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Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 19 September, 2014 02:14PM
Got an email a couple days ago from Norton that my two copies of THE NEW ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT have been shipped. This surpris'd me as I didn't think the book was to be releas'd until next month. Norton sent me ye ARC of the book, but I was able to read only one third of it, wanting to save my real first reading experience for the handsome hardcover edition. As soon as ye hardcover arrives (I am expecting it to-day, actually), I will shew it on YouTube. The book uses S. T.'s corrected text, with further editorial corrections made by Leslie Klinger. His notes and annotations are fascinating and informative, and often playful. His approach with his notes is to play the "Sherlockian game" in asserting that Lovecraft's tales are in fact records of actual events, and thus part of the editorial role is to evaluate the stories from their "historical" significance. It doesn't always work, but in many cases it brings a fresh viewpoint to the stories that one has read so many times.

The arrival of the book is well-time, for I find myself becoming depress'd over the continuing chatter concerning Lovecraft's racism that has been trigger'd by the debate on replacing the World Fantasy Award with a new award, as a response to Lovecraft's racism. I have greatly enjoy's S. T.'s continual blogs in which he has blasted various persons for their anti-Lovecraft attitudes, and I find it hilarious how certain people are becoming so uptight about the tone of Joshi's blogs. But, entertaining as it all is, I wish the conversation cou'd make the transition from Lovecraft's racism to the merits of Lovecraft's excellent fiction. S. T. seems to be heading in that direction in his newest blog, shewing that Lovecraft is indeed a superb prose stylist and bringing ridicule on yem clueless yobs whut continue to blast E'ch-Pi-El as a bad writer--or, as has now become common, calling Lovecraft a "good bad writer" or "horror's best bad writer" or some such thing.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Ahab (IP Logged)
Date: 21 September, 2014 11:11AM
Well thanks for letting us know that Klinger is playing his silly "Sherlockian game" in this annotation. Will definitely not waste my money on this book.

Since you bring it up, I am one of those people who think S.T. Joshi is doing himself little good in his recent postings. He may know a lot about Lovecraft but he is certainly not behaving like a professional scholar in this instance. I've pretty much lost all respect for him due to these recent rants of his.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 21 Sep 14 | 11:12AM by Ahab.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 21 September, 2014 11:25AM
Ahab Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well thanks for letting us know that Klinger is
> playing his silly "Sherlockian game" in this
> annotation. Will definitely not waste my money on
> this book.
>
> Since you bring it up, I am one of those people
> who think S.T. Joshi is doing himself little good
> in his recent postings. He may know a lot about
> Lovecraft but he is certainly not behaving like a
> professional scholar in this instance. I've
> pretty much lost all respect for him due to these
> recent rants of his.

You are not alone in your reaction to S. T.'s blogs, and such reactions delight him. He simply doesn't care what people think of him personally. He lives for the work alone.

There are a few instances only when Klinger's game in his notes results in silliness. Mostly, the notes are quite solid in their information and are a fresh approach. I have read one-third of my ARC edition, but I am trying to stay away from it so that my first experience of the text will be the beautiful hardcover edition. I'm hoping that the book will serve as a beacon that will bring many new readers to E'ch-Pi-El. just as I hope that ye Penguin Clark Ashton Smith edition will bring hoards of new readers to CAS.

"I'm a little girl."
--H. P. Lovecraft, Esq.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Ahab (IP Logged)
Date: 21 September, 2014 12:14PM
"You are not alone in your reaction to S. T.'s blogs, and such reactions delight him. He simply doesn't care what people think of him personally."

Non-sequitur.

If he really doesn't care what people think of him then what people think of him should not delight him.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 21 September, 2014 03:18PM
Ahab Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "You are not alone in your reaction to S. T.'s
> blogs, and such reactions delight him. He simply
> doesn't care what people think of him
> personally."
>
> Non-sequitur.
>
> If he really doesn't care what people think of him
> then what people think of him should not delight
> him.

Humans are so irrational, tra la!

Les Klinger has scheduled many readings and signings for the book, and I am hoping that someone may be able to attend and report on the signing on Sunday, November 9th, at THE LOFT in Minneapolis, MN, as it will consist of a discussion of H. P. Lovecraft with Neil Gaiman (who has worked with Klinger on THE ANNOTATED SANDMAN). I'm very curious what Gaiman will have to say about E'ch-Pi-El, as in some videos he has express'd less than admiring views (in one program he referred to "The Call of Cthulhu" as a "crap story"). Other signings/discussion will be conducted with Peter Straub (Otc. 28th at Barnes & Noble in NYC) and S. T. Joshi (Nov. 11th at University Bookstore). I rather hope some one will record on video the discussion with Gaiman and then get permission to post it on YouTube.

"I'm a little girl."
--H. P. Lovecraft, Esq.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Ahab (IP Logged)
Date: 24 September, 2014 09:09AM
wilum pugmire Wrote:

>
> Humans are so irrational, tra la!
>

I would agree with you that people can at times act quite irrationally. Even intelligent, rational persons can fall prey to their irrational impulses. Joshi's recent posts unfortunately exemplify this all too well.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 20 October, 2014 01:20PM
The book seems to be selling extremely well and has proved very popular. Readers new to Lovecraft now have a really excellent, handsome, critically informed edition to serve as introduction to this important writer. For those of us who have been reading H. P. Lovecraft non-stop for years, this new edition brings back a lot of the fun that we encountered when first we began to read the stories. It amazes me that I have been such a mental clod that it is only now, in reading "The Festival" in Klinger's edition, that I actually noticed the recurring worm motif of the tale! I still keenly regret the absence of "The Outsider," but Mr Klinger has explain'd his (poor choice, in my opinion) inclusion of "Beyond the Wall of Sleep," as it serves as an early example of themes that HPL wou'd return to in later stories. I agree with Mr Klinger that the stories deserve new annotations; but I do not agree with his statement: "The annotated editions by S. T. Joshi are superb..., but they don't recognize any scholarship other than Joshi's own," which is entirely untrue; Joshi's annotations reference the scholarship of Peter Cannon, Donald R. Burleson, Kenneth W. Faig, Jacques Bergier, Colin Wilson, Robert H. Waugh, and other commentators on Lovecraft. Mr. Klinger will be the guest on a Lovecraft eZine Google Hangout video chat on November 2nd.

"I'm a little girl."
--H. P. Lovecraft, Esq.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Jojo Lapin X (IP Logged)
Date: 21 October, 2014 01:18PM
The Klinger book is indeed splendid! I have only browsed through it, but happily I saw no examples of his usual "Sherlockian" nonsense.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Jojo Lapin X (IP Logged)
Date: 21 October, 2014 01:20PM
Oh, and unlike Joshi, he either knew already, or was able to find out, what Irem, the City of Pillars, is.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 21 October, 2014 01:32PM
Yes, it is a magnificent edition. Some of the notes are queer and grotesquely wrong. On page 12 he states that "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" is "thought to be largely the work of Price and must be regarded as an unreliable source of information." This is nonsense, as the tale is almost completely the work of H. P. Lovecraft. Then on page 115 we find, "The town is not named but may be Marblehead..." But the town IS named in the opening sentence of the tale: "...at the old burying-ground in Arkham..." In the new issue of LOVECRAFT ANNUAL (the cover stock of which is a delicious "Pugmire Pink"), S. T.'s review of the book points out numerous other errors in the annotations, and also points out more places where Klinger has corrected S. T.'s errors.

Mr. Klinger will be a guest on the Lovecraft eZine Google Hangout video chat on November 2nd, and will discuss with others his new edition and other Lovecraftian matters.

"I'm a little girl."
--H. P. Lovecraft, Esq.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 22 October, 2014 03:15AM
Jojo Lapin X Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh, and unlike Joshi, he either knew already, or
> was able to find out, what Irem, the City of
> Pillars, is.

Again?! As I pointed out to you four years ago (!), (1) there are two annotators of More Annotated Lovecraft and you don't know who wrote the offending footnote, (2) at the time Joshi demonstrably knew what Irem is. At worst, Messrs. Cannon & Joshi can be charged with careless writing, not ignorance.

Quote:
Martinus
There is a footnote on Irem in More Annotated Lovecraft; it describes Irem as an "ancient Arabian city, first mentioned in Lovecraft's tale 'The Nameless City'". However, I don't see this as an unambiguous statement that HPL came up with Irem. But I admit that its wording is a bit clumsy and could be taken to mean that "The Nameless City" is the first appearance of the name anywhere, instead of (as is obviously intended) its first appearance in a Lovecraft tale.

Quote:
Martinus
Then we can certainly charge Joshi (or possibly Peter Cannon, since there are two annotators) with careless writing, but not with ignorance. More Annotated lovecraft appeared in 1999, three years after Joshi showed quite clearly in H. P. Lovecraft: A life that he is well aware of Lovecraft's Commonplace Book entry in which Lovecraft quotes Encyclopedia Britannica on Irem.

In summary, that is a thoroughly dead horse you are flogging.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Jojo Lapin X (IP Logged)
Date: 22 October, 2014 01:50PM
Martinus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Again?! As I pointed out to you four years ago
> (!)

I am sorry; I suppose I did not find it entirely convincing.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 26 October, 2014 02:13PM
What does anyone have against a "Sherlockian game"? Is not suspension of disbelief the first rule of fiction? Why would one have anything against a commentator who respects that and attempts to preserve it? Or is it merely that Klinger does it badly?

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 26 October, 2014 02:22PM
Platypus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What does anyone have against a "Sherlockian
> game"? Is not suspension of disbelief the first
> rule of fiction? Why would one have anything
> against a commentator who respects that and
> attempts to preserve it? Or is it merely that
> Klinger does it badly?


Annotations are not a form of fiction.

"I'm a little girl."
--H. P. Lovecraft, Esq.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 26 October, 2014 02:24PM
So the objection is purely semantic?

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 26 October, 2014 02:31PM
It seems to me that whether or not annotations are fiction (or incorporate fiction) depends on the intent of the author. However, if I understand the phrase "Sherlockian game" correctly, it seems to me it is still possible for an annotator to respect suspension of disbelief, and play a "Sherlockian game", while still having one's annotations convey real information that is not itself false or misleading or perhaps even fictional.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26 Oct 14 | 02:37PM by Platypus.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Jojo Lapin X (IP Logged)
Date: 26 October, 2014 03:42PM
My objection is that it is silly. This is just my intuitive feeling; I am sure, however, that if I devoted some time to thinking about it I could pinpoint precisely why it is silly.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 26 October, 2014 04:16PM
One possible objection is that the editor/commentator is taking over the author's role, and injecting himself into the fiction itself, where many will feel he is not welcome ... or perhaps that his particular fictions not very good.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26 Oct 14 | 04:17PM by Platypus.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Ahab (IP Logged)
Date: 30 October, 2014 09:06AM
Partly my negative reaction to the 'Sherlockian game" is merely emotional. It just turns me off. And it really turns me off when it is applied to fantastical works of the imagination like that of Lovecraft's and Bram Stoker's (Klinger annotated Stoker's Dracula). Interestingly, I don't believe Klinger plays the game in his annotations of the Sandman books.

I understand suspension of disbelief to mean being willing to take a story on its own terms. In other words one is willing to move outside of the reality we experience in this world and accept the reality presented in the story. The 'Sherlockian game' strikes me as the antithesis of this: it tries to make the story conform to our reality. It indicates to me a lack of imagination, an unwillingness to be open to different forms or concepts of reality.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 30 Oct 14 | 09:21AM by Ahab.

Re: Ye New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft
Posted by: Ahab (IP Logged)
Date: 30 October, 2014 10:40AM
Turns out that Klinger is also playing this 'Sherlock game' in his Sandman annotated books. At least according to this Amazon Review.



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