Don Herron usefully notes an occurrence of Lovecraft-as-character in his new blog post “Two-Gun Bob: In Memoriam?”…
Derleth himself also engaged in the fun, as in “The Dark Brotherhood” from 1966, a masterful parody in which he dropped ‘Arthur Phillips’ for Howard Phillips [Lovecraft] … A tale not openly about Lovecraft.
From the story’s opening…
The police have been beset by the usual number of cranks, purporting to offer information about the matter, none more insistent than Arthur Phillips, the descendant of an old East Side family, long resident on Angell Street
A quick glance at the Archive.org copy shows that much is made by Derleth of Providence at night, and Lovecraft’s night-walking. Not knowing Derleth, except from having read a few in the 1970s Panther paperbacks at around age 14, I hadn’t realised this was a Providence-set Lovecraft-as-character tale. It’s to be found on YouTube in a good 80-minute audio reading from Aaron Strouse.
Robert M. Price in an old copy of Crypt of Cthulhu touches briefly on Lovecraft in Derleth, usefully noting that in Derleth…
‘Ward Phillips’ in “The Lamp of Alhazred” is obviously and transparently Lovecraft.
Sadly “The Lamp of Alhazred” is not on YouTube except in Spanish. The text is however available and The Weird Tales Podcast reading from 2019 has it as an .MP3 download. Downloads are best because the pitch and speed can be shifted in the AIMP player, as well as having the graphic equaliser on the ‘Headphones’ preset. In this case it’s too fast and a little high and thus the speed needs to be slowed and the pitch shifted accordingly.
So there you go, an audio double-bill of ‘HPL as written by Derleth’. Though I have to say that I gave up on the slow and ponderous “The Dark Brotherhood” after three and a half chapters. The character is obviously Lovecraft, in all but name and a Sonia-a-like also appears. But I doubted there would be much more biographical ‘reveals’ as the story progressed moved on into Derleth-land. The much shorter and earlier “The Lamp of Alhazred” is more engaging, and not without some charm at the end.
Incidentally a local search for “The Lamp of Alhazred” (1954) also led me to Reader’s Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos (1973), which briefly noted Bloch and Derleth’s uses and also added that…
HPL appeared in one of Ray Bradbury’s “Martian Chronicles”, indulging in one of his (Lovecraft’s) favourite pastimes, eating ice cream.
I don’t recall that at all, from my fairly complete re-listen to the Martian Chronicles some five or six years ago now. Anyone know which story?
That sounds like an earlier publication of “The Exiles”, which contained a similar scene. The scene was removed from later publications.
Wonderful, thanks. I shall have to see if that original version can be found in audio.