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Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 22 September, 2011 05:02PM
Sounds like a lovely tome, Martin--and I'm glad there is someone out there like you trawling through the texts and reporting errors. Yes, if I purchase the tome, I will be sure to look for your name in it! I wouldn't sweat that one error too much--a book with only one error (esp. of that length) would be a truly miraculous thing!

I like the description, and, because of a recent influx of b-day money, I can deal with the price tag; it's only the size that puts me off... I really have nowhere else to read but in bed--save a small, cramped desk, which is not the most comfortable setup... Someday, I will a nice big easy chair to read in, along with a huge oaken desk on which to spread my various arcane tomes and manuscripts and human skulls and such--all this, of course, will be situated in my cavernous library, lined with suits of armor, and lit with sconce-lights....

I may yet be able to grapple with that book, and I'm certainly intrigued... will have to examine it in person at the B&N....

Thanks for the info, and for the diligent editing!

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 22 September, 2011 06:43PM
Ah--another pressing question! Are the stories written in HPL's youth included, such as "The Alchemist," "The Beast in the Cave," and "The Book"? (if I remember correctly). I would love to own those--they would help further justify my purchase. Sure, I could read them on the net--but it's not the same. There's nothing like reading something for the first time in an actual book.

So--are those early tales in there?

Additional note--just saw Pugmire's thorough (as usual) review of the tome, with content listed, and have decided I cannot live without this tome! How I would love to read that alternate Innsmouth manuscript...and all those little tales that never make it into other collections... I'm really not crazy about the cover, though...looks like they tried to depict "The Colour Out of Space"...oh well, the contents more than justify purchase asap!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 22 Sep 11 | 06:53PM by K_A_Opperman.

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: cathexis (IP Logged)
Date: 22 September, 2011 08:43PM
I went and got my copy yesterday. $20.00 so I wouldn't sweat the price though
I realize your mileage may vary. Like a previous poster, I too tore off the shrink
wrap to be sure I wasn't buying two of the same thing (although I kinda was ??).
It does include a gratis to Martinus on the copyright page. It is also identified
as, "This 2011 edition,..." rather than, "This 2010 edition,..." as the previous
offering had been.

But wait! There is another identifier and it is visible with shrink-wrap on.
(At least on my copies this works). On my 2010 edition, the one with the errata came
with a **gold** ribbon bookmark whereas the stack of new 2011 editions at B&N had a
**purple** ribbon bookmark. And so, the archana of this B&N tome begins to grow,...

-Cathexis

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 22 September, 2011 08:51PM
Good info. Will look for the purple ribbon--but will tear off the wrap to be sure! I'm itching to get my hands on this....

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 23 September, 2011 05:47AM
K_A_Opperman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ah--another pressing question! Are the stories
> written in HPL's youth included, such as "The
> Alchemist," "The Beast in the Cave," and "The
> Book"? (if I remember correctly). I would love to
> own those--they would help further justify my
> purchase. Sure, I could read them on the net--but
> it's not the same. There's nothing like reading
> something for the first time in an actual book.
>
> So--are those early tales in there?

All of them. There are even stories that HPL wrote between the ages of 7 and 12. In fact, one of them -- the long version of "The Mysterious Ship" -- is published in this book for the first time (hence, alas, is the only story I can't check since I have nothing to check agisnt!). It is not better than the short version.

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 23 September, 2011 05:49AM
cathexis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> But wait! There is another identifier and it
> is visible with shrink-wrap on.
> (At least on my copies this works). On my 2010
> edition, the one with the errata came
> with a **gold** ribbon bookmark whereas the stack
> of new 2011 editions at B&N had a
> **purple** ribbon bookmark. And so, the archana of
> this B&N tome begins to grow,...

You're right! I got the purple ribbon too on my freebies.

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: Ken K. (IP Logged)
Date: 23 September, 2011 08:49PM
K_A_Opperman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
... Someday, I will a nice big
> easy chair to read in, along with a huge oaken
> desk on which to spread my various arcane tomes
> and manuscripts and human skulls and such--all
> this, of course, will be situated in my cavernous
> library, lined with suits of armor, and lit with
> sconce-lights....

K_A_, I would think twice about furnishing your dream library with suits of armor, at least those equipped with antique weaponry. As a mystery reader, I can assure you that that's just asking for it!

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 23 September, 2011 10:11PM
What's wrong with armor? (obviously, I haven't read the mystery you're referring to...) Do you mean the danger of a villain hiding in it? And then there's the supernatural danger of them coming to life at night. But no matter--I will have my suits of armor! At least I'm not going to have a butler...that's probably a wise move, mystery-wise.

And now for the big announcement--I have acquired the Lovecraft tome we're all so excited about here! At first I couldn't find it anywhere: looked in the HPL section, saw the B&N classics table--but no HPL! Then I discovered the culprit: it was that meddling Jules Verne: a single copy of his tome was on top of the HPL stack, concealing it entirely from view! That clever, clever bastard...(whose 20,000 Leagues is one of my all time favorites...but he's still a bastard).

It had the purple ribbon, but to be sure, I hid myself in an aisle and covertly tore off the wrap...Martin was in there, and of course, the 2011--I had found the unholy tome I sought!

I revise my opinion of the cover--in person, somehow, it is much cooler--not inappropriate in any way, and good color scheme (the black of bournless space, the purple of interdimensional haze, the cerulean of ice-satellites orbiting distant planets of ineffable nightmare, the silver of strange eidola wrought from unknown lunar metals...)

I only hope it holds up. Behind the flashy covers, I'm sure those B&N hardcovers are not the most structurally sound ever made--but the price was right, the content is delicious, and I ain't complainin'

Also, for those curious, I don't find it too heavy for bed reading; I've read heavier tomes that way and survived.

All in all, looks like a sweet book!

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: Ken K. (IP Logged)
Date: 24 September, 2011 02:40AM
Dear K_A_, I wasn't referring to any mystery in particular. Your dream library just sounds like the perfect setting for the archetypical impossible murder. You know the kind I'm talking about:

Inspector Tallin stepped into the gloomy interior of the library. He noted in passing the splintered jamb where the heavy locked door had been forced open by Constable Meyers. The suits of armor ranked against the panelled walls seemed to be standing an honor guard for the fallen antiquarian scholar. Flickering sconce lights cast momentary shadows over the body sprawled face down across the huge oaken desk. Behind the desk a large, comfortable-looking easy chair lay on its side, apparently kicked over during the victim's dying throes. The leather desk blotter was almost completely concealed by dusty medieval manuscripts and other arcane tomes, some of which had fallen to the floor. Several of the books had been spoiled by the large crimson pool which had spread out from beneath the corpse. The cause of this was the broadsword which had been driven into the body, between the shoulder blades; stepping behind the desk, the Inspector peered beneath it and observed that five inches of the sword's blade protruded through the hard oak of the desk top.


"Well, Inspector, here's your man!" stated a cheerful voice, and looking up Tallin recognized the insouciant figure of his young friend Ronald "Smasher" Wiley. He followed the latter's pointing finger to the only suit of armor which was weaponless. "Open-and-shut case, no? Just slap the bracelets on and we can go for a pint!" The Inspector heaved a sigh. "Yes, Ron--I noticed that as well. And before you ask--we did check all the suits to make sure no-one was hiding inside." He glared at the detritus littering the desk. "Tell me something--why does every well-to-do scholar have to have a skull on his desk? Is there something about pedantry that inspires a macabre taste in paperweights?"

Well, you get the picture. Your dream library closely resembles the one on the cover of the anthology H. P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird Tales, which depicts HPL sitting in his dream library.

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 24 September, 2011 04:25PM
Well, Ken, you have killed me in a mini-story--thanks! A quite comical little bit.

And I'll tell you why every scholar/gothic fiction writer (typical Jamesian protagonist) needs a skull on their desk: to remind us of the ever looming pendulum of Death which at any moment may plummet down with an awful, rusty screetch to sever our chance of creating a canon sizeable and competent enough to ensure literary immortality in the future. Every writer's life, especially, is a race against death. I'm young--and I'm already running as fast as I can--or shall I say, my fingers are. Those who would seek immortality in any form necessarily find death as their greatest nemesis, and just to keep the adrenaline running, the juices flowing, we keep mister Skull on the desk.

I, for one, in reality, keep in place of a skull a small garden gnome (reading a book) on my desk...do I still count as a scholar?

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 24 September, 2011 04:31PM
Just remembered, some of you error detectives who've recently aquired the new HPL Complete Fiction might find it amusing that in the table of contents, at the end, its says there is an 'about the author' entry on page 1099...the book ends on 1098, and there is no such entry--we get all the 'about the author' info in the beginning, anyway.

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 24 September, 2011 05:55PM
Wilum noticed it and told me, so I checked with Stefan and here's what he said:

Quote:
Stefan Dziemianowicz
When we translated the Lovecraft volume from our Library of Essential Writers to the leatherbound format, we had to get rid of backmatter, including the "About the Author" note. We deleted the "About the Author" reference in the TOC of the first printing of the leatherbound by having the printer make corrections in blues. When we corrected the interiors of the second printing, we got files in from the typesetter, who didn't have the correction to the contents page because the printer had made it only for their set of the interiors. One more thing to correct on the third printing.

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 24 September, 2011 06:24PM
At any rate, it's not a harmful error--it does not occur in Lovecraft's text, which is the important thing.

By the way, just how 'definitive' is the text, Martin? As I understand it, this is THE most complete and corrected text available. Is this correct? And are there projected volumes in the works that will significantly surpass the current one? (I understand there will be a third printing of the current volume, but I don't expect it to be much superior to the current--do you have any info on this?--but I suppose it is a bit early to be asking such questions...)

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 25 September, 2011 06:40AM
K_A_Opperman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> By the way, just how 'definitive' is the text,
> Martin? As I understand it, this is THE most
> complete and corrected text available. Is this
> correct?

As far as I know, yes.

> And are there projected volumes in the
> works that will significantly surpass the current
> one?

Not that I know of. Robert M. Price had some project for Mythos Books which would consist of all of HPL's stories with introductions (I saw it mentioned in an online interview somewhere), but I'm not expecting that anytime soon, and anyway I haven't been asked to proofread. ;)

> (I understand there will be a third printing
> of the current volume, but I don't expect it to be
> much superior to the current--do you have any info
> on this?--but I suppose it is a bit early to be
> asking such questions...)

AFAIK, it will correct that one other error that I know of, remove the reference to "About the Author" from the table of contents, and possibly bump up the typeface of my acknowledgement a couple of points. ;)

Unfortunately, I don't know whether I will have the time or the energy to go over the text again (which I really should -- to err is human, and there are no guarantees that I found all the errors already; in fact, I think it's highly unlikely) anytime soon -- some of HPL's stories I've already read twice this year for Swedish publications, and there's other stuff I want to read as well. Last time, it took me a couple of hours every day for three months. However, anyone is welcome to contribute to the Errata thread at [www.sffchronicles.co.uk] (probably the most popular thread there, with close to 21,000 views at the moment).

Re: How *do* we know the definitive HPL texts are just that?
Posted by: cathexis (IP Logged)
Date: 25 September, 2011 12:43PM
Kinda ironic to me Folks,


I started off just looking to buy a cheap edition of HPL that was as complete as possible.
Now the same book ends up as (tentatively) the very same definitive text I asked about.
At $20.00 U.S. it is going to be hard for any Specialty Publisher to top that except by
adding intros, essays, artwork, etc. Those items may increase the critical value of such
works but it could turn out that what is a rather bare-bones, low-priced offering will
remain the standard of "legit" for quite a while. If so, a feather in the cap of B&N.

- Cathexis

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