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My take on Robert Nelson: Hopefully obvious
Posted by: OConnor,CD (IP Logged)
Date: 14 August, 2012 02:06PM
This post is long overdue. The insight I'm about to share is, as my subject title indicates, obvious. But I hope to open up latent eyes in other people. Either way everyone is welcomed to add insight, disagreements or what have you. Just refrain from name calling.

First I'm not sure why some people say Robert died at age 17. Frans Worth Wright clearly said in a letter to Clark Ashton Smith "Nelson is still a youth on the sunny side of twenty" (Anderson, Douglas, Sable Revery). On the Nelson family headstone it says Robert was born 1912 and died 1935. Sounds like he died at age 23 to me..ha ha. It's alright, obvious error. How that error found its beginning I don't know.

Roberts Personality and character- He is indeed a nervous and despairing fellow as his book "Sable Revery" says. Recently I found all the type written copies of Lovecrafts correspondence with Mr. Nelson. I've saved and studied it and arrived at the following conclusions: Robert Nelson must have had a problem making friends. Why do I think this? Well as Lovecraft states in his letter to Nelson for January 1935, "Bless my soul, but I didn’t see anything “over-haughty” or otherwise amiss in your former letter! Don’t worry so much about the impression you create – what the hell does it matter, anyhow? The world isn’t important enough to make it worth anybody’s while to bother about such trifles." And not only that but he obviously had a severe melancholy view of himself as being insignificant, as H.P. Lovecraft touches upon the matter in the same letter: "As to being “insignificant”- hell! So are we all, except perhaps some 5 or 6 percent of the human race…. the really capable & creative men who sustain the burden of our civilization. So far as the weird-fiction gang is concerned, we’re all insignificant together, & as individual need worry a moment about his own especial personal insignificance!"

Robert Nelson clearly wanted to be a writer for a living but was "maybe unintentionally" discouraged and not helped. Frans Worth Write obviously didn't provide the young lad with any help. "I saw Sable Revery then-undoubtedly before you (Clark) had seen it. Mr. Nelson offered to tear it up if I did not think it had possibilities (signs of his sensitive personality and desire to be the best writer he could be?), but I vetoed the suggestion at once. I did not give him any constructive criticism of the poem, except to point out that he had much faulty rhythm in the poem, and that some of his imagery was hard to understand.....but his imagination struck me as having great possibilities" (Anderson, Douglas. Sable Revery). Now to a sensitive, dare I say disturbed youth?, It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize hearing all the negatives without some positives or "Constructive Criticism" would effect him tremendously. Maybe if Robert had heard "But his imagination struck me as having great possibilities" his journey wouldn't have been so arduous and he wouldn't have feel so "Insignificant" as he related to Lovecraft. If there was anything else I don't know. (Put together by Charles D. O'Connor III).

I have a second part to add. Unfortunately the day beckons. Stay tuned.

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