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Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: walrus (IP Logged)
Date: 17 April, 2013 04:48PM
wilum pugmire Wrote:
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> He shew'd me the notes he has for another edition of Lovecraft, one that will list all of the text variants that Lovecraft
> crossed out, and huge portions of text that were eliminated from the actual stories

While off-topic, that's interesting -- many years ago I wondered whether there will ever be something like a "History of Middle-earth" of Lovecraft's fiction.

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 17 April, 2013 06:03PM
I am greatly looking forward to the Penguin volume. Each of us is going to wish this or that story, verse or prose poem had been included; but I think the overall selection is strong, and we really have to hand it to S. T. Joshi for forcing the people at Penguin into believing such a project was worthwhile. I doubt this project would have had a snowball's chance in hell without Joshi's efforts, regardless of all the work people like Behrends, Connors, Herron, Hilger, Moorcock, Pearson, Sidney-Fryer, et al. have done over the decades to illuminate and legitimatize it. And this project is also one of many proofs available to those among us who have disagreed with some of his opinions over the years, that the man does read texts carefully, does take criticism of his own work seriously, and is capable of changing his opinion of a writer when presented with the evidence. He seems to have a serious blind spot when it comes to supernatural fiction with any kind of religious underpinning, but even that shows some signs of abating.

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: Scott Connors (IP Logged)
Date: 20 April, 2013 11:59AM
S. T. and I worked closely together on the selection of fiction included in this book. I vetoed some of his choices, he accepted my reasoning, accepted some of my candidates for inclusion, but the final selection was his. I am disappointed that one of my favorite CAS stories did not make the cut ("The Weird of Avoosl Wuthoqquan"), and we had to leave out others that we would have liked to have included because of space in order to include a representative selection of his best work. "The Abominations of Yondo" was the subject of much debate, but I argued that "Sadastor" set the tone for the book much better than "Yondo," since it is most wistful and poignant and deals with loss, while "Yondo" is more horrific, and thus not necessarily the best introduction to CAS. They'll get to the horrific with "Yoh-Vombis" soon enough.
While S. T. is opinionated, he is open to discussion. The fact that he is now mostly positive about Smith's fiction contrasts with statements to the contrary in his original HPL bio, and is the result of a decade of interaction with Yr Obt Servt here. He once told me that CAS would never make it into the Penguin Classics, right up until the point where Wilum and I convinced him to work on his editor and advocate for such a collection. This book is his, make no mistake. It ain't perfect, but like the old man said at the end of THE WILD BUNCH, "it'll do."

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 27 April, 2013 08:05PM
Scott,

you know me well enough to say that it's the poetry that excites me more than the fiction. You may not know that it's the fantasies of CAS that excite me the most of his fiction, that I hold them intermediate in quality between CAS' other fiction & his nonfiction, and his verse.

I am glad that ST was able to obtain the interest of Penguin for the volume, as it is yet another proof of the legitimacy of the weird as a mode of literature. Especially in poetry, where I am, alas, a tyro or Trimalchio compared to CAS.

Phillip

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 12:53PM
Do we have any idea of the cover illustration yet or is it still far too soon?

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 01:31PM
The English Assassin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Do we have any idea of the cover illustration yet
> or is it still far too soon?


S. T. mention'd that Penguin had a faint interest in his suggestion of using a colour CAS piece for cover illustration, but it wou'd really surprise me if they actually use a Smith painting. It would be wonderful if they did.

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



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 28 Apr 13 | 01:31PM by wilum pugmire.

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 04:08PM
wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> S. T. mention'd that Penguin had a faint interest
> in his suggestion of using a colour CAS piece for
> cover illustration, but it wou'd really surprise
> me if they actually use a Smith painting. It
> would be wonderful if they did.

I think that would be a lovely touch

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 05:24PM
I, too, think that it would be a lovely touch, and I would also be thrilled to see a tasteful ensemble of carvings, especially those with subtleties of colouration attendant upon their long-won firing.

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: Ken K. (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 09:36PM
A selection of CAS sculptures would be great, even arranged in a still life with a dusty wine bottle, antique typewriter and postcards/letters.

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 18 June, 2013 08:15PM
Today's blog by S. T. Joshi announces that he has seen the cover for the Penguin edition of CAS, and they have used a painting by -- Clark Ashton Smith!!!

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

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: Avoosl Wuthoqquan (IP Logged)
Date: 19 June, 2013 05:16AM
That's pretty great news. I am glad Penguin are continuing their tradition of doing interesting covers. No bat-faced bint on this one!

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 19 June, 2013 09:58PM
wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Today's blog by S. T. Joshi announces that he has
> seen the cover for the Penguin edition of CAS, and
> they have used a painting by -- Clark Ashton
> Smith!!!

I am glad that they have chosen piece by CAS because his art complements his writings, and it lends a certain sense of the exotic through its naïf qualities. While I do value technical excellence in my art and literature (being a principal reason why I gave up art, and haven't even attempted music), I also value some of the naïve painters as well as many of the outsider artists, for some nebulous, undefined reason.

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 20 June, 2013 09:40PM
Surprised Scott's good news/bad news has not yet appeared here: Penguin wants to include "The Hashish Eater", but . . . wants to remove some of the stories to make room. Alas!

Agree that "The Hashish Eater" is essential - imagine putting together an introductory collection of Jonathan Swift minus "A Modest Proposal" or Poe without "The Raven" - but I dread what may have to be omitted to make room.

Personally, I would miss "Phoenix" least of the planned contents, but then consideration of omissions starts becoming increasingly difficult.

Perhaps "The Treader of the Dust", then "The Weaver in the Vault". "Genius Loci" has never struck me as successful as Smith was when inventing everything, but I cannot see a way to sacrifice it, as it (and "The Treader in the Dust", which sidesteps the issue somewhat by introducing the one of Smith's arcane gods into otherwise mundane surroundings) is far and away Smith's best venture in a completely contemporary setting. Perhaps give up "Genius" in favor of "Treader"?

And I would even sacrifice "The Holiness of Azederac" too before considering touching any of the other stories. "Sadastor" needs to stay where it is, and it jettisoning any of the prose poems would be agonizing. Surely, "From the Crypts of Memory" and "The Shadows" would be inviolate, but then which of the prose poems would not be so considered?

Others will feel differently, at least in some respects, I am sure.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 20 Jun 13 | 09:45PM by jimrockhill2001.

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 21 June, 2013 06:27AM
Why can't they just be sensible and expand the book's word count?? I am overjoy'd that "The Hashish-Eater" will be included (and if this is Penguin's deliberate choice it suggests that they have been studying Smith's oeuvre with attention).

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

Re: CAS in Penguin Modern CLassics
Posted by: Avoosl Wuthoqquan (IP Logged)
Date: 21 June, 2013 08:14AM
> Why can't they just be sensible and expand the book's word count??

Cost.

Let them ditch 'Genius Loci' by all means.

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