Those interested in the British fantasy writer Mervyn Peake (Gormenghast) may be interested to learn that the journal Peake Studies has converted to being an open access journal. Sadly it’s not the entire run since 1988 that’s gone open access, only the first three issues of what appears to be a new series.
Nope, sadly it doesn’t exist, seemingly being just a concept mock-up for a total makeover of a classic old Ghost Busters solid-state pinball table from the 1980s. It seems the guy went with a straight refurbishment rather than a Lovecraft mod.
It’s rather amazing to realise there’s no digital pinball table for the PC for any Lovecraft story. There was a very obscure, but well-reviewed, Sega Saturn game made by Japanese, Digital Pinball: Necronomicon. Today it looks more than a little basic, compared to the latest Marvel Doctor Strange pinball table…
So there seems a whole lot of room for a Kickstarter here, to develop a nice three-table Lovecraft pinball game. One of the tables might even be based on Lovecraft the man, maybe with a “get back home to Providence from the hell of New York” theme: subways, trains, towers, libraries, night-walks, lack of money, all providing natural game elements.
A Kickstarter for the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival 2014.
New 80-page graphic novel Apollo melds Ancient Greek quest with the Lovecraft mythos…
“Cochemare” [trans. “the night-mare”] (1810) engraving by Jean Pierre Simon. Source: Wellcome Library.
That object – no larger than a good-sized rat and quaintly called by the townspeople “Brown Jenkins — seemed to have been the fruit of a remarkable case of sympathetic herd-delusion, for in 1692 no less than eleven persons had testified to glimpsing it. There were recent rumours, too, with a baffling and disconcerting amount of agreement. Witnesses said it had long hair and the shape of a rat, but that its sharp-toothed, bearded face was evilly human while its paws were like tiny human hands. It took messages betwixt old Keziah and the devil, and was nursed on the witch’s blood, which it sucked like a vampire. Its voice was a kind of loathsome titter, and it could speak all languages. Of all the bizarre monstrosities in Gilman’s dreams, nothing filled him with greater panic and nausea than this blasphemous and diminutive hybrid, whose image flitted across his vision in a form a thousandfold more hateful than anything his waking mind had deduced from the ancient records and the modern whispers.” — H.P. Lovecraft, “Dreams in the Witch House” (1932).
Simon was undoubtedly inspired by the famous “The Nightmare” (1781) by Johann Heinrich Fussli…
Lovecraft was probably also inspired by this widely known work by Fussli (later known as Henry Fuseli), whom he knew of and admired…
I don’t have to tell you why a Fuseli really brings a shiver while a cheap ghost-story frontispiece merely makes us laugh.” — “Pickman’s Model” (1926).
From Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book of story ideas, #106…
A thing that sat on a sleeper’s chest. Gone in morning, but something left behind.”
I also found this rather cool “Hypnose” (1904) by Sascha Schneider.
The uses of the light-shaft, the opium poppies, and the older/younger man pairing all signify the artist’s knowledge of the details of the Hypnos myth, something Lovecraft also used…
a shaft of horrible red-gold light — a shaft which bore with it no glow to disperse the darkness, but which streamed only upon the recumbent head of the troubled sleeper […] “I followed the memory-face’s mad stare along that cursed shaft of light to its source” — H.P. Lovecraft, “Hypnos” (1922).
Schneider was a contributor to Brand’s pioneering gay publication Der Eigene and also illustrator of Old Shatterhand / Winnetoue, the very Teutonic wild western series that was a best-seller in early 20th century Germany and probably also among German immigrants to America. It turns out that finding Schneider’s “Hypnose” led me back to his various broad variations on Fussli’s “The Nightmare”…
Above: all untitled except the last two, a Karl May book illustration, and “Around a Soul”.
There is an English language masters dissertation on Schneider which is available online: Monsters and Men: The Life and Works of Sascha Schneider.
It seems there were also fictional depictions of this chest-squatter, one of which was noted by Lovecraft in Fitz-James O’Brien’s story “What Was it? A Mystery” as a predecessor of de Maupassant’s “The Horla”.
For a full book on the history of the topic see Sleep Paralysis: Night-Mares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection (Studies in Medical Anthropology) (2011).
* Ben Woodard (2013), On an Ungrounded Earth: towards a new geophilosophy. Punctum Books, 2013. (Contemporary Lovecraftian philosophy).
* Luana Ferreira de Freitas (2011), “Insanidade fantastica”, Fragmentos July-Dec 2011, Vol.22 No.2, pp. 87-92. (Discusses insanity in fantasy literature, via hallucination in E.A. Poe and compulsion in H.P. Lovecraft. Brazilian Portuguese, with English abstract).
* Marco Antonio Rivera Gutierrez (2011), “Horror y figuratividad: la semiotica del espacio en el relato de terror”. (Approximate translation of title: “Horror and figuration: a semiotics for the spatialisation of terror”. In Spanish with English abstract).
* Marco Antonio Rivera Gutierrez (2011), “”The Outsider”, un Sujeto sin Destinador: analisis de las estructuras semionarrativas de superficiedesde la semiotica narrativa estandar”. (Semiotic analysis of the structual logic of “The Outsider”. In Spanish with English abstract).
* Jon Cogburn and Mark Allan Ohm (2013), “Actual Qualities of Imaginative Things: notes towards an object oriented literary theory” (Contemporary Lovecraftian philosophy).
* Mary Corr (2013), “Dr. Franklin C. Clark: early mentor to H.P. Lovecraft — the master of ‘weird tales’”, Rhode Island Medical Journal, December 2013, pp. 73-74. (Factually correct, but only a short magazine ‘filler’ article).
* Milosz Wisniewski (2013), “Swiat Howarda Philipsa Lovecrafta w ujeciu religioznawczym”, Humaniora: Czasopismo Internetowe, No.1, 2013, pp. 99–105. (In Polish, with English abstract. Applies the theories of Romanian researcher Mircea Eliade to Lovecraft’s mythology).
The excellent Astronomy Cast podcast has a special edition on Arthur C. Clarke, Lovecraft fan and expert purveyor of cosmic and transcosmic ideas. Maybe they could also do one on Lovecraft, as an astronomer who also used astronomy in his fiction?
The Bowery Boys have a new podcast on New York history, which takes a look at a topic Lovecraft was intimately familiar with: Green-wood Cemetery in New York City. An older podcast from them is on The British Invasion, 1776, another topic on which Lovecraft knew the minutest details. These two are somewhat linked, as the first shooting engagement in 1776 was on Martense Lane, now known as Border Avenue, which borders Green-wood Cemetery on the southern side. The lane was named after the Martense family, among whom at the very first in America there was a Jan Martense and also a Gerrit Martense — names that both occur in Lovecraft’s “The Lurking Fear”.
Art by Graham Turner