old Mac somewhere in the background as a high spot of its general setting — for he was one of the founders [of the Kalem Club]; and his naive, individual note formed one of the most characteristic contributions to the entire symphony. At any rate, he will have a kind of modest and affectionate immortality in our reminiscent folklore — as well as in the memory of the thousands of boys who have read his tales.” — H.P. Lovecraft.
The ‘ground zero’ of modern horror was in the notorious slum of Hell’s Kitchen, New York, in the 1920s. There H.P. Lovecraft and his Kalem circle met regularly, in the room of the apparently simple old bachelor who had brought them together. This curious boy-man was Henry Everett McNeil, and “good old Mac” was Lovecraft’s close friend. In his walking tours of New York’s secret slums, McNeil opened new doors in Lovecraft’s macabre imagination and may have been the model for “He”. A year later he fatefully told Lovecraft about a new magazine…
“McNeil tipped me off to that Weird Stories thing [Weird Tales], which he says is published out of Chi[cago], but I ain’t saw it yet. I’ll tip it a wink the next time I lamp [see] a news stand.” — Lovecraft letter to Morton, 29th March 1923, in Letters to James F. Morton, 2011.
This new book is the first scholarly account of McNeil and his career. An in-depth biographical essay of 13,000 words uncovers for the first time: his origins and war record; the details of McNeil’s work as a scriptwriter for the earliest western genre movies; his work with screen cowboy Tom Mix; his work as a staff movie writer for Vitagraph — and then for Edison’s movie studio with fellow Kalem Club member Arthur Leeds; and his turbulent book publishing career. The book also tries to answer the riddle of why McNeil was apparently so poor, when he was a best-selling children’s author and a reviewer of books for The New York Times.
The footnoted essay is followed by a selection from McNeil’s works: a long macabre revenge story not published since 1900; two horror tales of wolf attacks; a Revolutionary War ghost story; the tale of a grey-haired bachelor who falls for a girl of sixteen; two of his best fantasy stories, and his own account of how he writes for his audience. The volume also contains his original movie ‘photoplay’ story for the feature-film Geoffrey Manning, and McNeil’s seminal 1911 article on how to write for the silent cinema. There is a complete annotated checklist of his known work, including the movies. Also a survey of McNeil’s various fictional appearances in weird fiction.
This new illustrated book will interest Lovecraft scholars, children’s book collectors, and silent-era movie historians alike. It contains the first known photograph of McNeil, a fine publicity picture in which he is seen seated in his room with his books around him.
I just heard about a French conference: Presence de Lovecraft : l’illustration en question (trans.: The presence of Lovecraft: a question of illustration”), which happened in France on 13th-14th June 2013…
“Lovecraft’s works entertain an essential relationship to the very notion of illustration, for various reasons. … Lovecraft consistently managed to include in his short stories blank spaces [Such as the Necronomicon] that seem to call for continuation or illustration of his texts. [There are also many videogames, comics, films to discuss, and wider topics in adaptation of literary works …]”
Participants and programme papers, with my approximate translations…
Denis Mellier (Universite de Poitiers): “Nouvelles notes a distance 1995-2012: sur la poetique de l’exces chez Lovecraft et de quelques solutions graphiques qui lui furent appliquees” [New notes for the period 1995-2012: the poetics of Lovecraftian excess and some of the graphics solutions applied to it]
Christopher Robinson (HEC Paris): “From Necronomicon to Alien“. [Presumably about the influence of Lovecraft on Giger?]
Pierre Jailloux (Paris 8): “Presence de l’indicible: found footage et poetique Lovecraftienne”. [The presence of the unspeakable: found footage and Lovecraftian poetics]
Philippe Met (University of Pennsylvania, USA): “H.P. Lovecraft revu et corrige par Lucio Fulci”. [H.P. Lovecraft revised and corrected by Lucio Fulci]
Isabelle Perier: “Adaptation et transmedialite: Kadath, la Cite Inconnue”. [Adaptation and transmediality: Kadath the Unknown City]
Jerome Dutel (Universite Jean Monnet): “Dessiner celui qui est d’ailleurs: The Outsider (2004) de Gou Tanabe et L’atranger (1999) de Horacio Lalia”. [Drawing that which is elsewhere: on two French comics adaptations by Lalia]
Eric Lysoe (Universite Blaise Pascal): “”The strange and disturbing Asian paintings of Nicholas Roerich”: le referent pictural et ses fonctions dans At the Mountains of Madness“. [“The strange and disturbing Asian paintings of Nicholas Roerich”: the pictorial references and their function in At the Mountains of Madness“]
Julien Schuh (Universite Reims Champagne-Ardenne): “L’empreinte : reproduction, transposition, adaptation chez Lovecraft”. [The footprint: transferring and adapting Lovecraft]
Remi Cayatte (Universite de Lorraine): “H.P. Lovecraft: acteur majeur de la culture populaire moderne”. [H.P. Lovecraft: a major figure in modern popular culture]
Roger Bozetto (Universite de Provence): “De l’imagine a l’inimaginable”. [To imagine the unimaginable]
Karen Vergnol-Remont (Universite Blaise Pascal): “Howard Philips Lovecraft: un auteur dont le génie inspire”. [Howard Philips Lovecraft: an author inspired by genius]
Arnaud Moussart (Universite Jean Monnet): “Night Gaunts de Brett Rutherford: entre illustration et (re)creation”. [The Night Gaunts of Brett Rutherford: between illustration and (re)creation]
Round-table discussion with Nicolas Fructus, Gilles Francescano and Philippe Jozelon.