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HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 23 April, 2013 05:57PM
The book deals mainly with HPL and classicism. It sort of enlarges on George Wetzel's earlier, rudimentary efforts in this direction. Chapter One deals with HPL and Arcadian imagery; ch. 2 deals with insect and bee imagery; chapter 3 deals with HPL and the Theseus myth; ch. 4 deals with HPL and Leucothea and Palaemon; and ch. 5 deals with HPL and Demeter/the Great Goddess.

[www.mcfarlandpub.com]

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 23 April, 2013 11:25PM
Just pre-ordered on Amazon. There's another book that looks interesting: NEW CRITICAL ESSAYS ON H. P. LOVECRAFT, edited by David Simmons. It's an hefty $70. Jason Brock mentioned it at the site for his journal, NAMELESS, and has this to report: "It's from mainstream publisher Palgrave MacMillan--who have saddled it not only with a hideous cover but also with the eyebrow-raising claim that it's...'the first scholarly study of its kind.'" Your book sounds a bit less pretentious, Gavin. Looking forward to devouring it.

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

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 24 April, 2013 05:10PM
wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> with the eyebrow-raising
> claim that it's...'the first scholarly study of
> its kind.'"

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 24 April, 2013 05:11PM
Gavin Callaghan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The book deals mainly with HPL and classicism. It
> sort of enlarges on George Wetzel's earlier,
> rudimentary efforts in this direction. Chapter
> One deals with HPL and Arcadian imagery; ch. 2
> deals with insect and bee imagery; chapter 3 deals
> with HPL and the Theseus myth; ch. 4 deals with
> HPL and Leucothea and Palaemon; and ch. 5 deals
> with HPL and Demeter/the Great Goddess.
>
> [www.mcfarlandpub.com]
> 64-7079-2
congrats on the publication gavin

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 25 April, 2013 11:51PM
I'll add my congratulations, and look forward to reading it. I'm very glad to see someone tackling this aspect of HPL in detail; while it is often mentioned, and a certain amount of attention has been paid to it, I think there is a tremendous amount of work to be done, and I'm delighted that it is being done by someone who, however much I may disagree with some of your points or conclusions at times, is so attentive to detail and willing to examine these things from various angles.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 27 April, 2013 05:36PM
jdworth Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'll add my congratulations, and look forward to
> reading it. ..and I'm delighted that
> it is being done by someone who, however much I
> may disagree with some of your points or
> conclusions at times, is ...willing to examine these things from various
> angles.

canlonan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

congrats on the publication gavin

wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just pre-ordered on Amazon.

Very gracious all of you, thanks. An open mind is all I can ask. We'll see how it goes. I'm working on the proofs now. Didn't receive them until April 19th. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute.

Am having a hard time with the proofreading. Is the word Devil rightly capitalized, or lowercase? Am also having a similar problem with the word Cyclopean. HPL capitalized it, but is that correct? Any advice would be appreciated----- I'd like to have it constant throughout the book, so the effect isn't jarring on the reader---

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 27 April, 2013 08:00PM
Gavin...

Devil: if referring to Satan, aka the Devil, it is capitalised; otherwise, if to devils, aka a devil, it is lowercase.

Cyclopean is capitalised as it refers to the Cyclopes, the race of beings referenced in Greek mythology and epic.

Generally: when quoting Lovecraft, follow his usage. Where, for example, "The Colour out of Space" has appeared as "Color" it's probably a safe bet to either use sic in square brackets, or to add a footnote.

You may need to confirm with the publisher regarding their style guide. To be safe I'd ask, and use it for all bar quoted texts. I know a number of Australian academic publishers stipulate style guides to be followed, so check this, ok?

*****

In general comments, I look forward to reading your book. I hope it will be the start of a detailed conversation between us anent Lovecraft's Classicism, especially regarding that of his poetry.

Phillip

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 03:45AM
Congrats Gsvin - it looks like an interesting and original area of study

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 10:53AM
phillipAellis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gavin...
>
> Devil: if referring to Satan, aka the Devil, it is
> capitalised; otherwise, if to devils, aka a devil,
> it is lowercase.
>
> Cyclopean is capitalised as it refers to the
> Cyclopes, the race of beings referenced in Greek
> mythology and epic.
>
> Generally: when quoting Lovecraft, follow his
> usage. Where, for example, "The Colour out of
> Space" has appeared as "Color" it's probably a
> safe bet to either use sic in square brackets, or
> to add a footnote.
>
> You may need to confirm with the publisher
> regarding their style guide. To be safe I'd ask,
> and use it for all bar quoted texts. I know a
> number of Australian academic publishers stipulate
> style guides to be followed, so check this, ok?
>
> *****
>
> In general comments, I look forward to reading
> your book. I hope it will be the start of a
> detailed conversation between us anent Lovecraft's
> Classicism, especially regarding that of his
> poetry.
>
> Phillip


Retaining the author's usage is a basic tenet of the work of the editor - footnote it if you think it useful, however, historically (and particularly the inheritors of the school masters of the 19th century pedagogy) various periods have favored certain words - Philip's analysis is correct -

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 12:19PM
Gavin Callaghan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The book deals mainly with HPL and classicism. It
> sort of enlarges on George Wetzel's earlier,
> rudimentary efforts in this direction. Chapter
> One deals with HPL and Arcadian imagery; ch. 2
> deals with insect and bee imagery; chapter 3 deals
> with HPL and the Theseus myth; ch. 4 deals with
> HPL and Leucothea and Palaemon; and ch. 5 deals
> with HPL and Demeter/the Great Goddess.
>
> [www.mcfarlandpub.com]
> 64-7079-2

A welcome volume. Hoping someone will also eventually look at the 18th century influences on Lovecraft's prose. Dunsany's and Poe's influence have been explored, but when you look at the essay-like openings to "The Call of Cthulhu", "The Colour out of Space" or "The Dunwich Horror" or the clarity and restraint used in the description of such indescribable events as the emergence of Cthulhu, it is difficult not to think of the balance sought and achieved by John Dryden, Alexander Poper, Samuel Johnson, and others in prose and poetry.

The key line in "The Call of Cthulhu" - "After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight." - is so well-balanced, so memorable, and so suffused with implication that I doubt even Alexander Pope could have matched it, and yet that odd little phrase "ravening for delight" is precisely the sort of commixture we might expect of Pope (or John Keats) - a phrase that seems disjunct at first, perhaps even bathetic, but soon seems perfectly apt and ineradicable from memory.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 02:51PM
jimrockhill2001 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> A welcome volume. Hoping someone will also
> eventually look at the 18th century influences on
> Lovecraft's prose. Dunsany's and Poe's influence
> have been explored, but when you look at the
> essay-like openings to "The Call of Cthulhu", "The
> Colour out of Space" or "The Dunwich Horror" or
> the clarity and restraint used in the description
> of such indescribable events as the emergence of
> Cthulhu, it is difficult not to think of the
> balance sought and achieved by John Dryden,
> Alexander Poper, Samuel Johnson, and others in
> prose and poetry.
>
> The key line in "The Call of Cthulhu" - "After
> vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose
> again, and ravening for delight." - is so
> well-balanced, so memorable, and so suffused with
> implication that I doubt even Alexander Pope could
> have matched it, and yet that odd little phrase
> "ravening for delight" is precisely the sort of
> commixture we might expect of Pope (or John Keats)
> - a phrase that seems disjunct at first, perhaps
> even bathetic, but soon seems perfectly apt and
> ineradicable from memory.


Not to toot my own horn, but the forthcoming book on Lovecraft and Influence -- in which Gavin is also represented, if I understand correctly -- has an essay I wrote on this topic. Unfortunatey, the constraints of space (5000 words) doesn't allow of the sort of in-depth examination we're talking about here, but I do take a look at several of the writers of the period, and attempt to show examples not only of direct stylistic influences (including similar passages, usage, etc.) but also how they may have influenced some of the themes and philosophy of his work.


[www.amazon.com]

I'm quite interested in Gavin's entry here, as well.

As for that comment about "the first scholarly study of its kind"... it depends on what they mean, I suppose. Perhaps of its particular type, yes; but in a more general sense, there have been a huge number of very scholarly works on Lovecraft, academic and otherwise, several of which are really very good, fascinating and even entertaining....

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Jojo Lapin X (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 03:43PM
"Scholarly study" means something written by academics, i.e., people affiliated with universities.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 04:20PM
Jojo Lapin X Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "Scholarly study" means something written by
> academics, i.e., people affiliated with
> universities.

Even taking such a strictly literal view (which is seldom the case in such comments), there have been no few of those, from Timo Airaksinen's book on HPL and philosophy to Donald Burleson's general survey and his deconstructionist criticism to the various master's and Ph.D.'s theses to Barton L. St. Armand's two slender but "meaty" volumes to Robert H. Waugh's work to....

As I said, it may be the particular sort of thing this is, but even here, if I am reading the blurb correctly, not all the writers represented here are academics, either, but rather a broader spectrum; in which case, this doesn't apply, either, as academics and non-academics have been represented in other anthologies of Lovecraftian criticism (A Century Less a Dream; Four Decades of Criticism; An Epicure in the Terrible). In any event, this seems at best a rather untenable statement....

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 05:33PM
I'm with you regarding your scepticism of that claim, J. D. Especially since, if it refers to a collection of our contemporaries' papers, for example, we have Epicure, and so on.

Speaking of the book on HPL's influence, I had submitted an unsuccessful abstract proposing a study of Lovecraft's influence on subsequent poets. Ah well.

Back to Gavin's book: I look forward to it with particular attention, given my slow-moving study of Lovecraft's aesthetic thought. At the moment I await the Toldridge letters with avidity, since they form a central outlet of his poetic theories, and since I have developed a fondness for Miss Toldridge. I know many like her, and she strikes me as a lonely individual.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 05:37PM
Thanks Phillip-----

When I quote from HPL, I follow his usage as to Cyclopean being capitalized. But when I used the word, I noticed I had it lowercased. Is that allowable? I'll leave a note in the proofs for my copy editor, and see what they say.

My copy editor objected to my use of the word "primitive" throughout my text, however: saying that it was insensitive/pejorative to savage tribes (!), so I don't know if I can trust their opinions! I ended up replacing the word "primitive" with "archaic" in most of the text.

jdworth wrote:
------------------------------------

>Unfortunatey, the constraints of space (5000 words) doesn't allow of the sort of in-depth examination we're talking about here, but I do take a look at several of the writers of the period,

I know. The space constraints for that anthology killed me, as well. I ended up having to cut down a 65-page essay (plus 65 pages of appendices) to 24 pages or so. Even that went over the allotment, I know. But I begged and begged and Waugh relented. I'm kind of the opposite of an intellectual bully. An intellectual whiner?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 28 Apr 13 | 05:39PM by Gavin Callaghan.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 05:52PM
Gavin,

firing off a quick query to your copy editor via email shouldn't be a problem. Especially as it demonstrates a willingness to cooperate. At the same time you may like to confirm whether there is a set style guide regarding spelling, punctuation, capitalisation, and so forth. Should you have subsequent dealings with the publisher, that knowledge would be helpful, and it shoes a willingness to work with the team.

I believe the recent edited work is the one I submitted my abstract to, since it was not edited by Waugh but two academics. May I check with them?

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 07:40PM
"Lovecraft and Influence" sounds fascinating. Will have to look into that one. Thank you!

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 10:31PM
Gavin Callaghan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I know. The space constraints for that anthology
> killed me, as well. I ended up having to cut down
> a 65-page essay (plus 65 pages of appendices) to
> 24 pages or so. Even that went over the
> allotment, I know. But I begged and begged and
> Waugh relented. I'm kind of the opposite of an
> intellectual bully. An intellectual whiner?

*sigh* And here I went over and over the thing to compress and eliminate to fit into the allotted space. Even then, I had to leave out a note or two I wished to include... not to mention having to skip the explanation for the rather odd title of my piece to begin with -- a reference to Cabell's Beyond Life as, despite many differences, I see a great similarity between the two writers when it comes to love of tradition and the art of "writing beautifully"; but also simply because the original -- "You tell us, in effect, that Queen Anne is dead" -- is, in the context of Cabell's book and the subject, the perfect complement to Lovecraft's own approach to the literature of the period....

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 28 April, 2013 11:41PM
I am a latecomer to Cabell, and I appreciate very much his poetry. So far I've only read one book of sonnets, but I find them reminiscent in style to Wandrei and Long, and others of their generation. I am tempted to take up collecting his fiction.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 29 April, 2013 12:47AM
phillipAellis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am a latecomer to Cabell, and I appreciate very
> much his poetry. So far I've only read one book of
> sonnets, but I find them reminiscent in style to
> Wandrei and Long, and others of their generation.
> I am tempted to take up collecting his fiction.


Not to take the thread further off-topic for long, but I strongly suggest you do so. Though it is almost the stereotypical thing to put forward with Cabell, I would recommend The Biography of the Life of Manuel (later published in "relatively" definitive form -- save for the lovely illustrations by Frank C. Pape -- as the 18-volume Works of James Branch Cabell). There are some differences of opinion about reading order, but the best may be the following:

I. Beyond Life: Dizain des Démiurges
II. Figures of Earth: A Comedy of Appearances
III. The Silver Stallion: A Comedy of Redemption
IV. Domnei (with "The Music from Behind the Moon"): Two Comedies of Woman-Worship
V. Chivalry: Dizain des Reines
VI. Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice
VII. The Line of Love: Dizain des Mariages
VIII. The High Place: A Comedy of Disenchantment
IX. Gallantry: Dizain des Fêtes
X. Something About Eve: A Comedy of Fig-Leaves
XI. The Certain Hour: Dizain des Poètes
XII. The Cords of Vanity: A Comedy of Shirking
XIII. From the Hidden Way (with "The Jewel Merchants"): Dizain and Comedy of Echoes
XIV. The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck: A Comdedy of Limitations
XV. The Eagle's Shadow: A Comedy of Purse-Strings
XVI. The Cream of the Jest (with "The Lineage of Lichfield"): Two Comedies of Evasion
XVII. Straws and Prayer-Books: Dizain des Diversions
XVIII. Townsend of Lichfield: Dizain des Adieux (which also contains "The White Robe", "The Way of Ecben", "Taboo", and Sonnets from Antan, as well as "other odds and ends")

This is a collection of novels, short stories, poems, essays, novel essays, and even a genealogy, as well as other things... all creating one vast whole -- something like the massive interconnected structures of Balzac's Comedie humaine or Moorcock's Eternal Champion/Multiverse cycle. As I have phrased it elsewhere: "Cabell was a fantasy-writer who will entertain, infuriate, and make one think (if only to come up with reasons to tell him why he's wrong about so many things). What he most certainly was not was a writer whose fantasy fits at all with the stereotyped limits placed on the field in recent decades. Instead, he is an exemplar of why, when one begins to explore the field, one finds it is something that can never truly be pinned down to any particular type of story, save perhaps the tale of the limits of the human heart and imagination."

I will also add that some of the novels -- particularly Figures of Earth (the only novel to actually feature Manuel himself, incidentally), The Silver Stallion, and Something About Eve, have something of the air of the fairy-tale about them in the manner of their writing... but a fairy-tale informed with a modern sensibility and a blending of a resigned sort of cynicism and deeply-held romanticism which work very much together, odd as that may sound. I will also warn you that Beyond Life is a very odd book in that it is largely in the form of an essay or, more properly, monologue, but of the sort of novel-essay one sees with older literature (such as, again, Balzac for example, or some of Gautier -- though the latter was less extreme in this regard). At any rate, it remains one of my personal favorites, in part because I find so much of it so beautifully written, and in part because certain portions of it I find quite provoking and exasperating.

There are a lot of other good things by Cabell as well, though, and you may enjoy looking into these, too. Here's hoping you enjoy the journey....

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 29 April, 2013 06:02PM
I read, and liked, Jurgen. It had some laugh-out-loud moments, especially when Jurgen meets his dead father's ghost.

Waugh also nixed some pictures I intended to go along with my essay, again due to lack of space.

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The first pic (above), was intended to illustrate HPL's indebtedness to ERB's Tarzan stories, particularly the "Dum Dum" ceremony of the giant apes. HPL would seem to refer to this ceremony in "The Horror at Red Hook", when he writes that "Apes danced in Asia" to these horrors,; HPL simply transferring ERB's Dum Dum from Africa to Asia. The Dum Dum ceremony also involves the riualistic flaying and then eating of the dead carcass of an enemy, to the sound of jungle drums beneath the moon: ideas which HPL refers to via both the "corpse-eating cult of Leng" (again transferring the Dum Dum to Asia), as well as the eerie tom tom drums beneath the Afric moon (paraphrase from memory), referred to in "Herbert West: Reanimator".


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The second pic (above), was indtended to illustrate HPL's indebtedness to the polar Lost race stories of his youth, many of which -like Stilson's _Polaris -of the Snows_, were set in Antarctica.

I also had a third pic, which I'll upload later, of a characteristic Burroughsian pose, of an ape-man with his foot on the prey he has just killed: a pose later imitated by HPL's Denis de Russy in "Medusa's Coil", who puts his foot on the back of his prey, right after he kills his wife: who is likened to a (Burroughsian) jungle-cat.

Am now having trouble with the word "gorgon" in my proofreading for my book. I had the word in both lowercase and uppercase: so I went back to consult HPL's original text ("Medusa's Coil" in _The Horror in the Museum_) to see how he had it, and it turns out that HPL has it both uppercase and lowercase in the Arkham House text, as well. Confusion....

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 30 April, 2013 01:19AM
Interesting stuff, and I thank you for posting the illustrations. I'm not sure I agree with you on the level of certainty here, but I think it is distinctly plausible. When dealing with the pulp influences, of course, it becomes a rather difficult thing, as HPL read so bloody much of the stuff; we know he read the early Burroughs stories, and he loved stories about Antarctic exploration and lost cities and the like; and certainly he complained that, given some of the magnificent ideas in some of the material, someone should (though I may be getting the quote slightly off) "actually sit down and write the stories" rather than let these ideas remain entombed in such mediocre settings. Still, it is difficult to be certain how much was conscious influence, how much unconscious memory, and how much was simply parallel thinking -- such as we see, for instance, in resemblances between some of his early work (e.g., the WVJ collaboration "The Green Meadow") and Blackwood or Hodgson, whom he wouldn't encounter for some years afterward.

All that being said, it's a fascinating field for study, and I have no doubt you build a good case in support of your contentions. I look forward with considerable pleasure to seeing what you do with the subject. It should make for a very lively piece....

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 30 April, 2013 03:16AM
JD: thank you for the information re: Cabell. I am even more of a champer upon my bit. Champ! Champ! Champ!

Gavin: you make interesting points. I think it has been Joshi, among others, who has done a deal of work on revealing the range of influences on Lovecraft's work, many for only fragmentary instances and elements, so that the tales become a tissue of intertextuality. I look forward to reading yr paper when the book is published. :)

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 6 May, 2013 07:22PM
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Here is my Dark Arcadia original cover suggestion for McFarland Press (vetoed.) I wished to show what went on inside HPL's head; symbolically show his interior mental processes; but apparently McFarland's marketeers were happier showing HPL's nondescript visage on the cover.

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Bottom half of the above cover.

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Optional cover suggestion for McFarland. I made these collages by cutting up copies of Dover's edition of Dore's Orlando Furioso by Ariosto, combined with ads from various turn-of-the-century and early 20th century magazines, including the American Mercury, with its ads by J. C. Leyendecker.

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Third alternate cover design for McFarland (vetoed.)

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I really hated to lose this illus. for Dark Arcadia. It is _Our Mother the Earth_ by Alfred Kubin (1901 or so.) I tried and tried and tried to find the one who owned the rights to this pic, but couldn't. I ended up writing to people all over Germany, to no avail. I refer to this picture in chapter six of my book.

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Illus. from one of ERB's Pellucidar novels, showing a Sagoth, one of the brutal ape-man slaves of the evil Mahar. The relationship of the Mahar to the Sagoths is roughly analogous to that between the Old Ones and the shoggoths in HPL's Mountains of Madness. Don't trust me on this; it was William Fulwiler who first advanced this theory.

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Burroughsian illus. nixed by Waugh for HPL & Influence. Denis de Rusy would later assume this characteristic jungle pose in "Medusa's Coil."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 6 May 13 | 07:24PM by Gavin Callaghan.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 1 June, 2013 03:03PM
Just got an Amazon update that the book will be delivered between ye 17th and 24th of this month!

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

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 1 June, 2013 05:01PM
wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just got an Amazon update that the book will be
> delivered between ye 17th and 24th of this month!


Just received my own copy. Quite a thrill! Hope you like it---

If you like it, be sure to leave a glowing review on Amazon. If you DON'T like it, be sure to write a review, form it into a paper airplane, and toss it into a hurricane......

I still wish I had been able to aquire the rights to the Kubin painting, as I'd hoped. As it is, the male nudity to female nudity ratio in the illustrations is 2:2; including Kubin's Mother Earth would have made it 2:3, and thus safely within the hetero-range. Oh well....

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 2 June, 2013 03:28AM
Speaking of Gavin, he's very kindly given me a guest post for my blog. It is located at: http://www.phillipaellis.com/guest-blog-in-defense-of-dark-arcadia-by-gavin-callaghan/

You can get to his publisher's page for his book, via the image in the guest post, if you're interested. And I hope that you will be.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 15 June, 2013 02:52PM
My copy of H. P. LOVECRAFT'S DARK ARCADIA hath just arriv'd, just as my split pea soup is cooking on ye stove. Looking forward to devouring both! I shall spend ye day reading the book, & then tonight I will shew it on YouTube with commentary as a way of promotion.

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

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 15 June, 2013 03:27PM
phillipAellis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Speaking of Gavin, he's very kindly given me a
> guest post for my blog. It is located at:
> [www.phillipaellis.com]
> -of-dark-arcadia-by-gavin-callaghan/
>
> You can get to his publisher's page for his book,
> via the image in the guest post, if you're
> interested. And I hope that you will be.

A well argued defence, although I would say that the attacks mentioned by the members of this forum (myself for one) upon Gavin's previous output have not been focused upon the "more basic ideas of Freud: the existence of the unconscious; the importance of childhood experiences and infantile libidinal drives and desires; the interpretation of dreams; the role of repression in the development of hysteria and neuroses," but on the far more speculative idea that Lovecraft was a scatophiliac sexual degenerate, which seems to plumb the depths of Freudian sexual theory and present HPL as some kind of a Freudian cartoon of a sexual freak. Each to their own, but I see very little evidence to base these assertions on nor do I see any critical worth in them.

Anyway, this current text looks very interesting and I wish him well with this endeavor - I look forward to hearing WP's verdict upon it.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 15 June, 2013 04:20PM
wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > I shall spend ye day reading the book, & then
> tonight I will shew it on YouTube with commentary
> as a way of promotion.

Above & beyond the call, WP; much appreciated. We'll see if you like it...

I hope to read some of your own Mythos works someday; $$ is a problem in collecting all the Mythos fiction out there, and right now I'm concentrating on buying up several of Brian Lumley's works. I know they don't rate very high with HPL-scholars, but the packaging on them scares the bejesus out of me, so I find them fascinating.

The English Assassin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> but on the
> far more speculative idea that Lovecraft was a
> scatophiliac sexual degenerate,

"H. P. Lovecraft: Scatophiliac Sexual Degenerate" was actually my original working title, but it got vetoed. I can't see why; I think there's definitely a niche-market for that----



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 15 Jun 13 | 04:25PM by Gavin Callaghan.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 15 June, 2013 04:51PM
I am one-third through the book, and I find it excellent--nay, I find it enthralling. I disagree with much, and at times you take a scolding tone (or so it seems) toward HPL that reminds me of de Camp. But, unlike Donald Tyson's THE DREAM WORLD OF H. P. LOVECRAFT, which has some very weird misunderstandings of Lovecraft's tales, and emphasizes Lovecraft's freakishness, his being a complete Outsider from the rest of humanity, you have carefully, intimately studied Lovecraft and know your facts; and your intelligent critiques of Lovecraft have no false note, as we find in Tyson or in the completely absurd and ignorant book by Bob Curran, A HAUNTED MIND (wherein the author made up lies and myths so as to paint Lovecraft as a grotesque freak).

Your tone toward Lovecraft as a person turns me off exceedingly, but it is also a fascinating display of one man's reaction to Lovecraft, as artist and human. What I mostly disagree with is that you seem to want to paint Lovecraft as a man who did not like women, or who had "issues" with women; and this is nonsense because Lovecraft was genuinely fond of women, admired women and had many female friends with whom he met or corresponded.

Then there are things like the Shoggoths as representation of HPL's racism or as emblems of excrement; and this reminds me of a book I read on THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE wherein the brown fog mentioned in the story, coupled with the fact that Hyde enters and exists the laboratory through a back door, is emblematic of the book's "sodomitic" obsession. To which I sneer and say "Nay."

Okay, back to reading.

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

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 15 June, 2013 05:29PM
Boy, you read fast. Amazing.

The idea that Stevenson's Mr. Hyde cloaked some unnamable horror or vice was widely recognized, even at the time his story was first published. Gerard Manley Hopkins, for example, in his letters, rightly points out that Hyde's trampling of a little girl in the street was intended as a gloss over some parallel, but unprintable crime (presumably one with sadistic and pedophilic overtones), consistent with Hyde's brute sensuality and animality. I doubt that Hopkins had any sort of critical agenda. Douglas Shant-Tucci, too (who is an unabashedly pro-gay writer) mentions both Stevenson and Mr. Hyde in his discussion of gay symbolism in Victorian literature. (See Boston Bohemia, Vol. 1). HPL's works continue this Victorian tradition of using horror to outwardly convey inward psychological states.

The connection between shoggoths and excremental imagery was first pointed out by Robert Waugh, in his essay "The Subway and the Shoggoth" (1997?), so I didn't think it was in any way controversial. The parallels between shoggoths, who are both black slaves and slime creatures, and HPL's own pro-slavery and blacks-as-slime comments, are really very obvious.

If HPL didn't have issues with women, his marriage would have been a huge success (it wasn't); his relationship with his mother would have been normal (it wasn't). Loveman once commented that HPL seemed ill-at-ease and overly formal with women.

Hope you survive reading it; am curious to know what you will think of the whole---



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 15 Jun 13 | 05:45PM by Gavin Callaghan.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 15 June, 2013 05:46PM
The failure of HPL's marriage had nothing to do with his "issues" with women but absolutely with his lack of being able to find employment and his racism. Sonia wrote to Loveman that is was Lovecraft's constant "harping" about Jews that effectively ended their marriage and caused her to leave him.

The point about shoggoths being black slaves seems obvious to us now, but I cannot imagine Lovecraft intended it to have any such meaning. J. Vernon Shea used to delight in telling me that Shub-Niggurath actually meant "sh-t-nigger-ass." I think we need to be cautious about saying what Lovecraft "meant" to be saying or suggesting with his imagery and word choice. It makes for at-times fascinating speculation, but most such commentary seem to reveal aspects of the commentator's agenda rather than any concrete proof of what Lovecraft was aiming at in his fiction. His intentions as artist, as author, were solidly defined by him in essays and correspondence.

The book is wonderful. I shall give it a five-star review on Amazon.

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

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 15 June, 2013 05:55PM
wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The book is wonderful. I shall give it a
> five-star review on Amazon.

After what you said earlier, I'm worried! I hope this isn't a "pity five-star review"!!!!!! Only give it if you think it deserves it!!!!!!

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 15 June, 2013 06:12PM
wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The book is wonderful. I shall give it a
> five-star review on Amazon.

Thank you. I will deposit the agreed-upon amount, in unmarked bills, in the specified location--------


wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>>>The failure of HPL's marriage had nothing to do with his "issues" with women but absolutely with his lack of being able to find employment and his racism. Sonia wrote to Loveman that is was Lovecraft's constant "harping" about Jews that effectively ended their marriage and caused her to leave him.


Psychologically, marriage represents emancipation from the parent. Replacement of the mother or father with a new sexual symbol, as part of the transition from childhood to adulthood. But HPL refused to resume sexual relations with his wife Sonia after their separation, even after she asked him to make love to her. No economic factors applied to HPL's refusal -but psychological factors did. This, in conjunction with HPL's repeated invocations of the Terrible Mother archetype throughout his weird fiction (most importantly the Magna Mater), suggests an overt devotion to the maternal which wrecked his belated attempts at adult sexual emancipation. (Hence Derby's horror at Asenath's attempt to "control his body", etc. -the wife's sexual role being usurped by the all-powerful Mother.) There are plenty of other female archetypes to choose from: Celestial Goddesses of Wisdom (Sophia, Norea), the pretty young witch; the literature of the fantastic is filled with them. But HPL's fiction is centered upon the all-devouring and aged mother of the inner earth. How could Sonia compete with that?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15 Jun 13 | 06:59PM by Gavin Callaghan.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 15 June, 2013 07:28PM
wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The failure of HPL's marriage had nothing to do
> with his "issues" with women but absolutely with
> his lack of being able to find employment and his
> racism. Sonia wrote to Loveman that is was
> Lovecraft's constant "harping" about Jews that
> effectively ended their marriage and caused her to
> leave him.

One also needs to recall an early letter of HPL's to his mother (I think it's preserved in Selected Letters I), in which he makes an anti-Semitic joke with his mother. (Some Jewish tailors made HPL a new suit for an after-dinner speaking event; HPL jokes to his mother: "To think I owe my post-prandial triumph to a bunch of Jews!" [paraphrase from my memory].) Clearly, HPL's issues with Jews were something he shared with his mother. One could extrapolate, and say it was part of his closeness with her and his connection with her. And if HPL's divorce from Sonia was in some way related to his anti-Semitism, it may also have been related to his mother as well.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 15 June, 2013 11:56PM
My review is up on Amazon.

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

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 17 June, 2013 06:28PM
wilum pugmire Wrote:
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> My review is up on Amazon.

I read it WP, and am very thankful. I realize we don't see eye-to-eye on every issue, but you've been more than generous in your review---

sincerely,

GDC

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 17 June, 2013 06:33PM
Thanks also to Phillip A. Ellis. Your gift should be arriving soon!

Ron Fortier also said he would write a review for his pulp reviews blog, but he hasn't posted it yet. Robin Snyder also gave the book a brief plug in The Comics newsletter.

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 18 June, 2013 04:04AM
Thankee, Gavin!

There is evidence that the racism of Lovecraft was shared with his family. Re: "On the Creation of Niggers", it was preserved as a copy, not an autograph ms, so that it is very likely HPL shared it around his family. Its lack of publication until recently can be read as evidence that it was disavowed, yet it was preserved. It is possible that one of HPL's aunts preserved the remaining copy; it is equally possible HPL did--there is a lack of evidence either way. Re: the sharing with the family--that's a speculation Joshi makes independently.

Phillip

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Michaeljohn (IP Logged)
Date: 24 June, 2013 03:55AM
I know. But I begged and begged and Waugh relented. I'm kind of the opposite of an intellectual bully. An intellectual whiner?





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Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 26 June, 2013 03:42AM
G'day!

Gavin: a certain book arrived, holding the hands of two others in tow. Thank you! :)

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: Gavin Callaghan (IP Logged)
Date: 26 June, 2013 05:14PM
phillipAellis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> G'day!
>
> Gavin: a certain book arrived, holding the hands
> of two others in tow. Thank you! :)

Hi there--- glad it arrived safely. That took quite a while. It's hard to imagine how far away Australia is from here. A world away!

Re: HPL book by myself
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 27 June, 2013 01:40AM
It doesn't help that the post can be so damned variable at times.



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