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Re: Lovecraft's Burial
Posted by: Scott Connors (IP Logged)
Date: 1 August, 2008 08:43PM
"Not to be harsh, but Long was not always the most reliable of sources for information, having a tendency to fictionalize things a bit for drama's (or melodrama's) sake... whether this was unconscious or not is another question entirely...."

Having known Frank, I'd say it was unconscious. His memory was never the greatest, and he tended to remember things in the most interesting way possible.
Regarding HPL and suicide: the important thing to remember is that he did not. Many, I might go so far as to say most, people consider suicide at some point in their life, although it is usually only a fleeting thought. But it is a taboo subject, and they will usually not mention it unless they feel really comfortable with the other person.
What is amazing is that CAS never seems to have considered suicide seriously, despite the very desperate conditions in which he found himself during the 1940s. Consider all of the people he knew or knew of that took that route: Nora May French, Carrie Sterling, Bierce, Jack London, Herman Schefflauer (sp?), George Sterling, Robert E. Howard, R. H. Barlow.... If he hadn't married Carol and found a degree of security and love late in life, I don't know what might have happened.

Scott

Re: Lovecraft's Burial
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 1 August, 2008 11:47PM
I by no means dismiss the idea; I just find it rather unlikely, given the evidence. One should also keep in mind that, following Lillian's death, he may have realized what a blow his suicide would be to Annie, as well. This might (I stress the word) have made such less likely an option.

As for him viewing it with shame... no, I don't see any reason to believe he did; certainly nothing in his letters or the statements of friend and correspondents indicates this; if anything, he had made several statements over the years on it being a "gentleman's option"; but given the circumstances and the rapidity of his decline once his condition was diagnosed, I find it quite unlikely without any supporting evidence.

On Long's faulty memory... thanks for the feedback on that. I'd rather thought that might be the case, given the numerous differences in statements over the years. Nor was my comment intended as any sort of insult to Long's memory; simply a cautious note about accepting at face value such statements without additional evidence.

Incidentally, concerning "Of Gold and Sawdust" -- that is the one disappointment I have with that collection. I'd rather hoped it would be included, despite its often vitriolic tone. It is unfortunate that things went the way they did with this, but nonetheless I'd say it merits preservation in more easily accessible form, simply because it is a rather important document, if in a minor way, concerning Lovecraft's relationships with others (or, rather, theirs with him)....

Re: Lovecraft's Burial
Posted by: Scott Connors (IP Logged)
Date: 2 August, 2008 04:34AM
"Incidentally, concerning "Of Gold and Sawdust" -- that is the one disappointment I have with that collection. I'd rather hoped it would be included, despite its often vitriolic tone. It is unfortunate that things went the way they did with this, but nonetheless I'd say it merits preservation in more easily accessible form, simply because it is a rather important document, if in a minor way, concerning Lovecraft's relationships with others (or, rather, theirs with him)...."

One reason why it might not have been included is copyright: everything else by Loveman in that book was in the public domain, and getting permission might not have been possible.

Scott

Re: Lovecraft's Burial
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 2 August, 2008 05:42AM
Brian Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think it's worth considering Roger's suggestion
> that the sudden increase in severity of
> Lovecraft's symptoms may have taken him off-guard
> preventing suicide. I'm not sure he realized he
> was terminal even when a last visitor to 66
> College Street, in a misguided attempt at
> encouragement, reminded HPL of his beloved Stoics
> and Epicureans and their teachings on the
> endurance of pain. HPL merely smiled weakly as if
> to say "Oh yes, but you have no idea...". He was
> in agony.

The visitor was Harry K. Brobst, the place was not 66 College Street but the Jane Brown Memorial Hospital and the date was March 13. Lovecraft's doctor Cecil Calvert Dustin claims to have informed him that his condition was terminal on February 27.

> The suicide theory is new to me but anything
> beyond the known facts is suspect considering the
> many myths surrounding the man in general.

And the known fact is that he didn't commit suicide.

Re: Lovecraft's Burial
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 2 August, 2008 05:44AM
No, sorry, Jim, I don't have The Occult Lovecraft, although a friend of mine does. IIRC, "Of Gold and Sawdust" is just a couple of pages long and doesn't add much to our knowledge of HPL.

Re: Lovecraft's Burial
Posted by: Brian (IP Logged)
Date: 2 August, 2008 09:22AM
Martinus writes: "....doctor Cecil Calvert Dustin claims to have informed him that his condition was terminal on February 27."

Thanks for the clarification, Martinus. I was writing from memory.

"And the known fact is that he didn't commit suicide."

Indeed. My (oblique) point exactly. Lovecraft was no more a suicide than he was a practicing occultist or closet believer in the supernatural.

Re: Lovecraft's Burial
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 2 August, 2008 11:24AM
Scott Connors Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> One reason why it might not have been included is
> copyright: everything else by Loveman in that book
> was in the public domain, and getting permission
> might not have been possible.
>
> Scott


I wondered if that might be the case. It remains a disappointment that it wasn't included, but sometimes that is unavoidable....

Martinus is quite correct; "Of Gold and Sawdust" is very brief, but while it does not tell us much more about HPL, it does tell us a great deal about Loveman at that point, and about how he came to view Lovecraft; implicitly, it also reveals just how strong the attachment to HPL was for it to elicit such a response once Loveman knew about his anti-Jewish views.

Re: Lovecraft's Burial
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 3 August, 2008 05:23AM
Actually, now that I've thought upon it, I've seen the suicide rumour in one place: Derleth's Some Notes on H. P. Lovecraft, where he refutes it. I've never encountered the rumour itself, though.

Re: Lovecraft's Burial
Posted by: deuce (IP Logged)
Date: 15 March, 2017 06:32PM
Just a little remembrance of the Old Gent on this, the 80th anniversary of his transition. I think CAS did a fine job with this poem.

H.P.L.


Outside the time-dimension, and outside
The ever-changing spheres and shifting spaces -
Though the mad planet and its wrangling races
This moment be destroyed - he shall abide
And on immortal quests and errands ride
In cryptic service to the kings of Pnath,
Herald or spy, on the many-spangled path
With gulfs below, with muffled gods for guide.

Some echo of his voice, some vanished word
Follows the light with equal speed, and spans
The star-set limits of the universe,
Returning and returning, to be heard
When all the present worlds and spheres disperse,
In other Spicas, other Aldebarans.

Re: Lovecraft's Burial
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2017 11:32AM
Scott Connors Wrote:
> Many, I
> might go so far as to say most, people consider
> suicide at some point in their life, although it
> is usually only a fleeting thought.

Yup. I'm considering it right now. But on second thought ....

> What is amazing is that CAS never seems to
> have considered suicide seriously, despite the
> very desperate conditions in which he found
> himself during the 1940s.

That's not amazing at all. Everybody dies, but suicide is still relatively rare. The only amazing thing is the number of associates of his who committed suicide.

> If he hadn't
> married Carol and found a degree of security and
> love late in life, I don't know what might have
> happened.

Probably he would have died eventually (as he ended up doing anyway). But there is no particular reason to suspect he would have died by suicide.

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