Neale Monks has a new long review of the book A Monster For Many: Talking With H.P. Lovecraft by Robert H. Waugh, on SFcrowsnest.
Lovecraft, Waugh argues, might be consciously patterning the structure of ‘The Dream-Quest’ on [James Joyce’s modernist] Ulysses, both being subdivided into parts thematically connected to different parts of the human body. Given that the entire story happens within a single night’s dream, the internalised quality of such a structure is plausible, at least.
Lovecraft flatly told White in May 1935… “I have not read “Ulysses””. But I suppose he may have read of it and its structure in press reviews, or heard about it in letters. It was hard to get hold of, but I seem to vaguely recall that Galpin got hold of various ‘naughty’ books when living in Paris? Galpin also had the interest and intellect to plough through some of such a difficult and rather boring text, if encountered. Thus Galpin could have related or known something of it first-hand, more so than other members of ‘the gang’?
Unfortunately for the notion of a modernist influence on Lovecraft though, I believe that old fashioned occultists patterned their spiritual ‘development’ on parts of the body. Called “chakras” or somesuch, which were deemed to be given spiritual ‘power-ups’ and in a certain order? In which case my initial guess would be that Lovecraft’s “Dream-Quest” and Joyce’s Ulysses were drawing on the same occult sources? Occultists will no doubt know more on the topic than I do.