New on Archive.org, Ray Bradbury On Radio. A curated collection mostly from the 1940s and 50s, though the large collection carries on after that. Also a 1992 interview.
Newly released, the Librivox public-domain Short Ghost and Horror Collection 065. Includes audio readings of a tale by Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright, another by Lovecraft’s friend Henry Whitehead, and no less than three by August Derleth. Also Lovecraft’s own “From Beyond” (1920) which is not his best, but fun.
The 3rd London Lovecraft Festival now its February 2023 lineup listing available on the website.
The latest Voluminous podcast is a five-hour 384Mb barn-filler of an episode. Yes, it’s the 1929 letter to Vermont farmer, town auditor and local chess-champion Woodburn Harris. Which can now be found in print in full and with annotations in the new Letters to Woodburn Harris and Others.
The latest New Year 2023 Cromcast podcast surveys “R.E. Howard’s Poetry Pals”, with…
a whirlwind tour through six of REH’s favorite poets
Dark Adventure Radio Theatre’s “The Black Stone” has its cover artwork, and gives every impression that it’s available for download (if not quite yet a shipping CD). Including two 8th December reviews.
Presented with their usual 1930s-style radio drama approach and panache, it’s Howard’s loving-crafted 1931 homage to Lovecraft.
Revelations of a Spirit Medium (1891) was a tell-all book which debunked the tricks of the spiritualist ‘mediums’. In doing so the book deeply inspired the teenage Houdini. Long suppressed by ‘buy and burn’ spiritualists, the book was then released in a handsome new 1922 facsimile edition complete with bibliography and glossary. This week it has also appeared as a new full public-domain audio reading on Librivox…
the most wonderful of the ‘medium’s’ phenomena will be so thoroughly explained and so completely dissected that, after reading this book, you can perform the feats yourself
I don’t see it listed in Lovecraft’s library or noted in the Letters, but given the date of the 1922 edition and the Houdini influence, it would certainly have been familiar to Lovecraft’s Providence friend C.M. Eddy Jr. (he was often in the employ of Houdini, as an undercover agent in disguise). At a guess, Lovecraft may have skimmed it when preparing The Cancer of Superstition. Which as Joshi explains…
appears to have been a collaborative revision on which Lovecraft and C. M. Eddy worked at the instigation of Harry Houdini
Also Houdini related, Deep Cuts has been lucky enough to get a copy of Miscellaneous Letters and looks at “Her Telegram To Lovecraft: Wilhelmina Beatrice ‘Bess’ Houdini”…
Lovecraft does not mention any further communication with Bess Houdini; while it is possible he sent her a note of condolence on her husband’s death, or that they exchanged a final note on The Cancer of Superstition, if that is the case those letters do not survive. All we have is a single telegram, the text of which is reproduced in Lovecraft’s Miscellaneous Letters.
A new 90 minute Voluminous: ‘Long and Love-Kraft’. This letter features a long discussion of the fave Lovecraft nibble… cheese! See also 2020’s Voluminous: Cats, Cheese and Hawaiians episode for more nibbles at the topic.
From another letter on the topic…
A decade ago I was greatly interested in tracking down some of the idioms I encountered in New York. For example – the phrase “store cheese” – which my palate preferences caused me to run up against continually. In southern New England the expression is – or at least was in 1924 – unknown. Our principal cheeses are the large traditional sort – about a foot thick and two feet in diameter – and the modern tinfoil package or process cheeses run second. Thus the word “cheese” without any trimmings suggests to our mind one of the large ordinary old-fashioned sort. When we allude to the new sort we usually say “process cheese”, “package cheese”, or (in the case of the long tinfoiled loaf) “loaf cheese”. Well – in New York it is just the other way around. The word “cheese” in itself suggests to New Yorkers the modern tin-foil brands, and if you ask for “a pound of mild white cheese” a Manhattan grocer will begin to chop you off a section of a Kraft tin-foiled loaf. These process cheeses (they are artificially cured and not aged) are the principal kinds used in the metropolis, and in many shops no others are obtainable. And where they do keep the standard old-fashioned sort, they call them “store cheeses”. Thus when I was in Brooklyn I used to have to ask for “medium white store cheese” if expected to get my usual kind.
And this was probably a Tom & Jerry-style ‘mousetrap’ wedge, cut from a wheel with a wire and wrapped in grease-proof paper, rather than the rectangular and vacuum-packed plastic block of today…
large wheels of cheddar cheese — often called simply “store cheese” — were kept under glass and sliced into one- or two- pound wedges for customers.” (New England)
Lovecraft’s friend Vrest Orton built an enduring mini-industry in Vermont around such things, which was perhaps even partly inspired by Lovecraft’s antiquarianism and tastes…
I wanted to revive an authentic, old-fashioned, rural operating store [‘The Vermont Country Store’, with] the same merchandise: New England foods, store cheese and crackers, bolts of calico cloth, kitchen knives and cooking forks
Orton even kept alive a certain old British traditions in cheese, something Lovecraft would surely have approved of…
one of the better sage cheeses I have eaten is sold by Vrest Orton, a Vermonter famous for his efforts to preserve the verities of his native state. Mr. Orton does not hesitate to tell his customers that the shipments he makes are “simply our good aged Cheddar with leaves of real sage for flavor.” Among British food lovers for hundreds of years this kind of sage cheese has been a traditional part of the Christmas celebration all over England.” (The World of Cheese)
In the Voluminous letter “York State Medium” is stated as being Lovecraft’s favoured cheese-board staple in 1930. This can be found in recipes as “York State cheese” into the 1970s, a full-fat cheese. But perhaps he was abbreviating for ‘New York State Cheese’, in which case it turns out there’s a complete book on the topic…
The Voluminous letter, as read, was previously abridged in Selected Letters III. This episode of Voluminous also gives an account of the process of acquisition of the Long letters for Brown.
The podcast has a small factual error, which I’ve corrected in my post Lovecraft was right, part 459.
New on Librivox as public-domain audio readings, Weird Tales Presents: Mad Science! 17 ‘mad scientist’ tales from the pages of vintage issues of Weird Tales.
The Literary Catcast, a podcast about cats in literature.
Also a Rhode Island PBS Weekly programme which featured a short H.P. Lovecraft slot for Halloween 2022, and apparently it was their second such look. Online, at present. Only a couple of minutes, in a ten-minute programme rather more interested in witches and gory axe-murders.
Of the two, I think the Literary Catcast might be the better choice.
More on theology and Lovecraft, in a new podcast “H.P. Lovecraft, Idolatry, and Theology: An Interview with Dr. Alex Thompson” on YouTube. This relates to a chapter in the book I posted about in mid October.