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Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 25 May, 2014 08:08PM
Still having to go on little time for such things, but... I've just finished going through At the Mountains of Madness in this edition, and I must say I can't help but wince. On the subject of paragraphing: for anyone used to the narrative flow of standard literature, let alone HPL's particular periods, it's an experience reminiscent of traveling on a train which judders to a stop very few feet, yards, or at least every block or two, each time bruising the passenger's nose against the opposing wall... with each paragraph break. For example, there are paragraphs in HPL's manuscript (or Joshi's corrected editions) which are one, in the older Arkham House may be one or two, which here are split up into as many as five or six separate paragraphs; many of which are as nonsensical as the one cited from "The Shadow out of Time" -- in other words, not paragraphs at all, but single sentences which are merely expansions of or additions to the thought of the earlier part of that original paragraph. I'm not talking about dialogue or an exclamation (more on that at the end of the following list); I'm talking about things which are supposed to be separate paragraphs, but simply are not by any of the rules of writing. I'm sorry, but this sort of thing is simply annoying to anyone who recalls anything about composition, or pays any attention to writing at all. To be blunt, it's sub-literate crap. No wonder the sf magazines of the day got such a godawful reputation.

In addition, I made a partial list of errors which stood out, some of which follow the earlier Arkham House editions, some of which diverge from that (whether or not they follow the Astounding text, as I indicated earlier, I do not know). But each tends to disfigure Lovecraft's writing, at times making him sound frankly illiterate, using words or phrases he doesn't understand. For those interested, here is that list (and again, this is only those I took the trouble to write down; there are quite a few others I didn't):

p. 203: prematurely developed -- this should be "preternaturally developed"
p. 203: gangliar centres -- should be "ganglial centres"
p. 203: has more -- should be "had more"
p. 203: Pteridophytes -- should be "pteridophytes" (HPL himself complained in his letters about this sort of useless, antiquated capitalization of such terms)
p. 230: plunged into the town -- should be "plunged into the labyrinthine town"
p. 239: storey (this dialectical variant is given two times on this page) -- should be "story"
p. 239: filling up gaps -- should be "filling in gaps"
On p. 240 a reference is made to the Old Ones being "able to traverse the interstellar ether on their vast membranous [should be "membraneous", according to HPL's usual usage and the manuscript] wings -- thus oddly confirming some curious hill folklore long ago told me by an antiquarian colleague"; this of course refers to the Fungi from Yuggoth; Luckhurst, in his note to this passage, says: "another reference to Wilmarth, [...] who encounters the Yuggoth that fly[....]". Anyone who has read the story knows that "Yuggoth" is the planet, not the creatures encountered in the tale
p. 242: pteridophyta -- should be "pteridophytes" (again, HPL inveighed against this faux-scholarly language, which either creates an incorrect form of the word, or uses an extremely obscure one, which goes against even scholarly usage such as we have here)
p. 242: prothallia -- should be "prothalli"
p. 245: Then, suddenly -- should be "Then suddenly"
p. 246: "During the Jurassic Age the Old Ones met fresh adversity in the form of a new invasion from outer space -- this time by half-fungous, half-crustacean creatures -- creatures undoubtedly the same[...]"; in his notes Luckhurst says that HPL added (emphasis mine) to the manuscript the following, which should come between the first "creatures" and the em-dash: "from a planet identifiable as the remote and recently discovered Pluto". Again, he knows about this revision from HPL, yet does not follow it in the text, but relegates it to a note. So much for following the writer's wishes.
p. 255: include it in our present trip -- should be "include it in our present flight", as the latter word is more appropriate in this context; it also avoids the redundancy of the word "trip" being used so closely together, as it is used in reference to the Old Ones' journey shortly thereafter
p. 259: primal masonry. -- should be "primal masonry --", to fit with the unfinished thought form of expression of the rest of the passage ("I, in my turn, whispered of how the camp was left -- of what had disappeared, and of how the madness of a lone survivor might have conceived the inconceivable -- a wild trip across the monstrous mountains and a descent into the unknown primal masonry --"; again, a technique he uses periodically throughout the novel to depict the characters' mental and emotional state as they reluctantly come to accept the truth of what is happening. The full stop robs it of that sense of reluctance, repugnance, and ingrained skepticism.
p. 270: characteristic cartouches -- should be "characteristic designs", as it is specifying a particular motif within the cartouches
p. 270: carvings were places -- should be "carvings were in places"
p. 273: in a series of grouped dots -- should be italicized for emphasis, both to raise one possibility and to foreshadow the actuality behind it, which is part of the "secondary climax" of the encounter with the shoggoth
pp. 273-4: "They had not been even savages -- for what indeed had they done? That awful awakening in the cold of an unknown epoch -- perhaps an attack by the furry, frantically barking quadrupeds, and a dazed defence against them and the equally frantic white simians with the queer wrappings and paraphernalia? Poor Lake. Poor Gedney. And poor Old Ones![...]"; should read: They had not been even savages -- for what indeed had they done? That awful awakening in the cold air of an unknown epoch -- perhaps an attack by the furry, frantically barking quadrupeds, and a dazed defence against them and the equally frantic white simians with the3 queer wrappings and paraphernalia ... poor Lake, poor Gedney ... and poor Old Ones!" The former, by breaking into a question, separates the following thought and comparison so that the establishment of the parallels suffers; the full stops exacerbate this by making the passage ("Poor Lake. Poor Gedney. And[...]") bathetic and jarring rhetorically. The latter reinstates the flow to the passage, and reinforces the parallel between the dogs and the penguins, the attack on the camp and its aftermath, and the death of Lake, then Gedney, and now the Old Ones, though with a subtle separation by including Lake and Gedney in one phrase, a beat, then the Old Ones. It's a very careful construction (as is the rest of this passage, which elicits sympathy for and comradeship with the Old Ones), utterly mangled by following the magazine text.
p. 281: "beyond doubt the unknown archetype of that dreaded Kadath in the Cold Waste beyond abhorrent Leng, whereof primal legends hint evasively." This should be followed by "We were the first human beings ever to see them -- and I hope to God we may be the last." This both reinforces that the legends and myths here reach back into prehuman ancestry; the fact that these are the first human beings ever to see the original; and the determination (elaborated on shortly) to prevent any further expeditions from unearthing these terrors (cf. Burleson's theme of forbidden knowledge or merciful ignorance cited above); a common thread which runs throughout the novel like a musical motif.
p. 284: bygone, reading -- should be "bygone reading"
p. 284: The final paragraph should be broken up following "source:", providing a brief rhetorical beat followed by the emphasis by isolation of Danforth's exclamation with all the questions it raises at this point.

Several of these differences depend on a careful use of the mechanics of rhetoric, something which Lovecraft was very careful to orchestrate. (Remember that he tended to read his works aloud to check how the phrasing, pauses, etc., built and worked together for maximum effect; at times reading even quite lengthy works to friends to get their responses.) To ignore these finer points is to miss entirely Lovecraft's approach to his art.

Which brings me to another issue: Luckhurst makes it a point to mention more than once the "tentacular horror" aspect of Lovecraft's writing, once again driving home the stereotype as substance fallacy; he even brings it in in his notes on Lovecraft's classification of the types of fossils the explorers find in the cave, despite the fact that this is (to say the least) stretching the point more than a little. From reading his notes, and examining the texts even as far as I have (I've still several stories to go to complete the thing), it is obvious that he, like so many, has this simplistic, stereotyped, and shallow view of Lovecraft and both his intentions and his control of his texts. I would argue that this cannot help but belittle the subject he is addressing, and mar his abilities to present the material intelligently. It is very like the statement that Derleth made in his introduction to Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos:

"The Cthulhu Mythos, it might be said in retrospect -- for certainly the Mythos as an inspiration for new fiction is hardly likely to afford readers with enough that is new and sufficiently different in concept and execution to create a continuing and growing demand"

a view which has been blown to smithereens by the ever-growing additions and supplements to Lovecraft's work, much of which is indeed quite original and innovative both in concept and technique, and certainly which has an ever-growing popularity; it is a view which is based on a very shallow and myopic view of what Lovecraft's work is about or what it achieves. (I would highly recommend reading Steven J. Mariconda's essays on this subject, as well as Maurice Lévy's A Study in the Fantastic, to get some indication of just how far off such a view tends to be... and even these are scarcely scratching the tip of the iceberg.)

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 5 June, 2014 11:57PM
jdworth, most of the "errors" you list are bogus; and I may say more about that. A few of the errors you list are genuine - and I may say more about that too, since these errors do not demonstrate the superiority of typescripts over pulp texts as you and Joshi claim (these errors did not originate in the pulp texts, which have the correct readings). However, since you have shown at least a few genuine errors, it is time for me to keep my promise and show that Joshi is not error-free either.

So here's a partial list of some Joshi’s errors in the 9 stories published by Luckhurst. I am using as “the Joshi text” the corrected B&N edition, which Joshi has publicly claimed as his most-definitive text to date, and does in fact correct various errors in the Penguin editions; though it does in many cases introduce new errors of its own. I precede each list with a paragraph summarizing the history of the source texts, so they can be placed in proper context.

THE HORROR AT RED HOOK (“RED HOOK”): To my knowledge, it is the original WEIRD TALES text of this story that has the best claim to represent HPL’s final wishes. Derleth’s 1965 text (in DAGON & OTHER MACABRE TALES) relied not on WEIRD TALES, but apparently on a pre-publication typescript (probably the same one relied on by Joshi), which may be the source of certain mis-readings. Joshi corrects some of Derleth’s misreadings, but retains others. Note that, since Derleth’s text is not based on WEIRD TALES, when it independent support’s WEIRD TALES’ reading, we can take this as strong confirmation that it reflects the text HPL submitted for publication. I am aware of no adequate evidence that the text was revised after publication. Some Joshi errors in this story are:

[1] RED HOOK, Throughout [B&N pp.318, 319, 322, 325, 330]: All 5 instances of the word “shew” or shewed” [Joshi] should be “show” or “showed” [Derleth, Weird Tales, Luckhurst]. Note that since it was Derleth’s habit to retain most spellings of his source texts, we can assume that whatever surviving typescript he relies on usually says “show” as well. There is nothing about the context – a story about an Irish-American policeman in modern Brooklyn – that suggests that the archaic form “shew” is even appropriate here. Note that Joshi’s use of such spelling does not necessarily reflect ANY source text – it is merely his policy to consistently use this spelling, no matter how inappropriate the context.

[2] RED HOOK Ch1, para. 3 [B&N p.315]: “of restful” [Joshi] should be “of a restful” (“to invite a padded cell instead of a restful rustication”) [Weird Tales, Dereth]. Joshi’s error here seems to have originated in the Penguin editions; it is not present in his oldest texts.

[3] RED HOOK Ch2, para.1 [B&N p. 316]: “in Beardsley’s” [Joshi, Derleth & Luckhurst] should be “in Aubrey Beardsley’s” (“leering with concealed rottenness as in Aubrey Beardsley’s best manner”). [Weird Tales]. I no reason to doubt that Weird Tales reading reflects the copy HPL submitted. The other artist mentioned in this sentence, Gustave Doré, is also fully named, and there seems no reason to single out Beardsley for last-name-only treatment.

[4] RED HOOK Ch3, para. 1 [B&N p.318]: “old world” [Joshi, Derleth & Luckhurst] should be “Old World” (“he had sailed for the Old World and remained out of sight for eight years”). [Weird Tales] It is proper to capitalize "Old World" when, as here, it refers to the Eastern Hemisphere (just as the Western Hemisphere is the "New World"). There is no need, after HPL’s death, to reintroduce errors from some surviving, non-final typescript, which, in all probability, does not match the corrected version sent to the publisher.

[5] RED HOOK Ch4, para.3 [B&N p.322]: “new friends” [Joshi, Derleth, Luckhurst] should be “few friends” (“finally astonished his few friends by renovating and redecorating his Flatbush mansion”) [Weird Tales]. Suydam has no new friends mentioned in the text except the cultists; whose astonishment (if any) Malone and the narrator are not privy to. However, he does have a few (old) friends who have been mentioned previously in the text: the “rare acquaintances” who occasionally visit his home in Ch.3,Para.1; or the “humiliated friends” who see him prowling about in subway stations in Ch.3,Para.2. Also, as the second half of the sentence makes clear, the social revival, which he is only just about to launch, does not begin by making any new friends, but merely (at first) by reconnecting with relatives and old acquaintances. These are the ones who are now astonished.

[6] RED HOOK Ch.5.Para.1 [B&N p.324]: “old world” [Joshi, Derleth, Luckhurst] should be “Old World” (“headed for the widening water spaces that led to Old World wonders”) [Weird Tales]. The Cunard Liner is headed, not into to the past, but to the Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, etc).

[7] RED HOOK Ch.7,Para.3 [B&N p.330]: “which” [Joshi, Derleth, Luckhurst] should be “when” (“gloated over a minor sadist cult *when* they might have proclaimed a horror from the universe’s very heart.”) [Weird Tales]. It is not the cult, but that which it worships, that is the ultimate in horror.

The WEIRD TALES (1928) text of "THE CALL OF CTHULHU" ("CTHULHU") is an excellent text overall. BEWARE AFTER DARK (1929) is not based on the WEIRD TALES text, but apparently on an earlier typescript. Derleth's text is based closely on WEIRD TALES, fixing an obvious typo or two; and its unclear if its other very minor changes are corruptions, or if Derleth is following a HPL-corrected copy (I have not so far been able to conclude this, nor entirely rule it out, from the nature of the changes). Joshi uses the Derleth text as a base text, and makes various changes to it based on WEIRD TALES and BEWARE AFTER DARK, and some changes of his own. He now claims the text is based on the typescript, but since he originally claimed it was based on WEIRD TALES and that no typescript was available, my guess is that any resemblance to the typescript is purely coincidental.

[8] CTHULHU's sub-title hinting at the narrator's death [Joshi, Luckhurst], was not a subtitle in the oldest and most-authentic texts [Weird Tales, Beware After Dark, Derleth] but a note inconspicuously positioned (without titular capitalization of words), like a footnote, at the bottom of the first page or column. Note that pro-Joshi agitators have used the presence of a "subtitle" as a test of authenticity; but it never had a "subtitle" (as such) during HPL's life.

[9] CTHULHU Ch.1 at para.10 [B&N p.358]: "titan" [Joshi] should be "Titan" ("dream of great Cyclopean cities of Titan blocks") [Weird Tales, Derleth, Beware After Dark, Luckhurst]. Consistency of capitalization is one of Joshi's policies, but he does not seem to appreciate how it can subtly alter emphasis and meaning. Without capitalization, "titan" merely means "very big"; but "Titan" more explicitly recalls the Titans of myth - an appropriate analogy here, as the city was indeed created by primordial gods of Chaos.

[10] CTHULHU Ch.1, last para. [B&N p.362]: “stopped he” [Joshi] should be “stopped the” (“only a miracle can have stopped the medical fraternity") [Weird Tales, Beware After Dark, Derleth].

[11] CTHULHU at 2d para. after 2d "Ph'nglui..." chant in mid-Ch.2 [B&N p.365]: “incongruous with” should be “incongruous in” (“incongruous in its diminutiveness”) [Weird Tales, Beware After Dark, Derleth].

[12] CTHULHU, at 2d para. after 2d "Ph'nglui..." chant in mid-Ch.2 [B&N p.365]: “Bacchanal” [Joshi] should be “bacchanale” (“from left to right in endless bacchanale”) [Weird Tales, Derleth] or perhaps "Bacchanale" [Beware After Dark]. The word "bacchanale" refers to a type of wild musical dance, & is also used by HPL in "The Hound" ("a bacchanale of bats"); whereas HPL typically uses "bacchanal" to refer to a participant or celebrant (ie. "satyrs and bacchanals" in "THE MUSIC OF ERICH ZANN"). Joshi apparently decided it was a misspelling and fixed it.

[13] CTHULHU at 8th para. following 2d "Ph'nglui..." chant in mid Ch.2 [B&N p.367]: “Black Winged Ones” [Joshi, Beware after Dark] should be “Black-winged Ones” [Weird Tales, Derleth]; alternatively, if you think Beware After Dark is the better text (I don't) then one should follow it by omitting the word "green" [omitted in Beware After Dark] from a later phrase, at 4th para. from end of tale, "green, bat-winged mocking imps of Tartarus" ["green" is included in Weird Tales, Derleth, Joshi, Luckhurst]. Regardless of whether Weird Tales of Beware After Dark is the better source, this may be a coordinated change, so by mixing and combining readings from both texts, Joshi creates for the first time the suggestion that these two references may describe different creatures, one mostly black, the other mostly green.

[14] CTHULHU Ch.2 at 3d para.before "That is not dead..." couplet [B&N p.367]: “but Their mode” [Joshi] should be “for Their mode” (“They knew all that was occurring in the universe, for Their mode of speech was transmitted thought”) [Weird Tales, Derleth, Beware After Dark, Luckhurst]. "But" makes no sense here.

[15] CTHULHU Ch.2 at 1st para.before "That is not dead..." couplet: [B&N p.368]: “dim aeras” [Joshi] should be “dim eras” (“idols brought in dim eras from dark stars”) [Weird Tales, Beware After Dark, Derleth]. Joshi apparently changed it to "aera" after observing that HPL occasionally used the "late-Latin" form "aera" when goofing around in private letters. However, "era" was his consistent choice for fiction, as well as being supported by the early published sources. (And, while I don’t think it matters, I doubt the surviving typescript says any different).

[16] CTHULHU Ch.3, in the NZ article (past its midpoint) [B&N p.372]: “shewed” [Joshi] should be “showed” (“The Emma’s men showed fight”) [Weird Tales, Beware After Dark, Derleth, Luckhurst]. This is supposed to be a transcript of a modern newspaper article! This is merely a particular eggregious example. The archaism "shew" does not appear at all in Weird Tales, Beware After Dark, or Derleth texts of CTHULHU, all 4 appearances of the verb in this tale should use the modern spelling. Nor is there any reason the archaic spelling should be used The narrator is neither a poet nor an antiquarian, and has no affinity for the poet Wilcox (the one character in this tale whom one might expect to use archaisms).

"THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE" ("COLOUR") was published in 1927 in AMAZING STORIES, and HPL later told Barlow that he had thrown out the manuscript after obtaining a printed copy. In the early 30s, F.Lee Baldwin planned to publish it as a pamphlet, and for this purpose prepared a typescript, probably from the magazine text. HPL made revisions to this typescript, signed off on it, and sent it to Baldwin. Derleth's text is clearly derived from AMAZING STORIES (it has word-divisions originating in line-breaks in the pulp text), yet it just as clearly incorporates revisions that must have come from HPL. Hence it may be based on the Baldwin typescript, or on a hand-corrected copy of the magazine. Joshi claims to have use the Baldwin typescript, but also shows some contempt for it as a source (which may mean that Derleth's public-domain text has already followed it closely) . I have yet to check this typescript, but in the meantime, I am going to count Joshi in error whenever Derleth and AMAZING STORIES agree against him. The contempt he has expressed for the Baldwin typescript is such that I see no reason to assume it supports Joshi's variant readings; but I am open to new information.

[17] COLOUR, throughout [B&N pp.598, 601 (x2), 610, 613, 614]: The archaic form "shew" appears nowhere in Derleth and AMAZING STORIES, which always use "show", "showing", etc. (and I am sure the Baldwin typescript is no different). Joshi however, changes it to "shew" etc., throughout (per his policy), which must be considered a corruption: the narrator is modern, and archaisms have no particular appropriateness here.

[18] COLOUR at para.7 [p.596]: Joshi has combined paragraph 7 & 8 into one long paragraph. There should be a paragraph break after "...not knowing why." [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst]. Note that the paragraphs are divided by subject matter. Para.7 concerns his search for Ammi; para.8 concerns his initial attempts to converse with Ammi; and para.9 begins Ammi’s tale. There is no evidence here that ASTOUNDING is chopping up paragraphs merely because they are long.

[19] COLOUR at para.14 [Joshi's para.13; B&N p.598]: "space where" [Joshi] should be "space, except where" ("around the dwindling brown lump near the well was a vacant space, except where the earth had caved in") [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst]. This is a new error originating in corrected B&N edition.

[18] COLOUR at para.16 [Joshi's para.15, B&N p.599]: "predecessor had been" [Joshi] should be "predecessor" ("which proved, however, as baffling in the laboratory as its predecessor.") [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst]. Perhaps Joshi felt the added words were gramatically necessary (but they're not).

[19] COLOUR at para.19 [Joshi’s 18, B&N p.600]: “heaven” [Joshi] should be capitalized (Nahum “thanked Heaven that most of the other crops were in the upland lot”) [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst]. The consistent non-capitalization of “heaven” is one of Joshi’s policies of standardized usage; which unfortunately negates the function of capitalization as a tool to express emphasis and/or some special meaning. In this case, HPL used capitalization to suggest personification, or, more specifically, that “Heaven” is in this instance a polite substitution for “God” (often used by those too well-bred to take His name in vain). Note that Nahum is religious (see para.35 [Joshi’s para.34, B&N p.605] “he had always walked uprightly in the Lord’s ways so far as he knew”). Joshi also wrongly removes the capitalization from “thank Heaven” [so in Amazing Stories, Luckhurst, Derleth] in para.57[Joshi’s para.56, B&N 613].

[20] COLOUR at para.21[Joshi’s para.20, B&N p.600]: “shying away of the horses” should be “shying of horses” (“But the shying of horses near Nahum’s house had now become an acknowledged thing”) [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst]. The definite article (“the”) is not appropriate since no particular horses are being referred to – horses generally are shying near Nahum’s, hence the general acknowledgement. Compare the similar observation near the end at para 63[62]: “Horses – the few that are left in this motor age – grow skittish in the silent valley…”. The word “the” appears in all Joshi texts, but “away” apparently got added some time in the 90s.

[21] COLOUR at para. 25 [Joshi’s para.24, B&N p.602]: “The Dutchman’s breeches became” [Joshi] should be have scare quotes around “Dutchman’s breeches” (“The “Dutchman’s breeches” became a thing of sinister menace”). [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst]. Without the scare quotes, the text becomes a source of unintentional humor.

[22] COLOUR at para 27 [Joshi’s para.26, B&N p.602]: “the trouble” [Joshi] should be “this trouble” (“the milk began to be bad. Then Nahum had the cows driven to the uplands, after which this trouble ceased”) [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst] Although this specific trouble just mentioned ceases, the general trouble just keeps getting worse and worse.

[23] COLOUR at para.29 [Joshi’s para.28, B&N p.603]: “hue” [Joshi] should be “hues” (“Even the flowers whose hues had been so strange were greying now”) [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst]. As paragraph 25[24] made clear, multiple “colours” and “prismatic variants” were involved, though there may have been a single “primary tone” underlying them.

[24] COLOUR at para.42[Joshi’s para.41, B&N p.608]: “gettin’ to hev” [Joshi] should be “gittin’ to hev” (“her face is gittin’ to hev that colour sometimes toward night”) [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst].

[25] COLOUR at para. 60 [Joshi’s para.59, B&N p.614]: “nighted” [Joshi] should be “blighted” (“He did not wish to cross the blighted, wind-whipped woods alone”) [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst]

[26] COLOUR at para.61[Joshi’s para.60, B&N p.614]: “over half a century” should be “forty-four years” (“It is forty-four years since the horror happened”) [Amazing Stories, Derleth, Luckhurst]. The story was published in 1927, and the horror occurred in the summer of 1883. I don’t know where Joshi got his alternate reading from, but, hypothetically, even if HPL did agree to update the language, so that a publication in the mid 30s could seem current, that purpose was completely foiled when that mid-30s publication failed to appear. To present this as the “definitive text” of a story that everyone knows only appeared once during the author’s lifetime, in 1927, only makes it seem as though the author cannot do basic math.

THE DUNWICH HORROR (“DUNWICH”) appeared in WEIRD TALES in 1929, the only appearance during the author’s life. Derleth’s text appears not to be based on WEIRD TALES but on a presumably-earlier typescript. Since we know that surviving typescripts do not necessarily contain the author’s final revisions (as in the case of MOUNTAINS below), and since HPL never complained of any butchery in the pulp text, we should give WEIRD TALES primary respect, absent some special reason to believe it is in error. Also, when WEIRD TALES and Derleth agree, we can take this as independent confirmation that WEIRD TALES accurately reflects what HPL sent them. Joshi claims his text follows HPL’s typescript, presumably the same one used by Derleth. On Derleth’s authority, it does appear that the surviving typescript does indeed use the spelling “shew” in most case; so I won’t count this as an error against him, though (on the authority of Weird Tales) neither do I think it can be counted as an error against Luckhurst.

[27] DUNWICH Ch.2 at para.5 [B&N p.638]: “inflict” [Joshi] should be “afflict” (“Odd wounds […] seemed to afflict the visible cattle”) [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst].

[28] DUNWICH Ch2 at para.7 [B&N p.638]: “dark trunks” [Joshi, Derleth, Luckhurst] should be “dark blue trunks” (“a pair of dark blue trunks or trousers”) [Weird Tales]. That this is not in the surviving typescript should not dissuade us; the typescript that should matter is the one that was sent to Weird Tales, and that obviously contained this word.

[29] DUNWICH Ch5 at para.1 [B&N p.644]: “of Arkham” [Joshi] should be “at Arkham” (“the Library of Miskatonic University at Arkham”) [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst]

[30] DUNWICH Ch9 at para4 [B&N p.659]: “one” [Joshi, Derleth, Luckhurst] should be “ones” (“rehearsed the formulae he had memorized, and clutched the paper containing the alternative ones he had not memorized”) [Weird Tales]. “Formulae” is plural, hence context seems to confirm Weird Tales that the alternatives should also be plural.

THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS (“WHISPERER”) was published in WEIRD TALES in 1931, the only publication to appear in HPL’s life. Derleth appears to have based his text on a pre-existing typescript, perhaps not necessarily the same one he submitted to Weird Tales. Hence, the Weird Tales text is probably the best guide to HPL’s final wishes, though Derleth is probably a fair guide to HPL’s early-draft spellings, and possibly those he submitted as well. In any event, when Weird Tales and Derleth agree, we can take this as a strong confirmation that this reflects the readings of the text as HPL authorized it for publication. This is one text where Joshi is sometimes more correct than Derleth or Luckhurst, but only because he has made changes to deference to the pulp text. In other words it is NOT (as he is now claiming) because typescripts are more reliable than pulps.

[31] WHISPERER, throughout: The verb “shew”, “shewing”, “shewed” etc. [Joshi] occurs several times in this tale, in text and letters, but all other sources say “show” etc. [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst]. Since it was Derleth’s policy to preserve spellings from his source texts (as he did with “shew” in the Dunwich Horror and elsewhere), and since both Akeley and the narrator are modern characters, it is fair to conclude that “shew” (etc.) is a corruption here.

[32] WHISPERER Ch.2, Akeley Letter at 5th para. [B&N p.675]: “had nearly” [Joshi, Derleth, Luckhurst] should be “has nearly” (“I have run it on the machine for some of the old people up here, and one of the voices has nearly scared them paralyzed”) [Weird Tales]. The plu-perfect is clearly inappropriate here, since the old folks can hardly have become paralyzed by the voice on the record before Akeley played it .

[33] WHISPERER Ch.4, Akeley’s 3d (Wednesday) letter, at para.3 [p.692]: “knots” [Derleth, Joshi, Luckhurst] should be “knot” (“pyramided fleshing rings or knot of thick, ropy stuff”) [Weird Tales]. In other words, their head resembles many rings of rope, but amounting to a single knot.

[34] WHISPERER Ch.7 at para.1 [B&N p.706]: “some faint” [Derleth, Joshi, Luckhurst] should be “some very faint” (“There likewise appeared to be some some very faint, half-imaginary rhythm or vibration in the air”) [Weird Tales].

[35] WHISPERER Ch.7 at para.4&5 [B&N p.707]: “record” [Joshi] should be “records” in both paragraphs (“kodak prints and records?” and “take out the letters and pictures and records”) [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst]. Joshi has evidently changed the text based on his understanding that there is in fact only one phonograph record. However, the Whisperer is not Akeley; he knows of only one record for certain, but wants all records however many there may be. His use of the plural is a slip-up and subtle clue.

[36] WHISPERER Ch.7 at para.22 [B&N p.711]: “presented” [Joshi] should be “represented” (“there are four different sorts of beings represented in those cylinders up there”) [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst].

[37] WHISPERER Ch.7 at para.27 [B&N p.712]: “sound-box began” [Joshi, Derleth, Luckhurst] should be “sound-box suddenly began” (“the machine with the tubes and sound-box suddenly began to speak”) [Weird Tales]

[38] WHISPERER Ch.7 at 3d-to-last para. [B&N p.714]: “that cosmic” [Joshi] should be “that strange cosmic” (“must indeed be true that strange cosmic linkages do exist”) [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst]. Note that nobody doubts the non-strange variety of cosmic linkage, like light from distant galaxies reaching our eyes.

AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS (“MOUNTAINS”): There are roughly 5 drafts of this text: (1) HPL’s handwritten manuscript superceded by; (2) an early typescript prepared by Barlow, superceded by; (3) the draft HPL submitted to ASTOUNDING STORIES, which does not survive, but which even Joshi admits must have contained revisions by HPL; (4) the ASTOUNDING STORIES text, in 3 installments, which alters and somewhat abridges the non-extant submitted draft, excising approximately 3,800 (or more?) words, mostly from the 3d installment; and (5) HPL’s laboriously hand-corrected copy of ASTOUNDING, which restores 3,800 words to the text, rejoins hundreds of paragraphs, and makes other corrections and changes. Derleth’s text follows the hand-corrected copy. Joshi criticises Derleth for doing so, and instead creates a text of his own by combining various readings from all surviving drafts (note again that the draft HPL submitted does not survive). I unfortunately don’t have any original source texts, other than the Derleth texts. However, since faithfulness to HPL’s final draft is precisely what Joshi criticises Derleth for, we can take Derleth’s readings as definitive, absent better information. The examples below are merely illustrative.

[39] MOUNTAINS Ch.1 after Poe-poem at 7th para. [Joshi’s 6th para, B&N p.729]: “lingulae” [Joshi] should be “linguellae” (“such mollusks as linguellae”)[Derleth, Lukchurst]. Joshi admits that in says “linguellae” even in HPL’s manuscript, but Joshi changed it based upon a mistaken belief that “linguellae is a mis-spelling of “lingulae”. Actually, they are entirely different types of fossil animal. The “lingula” (plural, lingulae) is/was a type of brachiopod, whereas the linguella (plural, linguellae) was a sea slug and type of mollusk. (Luckhust, in his notes, swallows and repeats Joshi’s misinformation, but at least he had the sense to leave the “misspelling” alone and print what HPL wrote). The “lingula” is not (strictly speaking) even a Cambrian-era fossil (as is required for this context), though it does have an older Cambrian-era relative which is more properly called a “lingulella” (which is still a brachiopod and an entirely different creature from the mollusk “linguella”, also Cambrian-era).

[40] MOUNTAINS Ch.1, last para. [B&N p.730]: “Nature” [Joshi] should be “nature” (“certain contradictions in nature and geological period which whetted his curiosity”) [Derleth, Luckhurst]. In other words, the evidence presents contradictory evidence as to varied natures, and varied geological periods. Capitalizing “Nature”, as though she were a unique or personified entity, is not appropriate here. HPL does occasionally capitalize “Nature” (usually to suggest personification) and one of Joshi’s policies is to insist he do so more often, based upon some silly idea that he ought to be consistent. Note that Joshi is probably not following any source here – he apparently did a text search for “nature” in his files, and replaced them with “Nature” except when blatantly wrong even to him.

[41] MOUNTAINS Ch.2, at para.20 [Joshi’s para.18, B&N p.735]: “mososaur” [Joshi] should be “mosasaur” (“great mosasaur skull fragments”) [Derleth, Luckhurst]. Named after the Mosa river, where this fossil was first found.

[42] MOUNTAINS Ch.4, at para.1 [B&N p.750]: “frightful mountain wall” [Joshi] or “awful mountain wall” [Luckhurst] should be “mountains of madness” (“—and to that other thing beyond the mountains of madness.”) [Derleth]. Joshi, in his essay, “Textual Problems in Lovecraft”, gives the full history of this passage. The manuscript (earliest draft) says “mountains of madness”; the (surviving) typescript says “frightful mountain wall”; apparently that did not satisfy HPL either, because ASTOUNDING STORIES has “awful mountain wall”, probably reflecting the (non-extant) draft HPL submitted, though Joshi prefers the theory is that the ASTOUNDING editor changed it (why would he?). But it barely matters, because in HPL hand-corrected copy of ASTOUNDING, HPL crosses out “awful mountain wall” and replaces it with “mountains of madness”, returning to his original reading. Thus, if the final wishes of the author are the criteria, “mountains of madness” is correct. But Joshi disregards these final instructions based on some theory that Joshi knows better than HPL what HPL really wanted. I will leave it to jdworth to defend this idea, and the specifics of the theory, if he thinks he can do so with a straight face.

[43] MOUNTAINS Ch.7 at para.15 [B&N p.775]: “molecular disturbance” [Joshi] should be “molecular and atomic disturbance” (“The Old Ones had used curious weapons of molecular and atomic disturbance against the rebel entities”) [Derleth, Luckhurst].

[44] MOUNTAINS Ch.9, 5th para from end [B&N p.789]: “a vaulted” [Joshi, Luckhurst] should be “a long, vaulted” (“About 9:30 p.m., while traversing a long, vaulted corridor”) [Derleth].

THE DREAMS IN THE WITCH-HOUSE (“DREAMS”) was first published in WEIRD TALES (1933); and HPL griped in his letters about some misprints, such as “magical love” for “magical lore”. Derleth’s text is clearly derived from WEIRD TALES (its spellings mostly reflect Weird Tales style sheet rather than HPL’s habits), but a number of deliberate changes and corrections suggest Derleth was work from HPL’s hand-corrected copy (‘jail’/’jailer’ becomes ‘gaol’/gaoler’, ‘love’becomes ‘lore’; ‘human element’ becomes ‘known element’, ‘hearty-sleeping form’ is fixed to ‘heavily-sleeping form’. Derleth was not in the habit of making these sorts of changes on his own, and must be working from HPL’s hand-corrected magazine copy. At least one of Derleth’s readings may be a transcription error (“country records” should presumably be “county records”); but it otherwise must be respected as a source of HPL’s final wishes (at least until the hand-corrected magazine copy shows up). Joshi, claiming to working from the handwritten manuscript, confirms the correctness of most of the listed changes. Joshi does however, have his own unique readings; which, even if derived from a typescript, must be considered errors if the author’s final wishes are allowed to control. In a lot of cases Joshi restores words and phrases from early drafts, which were probably exised by HPL (Joshi, to my knowledge, does not even claim these readings match the typescript). A few examples follow:

[45] DREAMS, in Title, at para.4, and at 9th para from end [B&N 857 860, 885], : “Witch House” [Joshi] should be “Witch-House” [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst]. I don’t usually quibble about things as trivial as Joshi’s hyphenation changes, but here he is altering the title as chosen by HPL. He gets this reading from the handwritten draft, but I am told that even a surviving unpublished typescript has the hyphens added in by hand (by HPL of course – who else would do it?).

[46] DREAMS at para.8 [B&N 861]: “was already on” [Joshi] should be “was on” (“it now appeared that the purpose of those surfaces concerned the side he was on.”) [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst]. The word “already” adds nothing to the intended meaning here; it is merely a bit of early-draft-redundancy that got edited out.

[47] DREAMS at para.18 [Joshi’s para.17, B&N 864]: “abhorrent” [Joshi] should be “absorbing” (“monstrous visions. Those visions, however, were of absorbing convincingness”) [Weird Tales, Luckhurst, Derleth]. HPL has just described the visions “as monstrous”, and does not need to repeat the idea following “however”. This is a later-draft improvement, suggesting that Gilman is being lured as well as repelled.

[48] DREAMS at para.26 [Joshi’s para.25, B&N p.867]: “the maddening confusion” should be “the confusion” (“that faint suggestion of sound which once in a while seemed to trickle through the confusion of identifiable sounds”) [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst]. The extra word “maddening” is a mere distraction here, since the focus should be on the new sound. The reader already knows Gilman has nervous issues.

[49] DREAMS at para.66 [Joshi’s para.64, B&N p.878]: “shrieking twilight abysses” should be “shrieking abysses” (“Again the infinitude of shrieking abysses flashed past him, but in another second”). The phrase “twilight abysses”, “roaring twilight abysses” and “shrieking twilight abysses” is repeated throughout the tale, and yet another instance here is not necessary.

[50] DREAMS at para.66 [Joshi’s 64, B&N p.878]: “grimacing crone […] pajama sleeve” [Joshi] should be “grinning crone […] pajama sleeves” (“Into this the grinning crone started, dragging Gilman after her by his pajama sleeves.”) [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst]. Keziah has no reason to be making faces here; a fixed expression better suits the context. Note also that dragging someone by a single pajama sleeve is not very secure.

[51] DREAMS at 14th para. from end [B&N p.884]: “the missing Ladislas Wolejko” [Joshi] should be “the missing child Ladislas Wolejko” [Weird Tales, Derleth, Luckhurst]. Unlike so many of the words and phrases that Joshi reinserts, the word “child” here is a helpful reminder to the reader; as “little Ladislas” has been mentioned only once, several paragraphs earlier, and the mother’s last name has been mentioned only once as well.

THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH (“INNSMOUTH”) was published as a pamphlet by Visionary Publishing in 1936. IIRC, someone up-thread tried to discredit this source by saying it was so bad it had to be printed with an errata sheet. What they failed to mention was that the errata sheet was prepared by HPL himself, so that, while this may make a lousy reading copy, it is an excellent source for the author’s final wishes. I do not have this source but I understand that Derleth follows Visionary, and Luckhurst apparently follows Derleth. Joshi says he reverts to an earlier typescript, but the differences are trivial, and I shall only list a few. A heavily-abridged version appeared posthumously in WEIRD TALES, and seems to derive from the same typescript used by Joshi.

[52] INNSMOUTH Ch.2 at para.1 [B&N p.815]: “half-illegible” [Joshi, Weird Tales] should be “half-legible” [Derleth, Luckhurst]. Eliminates a useless syllable.

[53] INNSMOUTH Ch.2 at para.17 [B&N p.819]: “telling” [Joshi] should be “tolling” (“I knew that those hoarse strokes were tolling the hour of eleven”) [Derleth, Luckhurst]

[54] INNSMOUTH Ch.3 at para.13 [B&N p.828]: “Otaheité” [Joshi] should be “Othaheite” [Derleth, Weird Tales, Luckhurst]. This looks like a Joshi change, based on his idea of the “correct” spelling. But then, why not go all the way and call it “Tahiti”? Otherwise, there is no “correct” Roman-lettered spelling for indigenous names of places that pre-existed European discovery. Hence he might as well accept the spelling actually used by HPL (and the pronunciation used by Zadoc).

THE SHADOW OUT OF TIME (“TIME”): The manuscript of this tale was given as a gift to Barlow after Barlow typed it. After that, HPL used Barlow’s typescript (non-extant) as his working copy. At some point a typescript was submitted to ASTOUNDING, but no typescript of any kind survives. After its appearance, HPL felt confident it had not been intentionally abridged; and trusted himself to make a few hand-corrections without the need to check against any typescript or manuscript, (the manuscript was still with Barlow, and a typescript (no longer extant) was then in Derleth’s hands, but both these drafts had, in any event, been superceded by the draft, also non-extant, that he sent to be published). Derleth used HPL’s hand-corrected copy as the basis of his own text. Joshi largely ignores the author’s final wishes, and reverts to the abandoned hand-written draft that HPL left with Barlow 18 months prior to publication. Only a few examples of this bizarre decision are listed below.

[55] TIME Ch.1 at para.8 [Joshi’s para.3, B&N p.949]: “shewing it […] to any quarters” [Joshi] should be “showing it […] in any quarters” (“showing it, with suitable comment, in any quarters where it will be likely to accomplish good”) [ASTOUNDING, Derleth, Luckhurst]. A “quarter” is a place, not a person; so there can be no good reason alter the final-draft reading. As to the verb “shew”, Derleth and ASTOUNDING has Peaslee use “show” throughout, and even (at least in this instance) in HPL handwritten manuscript. Peaslee is supposed to be an extremely modern and prosaic narrator – neither poet nor antiquarian; there is no artistic point to having him use archaisms.

[56] TIME Ch.1, 4th-to-last para.[B&N p.953] : “an hypodermic” [Joshi, ASTOUNDING] should be “a hypodermic” [Derleth]. This is trivial, but I mention it for 4 reasons: First because Joshi admits that HPL crossed out “an” on his corrected copy of ASTOUNDING and replaces it with “a” but does not explain why he fails to follow HPL’s directions; second because it shows that HPL desired to have Peaslee use a modern idiom, regardless of what HPL’s own habits may have been (which is also relevant to “shew”); third, because it shows HPL’s purpose was continued revision, not the reconstruction of some lost early draft; and fourth, to show the triviality of some of the changes that HPL considered more important than altering ASTOUNDINGS’ paragraphing (assuming he wanted such alterations at all).

[57] TIME Ch.5, following McKenzie Letter at 4th para [Joshi’s 2d para., B&N p.978]: “of sufficiently light draught” [Joshi] should be “sufficiently small” (“a tramp steamer sufficiently small to get up the river”) [Derleth, Luckhurst]. Both variants are missing from ASTOUNDING, which simply reads “a tramp steamer to get up the river”. According to Joshi, HPL inserted the words “sufficiently small” on his hand-corrected copy. Joshi refuses to follow this instruction, deriving his alternate reading from the early, abandoned, handwritten manuscript. Joshi’s alternate reading is in no way superior, it is merely more wordy. Smaller boats have an easier time on rivers, and not necessarily only because of lighter draughts – other dimensions can matter too.

[58] TIME Ch2 at para.10 [Joshi’s para.4, B&N p.966]: “around” [Joshi] should be “about” (“These objects moved intelligently about the great rooms”) [ASTOUNDING, Derleth]. The final draft better reflects the intended meaning – the objects are not circling the great rooms, merely moving within them

[59] TIME, Ch.6 at para.30 [Joshi’s para.14, B&N p.983]: “corridor thirty feet tall” [Joshi] should be “corridor thirty feet wide and thirty feet tall” (“a Cyclopean corridor thirty feet wide and thirty feet tall, paved with octagonal blocks”) (ASTOUNDING, Derleth].

[60] TIME, Ch.6 at 10th para from end [Joshi’s 5th para from end, B&N p.986]: “God’s name” [Joshi] should be “Heaven’s name” (“What in Heaven’s name could all this mean?”) [ASTOUNDING, Derleth, Luckhurst]. HPL usually liked to have his well-bred characters swear by “Heaven” rather than abusing God’s name directly (not to be religious, but merely to be classy), just as he often liked to mock his ill-bred characters by having them swear by “Gawd”. Joshi here merely reverts to an early-draft reading.

[61] TIME, Ch.6 at 9th para. from end [Joshi’s 4th para. from end, B&N p.986]: “before” [Joshi] should be “below” (“I knew what lay below me, and what had lain overhead”) [ASTOUNDING, Derleth]. Peaslee’s destination does indeed lie below him, and the succeeding paragraphs make clear.

[62] TIME, Ch.8 at para.15 [Joshi’s para.6, B&N p.993]: “screwed up” [Joshi] should be “collected” (“in the dark, I collected my courage”) [Astounding, Derleth, Luckhurst] HPL generally tries to avoid colloquialisms. Joshi merely replaces his final choice with an early draft reading.

[63] TIME Ch.8 at para.16 [Joshi para.7, B&N p. 993]: “almost collapsed” [Joshi] should be “collapsed” (“I looked for an instant, then collapsed”) [Astounding, Derleth]. Within the next 2 sentences it is made clear that the narrator does indeed collapse (“I sank wholly to the floor”) – there is nothing “almost” about it.

The above is only a partial list of variants, but I have tried to pick the more-interesting ones. One thing that happens a lot (though I have listed few examples) is where Joshi re-inserts unnecessary words and phrases that got edited out of earlier drafts, probably by HPL himself. These extra phrases are invariably of such a nature that they add nothing to the story worth having. I will leave it to jdworth to argue for the necessity of specific examples – I prefer not to waste more words on them.

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 7 June, 2014 03:55AM
jdworth: On the subject of "NON-PARAGRAPHS"

I must call your attention to an unpleasant habit you seem to have - that of calling down a thousand nameless authorities in support of a proposition, and then implying that anyone who disagrees is a hopeless ignoramus. You have recently done this in support of your claim that the indented single sentence is a horrific violation of all sane rules of literary composition. You have claimed this as a basic fact, known to every grade-schooler. You have suggested that anyone who disagrees is sub-literate. Such bullying puffery would be offensive even if you were RIGHT.

But in this case, you have not merely insulted me. You have also insulted Lewis Carroll, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Kenneth Graham, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sheridan Le Fanu, Jonathan Swift, W.W. Jacobs, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Dunsany, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert W. Chambers, Ambrose Bierce, Charles Dickens, Sir Thomas Mallory, Sir Walter Scott, Robert E. Howard, William Morris, E.R. Eddison, Henry S. Whitehead, Frank Belknap Long, George MacDonald, Raymond Chandler, F. Marion Crawford, Clark Ashton Smith, and countless others.

And yes, you have insulted H.P. Lovecraft as well. For he does this in "The Rats in the Walls"; in "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward"; in "Ex Oblivione"; in "The Evil Clergyman"; in "Ibid"; in "The Beast in the Cave"; in "Supernatural Horror in Literature"; in "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath"; and yes, even in the Joshi versions of these tales. He does this in his (self-edited) writings in the UNITED AMATEUR.

And no, I'm not even talking about such one-sentence "paragraphs" being used in dialogue, or in the immediate vicinity of dialogue or of poetry (though such exceptions already disprove your rule). Nor am I talking about such when they occur at the very beginning or end of chapters. All the artists or works referred to above use one-sentence non-quote paragraphs found sandwiched between 2 other normal paragraphs.

Paragraphing is really up to the author. Whenever he wishes to pause - for emphasis or other effect, or for whatever reason, he may do so. But you don't want it to be up to the author.

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 7 June, 2014 01:48PM
jdworth: This is a response to our earlier post, regarding 5 errors in RED HOOK and WHISPERER. I concede these errors, but they do not demonstrate what you and Joshi claim.

Your position, (and Joshi’s), was that Luckhurst’s text can be presumed to be corrupt (without the need to check) because of his use of pulp texts and Derleth’s texts, instead of reverting to typescripts. The evidence, however, is that random typescripts tend to be inferior sources, and Derleth’s texts tend to be inferior to pulp texts in PRECISELY those instances where Derleth relied on surviving pre-publication typescripts. As we have seen, particularly in MOUNTAINS, a surviving typescript is NOT necessarily the same text that HPL submitted for publication. The genuine errors you have found, from RED HOOK and WHISPERER, illustrate this. In both cases, Luckhurst got his erroneous readings from Derleth, who, in both RED HOOK and WHISPERER, did not use the pulp text or a corrected pulp-text but reverted to earlier typescripts. The typescripts themselves may well be the source of Derleth’s errors.

In any event, 4 of the 5 errors you have successfully shown in Luckhurst are all CORRECT in the pulp texts, and the 5th is incorrect in the pulp ONLY because it was superceded by HPL's hand-corrected copy of the pulp. So the moral of the story is NOT that Luckhurst should NOT have checked against the pulp texts (per your accusation) but rather that he should have checked more carefully, and made a more informed judgment as to whether Derleth or Pulp was the better text in each individual case.

jdworth wrote:
> from "The Whisperer in Darkness":

[1] WHISPERER Ch.1 at para.1 [Luckhurst p.121]

> which should read:
> “Notwithstanding the deep [extent to which I shared
> the information and speculations of Henry Akeley,
> the] things I saw and heard, and the admitted
> vividness of the impressions...”

Yes. The material [in brackets] should be restored. It is correct in WEIRD TALES. Luckhurst's incorrect reading follows Derleth, who here relies on a pre-publication typescript. I don't know if it is correct in the typescript used by Derleth. Perhaps not. Joshi claims he uses the typescript but rarely makes full disclosure of ALL his sources. Joshi may have gotten the correct reading from Weird Tales in this case.

[2] WHISPERER Ch.2, Akeley's letter at 3d para. [Luckhurst p.129]

> […]It should read:
> “If I knew as little of the matter as they, I would
> [not] feel justified in believing as they do.”

Yes. Again following Derleth. Once again, it is correct in WEIRD TALES.

[3] WHISPERER, Ch.2, Akeley's letter at 2d para. [Luckhurst p.129]

> “I have seen the reprints of letters from you, and
> those agreeing with you, in the Rutland Herald,
> and I guess I know about where your controversy
> stands at the present time.”:

Yes, “agreeing” should be “arguing”, not so much because it does not make sense (it actually does make reasonable sense) but rather because WEIRD TALES has “arguing”, and that is the better evidence of the author’s final wishes than a posthumously published text that derives (accurately or not) from on a pre-publication typescript.

[4] RED HOOK Ch.2 at para.2 [Luckhurst p.6]

> "columns of pilasters". […] Which might
> simply be a typo, except that, if so, it is odd
> that this is the same exact typographic error
> which appears in the AH text.

It’s a typo – typically caused by “f” and “r” being close together on the keyboard. Luckhurst used Derleth as his base text, and copied Derleth’s error. Derleth in this case (as in WHISPERER) has based his text on a pre-publication typescript. This error may come from the typescript .

It is correct in WEIRD TALES.

[5] MOUNTAINS Ch. 1, about 1/2-way between Poe poem and end of chapter [Luckhurst p.189]

> “which we then thought to form a separate and
> smaller continent divided from the larger one by a
> frozen junction of Ross and Weddell Seas, though
> Byrd has since disproved the report.” (p. 189)
>
> That last word, even in the older Arkhan House
> texts, should be "hypothesis".

Yes. Luckhurst seems to be following ASTOUNDING here (he also has "awful mountain wall" at the beginning of Ch.4 which I know is ASTOUNDING's reading).

Derleth follows the hand-corrected copy. Since I am inclined to trust Derleth (and since Luckhurst seems to be following ASTOUNDING whenever he varies from Derleth); the most likely explanation, at this time, is that HPL changed "report" to "hypothesis" on his hand-corrected copy of the magazine.

> This makes sense,
> whereas "report" simply does not, and is in fact
> nonsense, given that there is no report of their
> hypothesis.

No! No! No! The word "hypothesis" (Derleth's reading) is likely correct because it probably follows the hand-corrected copy that HPL left. Period! The word "report" DOES make reasonable sense here, and if that's what HPL left, in his final draft, that's what we should respect. If that were indeed the case, we ought to conclude that there is indeed a report of the hypothesis, because HPL's text says there is one. If (unlike me) you are not inclined to trust that Derleth's text follows HPL's reading, then you need to track down that hand-corrected copy and find out what it actually says. Or at least get your friend Joshi to tell you what it says.

> This may, of course, be an editorial
> change in the original Astounding printing which
> has slipped through (as elsewhere noted, I've not
> seen the original publications), but in any event,
> it certainly doesn't reflect HPL's own wording.

Wow! Just Wow! Even if the ASTOUNDING copy says "report"; and even if HPL's hand corrected copy leaves it as "report" (it "slipped through"), and even if no other source text (not even an earlier draft) has anything to say on the issue, Joshi is still right ??? So what you are saying, basically, is that you don't care what the source texts say. Joshi can just make up his own readings, and substitute them, based on some lame-brained theory of what HPL would have wanted, should have wanted, and therefore must have wanted.

Recall that this entire clause was not in the pre-publication manuscript or typescript at all. They have nothing to say on this issue.

If (as seems to me most likely) HPL did change "report" to "hypothesis" on his hand-corrected copy, this should not be read as an accusation that ASTOUNDING altered the text from "hypothesis" to "report". Why on earth would ASTOUNDING do such a thing? If HPL altered the wording, he was simply changing his mind, as he has the right to do. There is no need to read it as a claim that "hypothesis" was what he originally wrote. An author is never bound by what he wrote before.

I believe "hypothesis" is correct because I trust Derleth to follow his source text and not make random changes of a substantive nature. But you've almost got me convinced that "report" might be correct after all.

------------------x
In sum, the 5 errors you cite above are indeed Luckhurst errors. However, they don’t demonstrate the general superiority of typescripts over pulp texts, or of typescripts over hand-corrected copies of pulp-texts. What they seem to demonstrate is that pulp texts are (in general) superior to typescripts, and that HPL’s hand-corrected copies of pulp texts are even better than pulp texts. Luckhurst errs by reling on an inferior source, when there is a better source available. The same applies (where applicable) to Joshi and Derleth.

I'll get to your second list of errors another time - perhaps next weekend. Unlike your first list, most of them are bogus. They may be the "tip of the iceberg" as you claim, but it is interesting that the quality of your later examples are not improving after the first 5.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 7 Jun 14 | 02:18PM by Platypus.

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 17 June, 2014 12:11AM
jdworth, your second list of “errors” all concern THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, and, unlike your first list, most of them are bogus.

Of the 21 Luckhurst “errors” you list above four (#s 1 through 4 below) are both supported by Derleth and strongly supported by internal context. I conceded you these with no argument. In five more (#s 5 through 9 below) Joshi’s reading is supported by Derleth, but gets no support from context. If I grant you these as trivial Luckhurst errors, on Derleth’s authority, it becomes a double-edged sword for Joshi, for all 1,500 of Joshi’s own trivial variations from Derleth, become errors on the same authority. In your remaining examples (#10 through 21 below), Derleth stands against you. Derleth is presumably following HPL’s hand-corrected copy, and you have failed to make a convincing case that anything else stands in your favor.

The 4 supported by both Derleth and context, which I concede, are as the following:

[1] MOUNTAINS Ch.2 at (Derleth’s) 5th-to-last para. [Luckhurst p.203]: You say “has more” [Luckhurst] should be "had more" (“Probably it had more than five senses, so that its habits could not be predicted from any existing analogy”) [Joshi, Derleth]. Derleth supports Joshi; as does context.

[2] MOUNTAINS Ch.6 at (Derleth’s) 2nd-to-last para.[Luckhurst p. 239]: You say “storey” (twice in sentence) [Luckhurst] should be "story" (“no one set of carvings […] told more than a fraction of any connected story, nor did we even begin to come upon the various stages of that story in their proper order”) [Derleth, Joshi]. “Storey” is standard in Britain, but only when applied to the storey of a building (not a narrative). Luckhurst, it seems, has misapplied his own spelling policy.

[3] MOUNTAINS, Ch.10, (Derleth’s) last para. [Luckhurst p. 270]: You claim “were places” should be “were in places” (“through the carvings were in places rather sparse”) [Joshi, Luckhurst]. Derleth supports Joshi here; and there is clearly a word missing.

[4] MOUNTAINS Ch.12, at (Derleth’s) 2nd-to-last para. [Luckhurst p.284]: You claim that “bygone, reading” [Luckhurst] should be "bygone reading" [Derleth, Joshi]. Yeah, that comma obviously does not belong there.

-------------------------------------x
You identify five (5) more Luckhurst errors, where Joshi is supported by Derleth, but not clearly supported by context. If this is enough to declare Luckhurst in error, then Joshi is also full of errors (1500 of them, by his own boast). I'm happy with this, but perhaps you are not.

[5] MOUNTAINS Ch.2 at (Derleth’s) 5th-to-last para [Luckhurst p.203]: We have “gangliar centres” [Luckhurst] versus "ganglial centres” [Joshi] versus “ganglial centers” (“Though excessively primitive and archaic in some respects, the thing had a set of ganglial centers and connectives arguing the very extremes of specialized development.”) [Derleth]. Internal evidence is no help -- “gangliar” and “ganglial” are recognized forms; and both mean the exact same thing. I would use Derleth’s reading. However, the assumption that this reflects HPL’s copy is rather tentative -- it is conceivable that Derleth was only familiar with one form of the word (“ganglial”) and therefore corrected what he mistakenly thought was a typo. But if you are in the mood to quibble about trivial spelling differences, there is little doubt that the final draft has “centers”, not “centres” (and the narrator is American). So, if such trivia matters, Luckhurst and Joshi are both wrong.

[6] MOUNTAINS Ch 7 at (Derleth’s) para. [Luckhurst p.242]: You claim “pteridophyta” [Luckhurst] should be "pteridophytes" (“The beings multiplied by means of spores – like vegetable pteridophytes, as Lake has suspected”) [Joshi, Derleth]. This may be wrong, but not for the reasons you say. There is nothing “faux-scholarly” about Pterydophyta. It is the name of a genus, & arguably ought to be capitalized; whereas “pteridophytes” refers to members of the genus, and perhaps need not be capitalized. But even that is too pedantic for me. All I am willing to admit is that it should be whatever HPL says. Perhaps this was printed in ASTOUNDING as “pterydophyta” and HPL (given a choice between changing it to “Pterydophyta” or to “pteridophytes”), chose the latter option. But either one would have been correct. Still, the only GOOD reason it is wrong is because (trusting Derleth) it does not match HPL’s hand-corrected copy, which is HPL’s last draft.

[7] MOUNTAINS Ch.7 at (Derleth’s) para.11 [Luckhurst p.245]. You claim “Then, suddenly,” (2 commas) [Luckhurst] should be “Then suddenly” (no commas) (“Then suddenly the lands of the Pacific sank again”) [Derleth, Joshi]. Perhaps so (per Derleth); but is it really worth our time to squabble about commas? Do you imagine, for a minute, that Joshi is innocent of tinkering with punctuation? I have tried to avoid things this trivial in my own list, for fear of boring folks to death.

[8] MOUNTAINS Ch.9 at (Derleth’s) para.11 [Luckhurst p.259]. You claim “primal masonry.” (with a period) [Luckhurst] should be "primal masonry--” (with a long-dash) (“how the madness of a lone survivor might have conceived the inconceivable – a wild trip across the monstrous mountains and a descent into the unknown primal masonry--”). You use a lot of words to endow this minor variation in punctuation with enormous significance (“The full stop robs it of that sense of reluctance, repugnance, and ingrained skepticism”, etc. etc.) I simply cannot see the enormous significance you claim, and believe Joshi is correct only because Derleth supports him.

[9] MOUNTAINS Ch. 11 at (Derleth’s) para.9 [Luckhurst 273-4]. You claim that “paraphernalia! Poor Lake. Poor Gedney. And poor Old Ones!” [Luckhurst] should be “paraphernalia … poor Lake, poor Gedney … and poor Old Ones!” [Joshi, Derleth], except that you misquote Luckhurst as “paraphernalia? Poor Lake. Poor Gedney. And poor Old Ones!”, and then waste a lot of words explaining why this non-existent question mark matters. You say the text has been “utterly mangled” by these minor changes. I think it makes no practical difference, and that if an actor were to read the passage aloud, you would be hard-pressed to tell which version he was reading. BTW, I doubt Luckhurst is following the magazine here. He probably just observed that “poor Lake” is an exclamation, and that treating it the continuation of a longer sentence is perhaps not strictly correct. But I would follow Derleth, just to be textually conservative.

-----------------------------------X
In a third batch of “errors”, Derleth does not support you, and your arguments from context are weak to nonexistent. Joshi accuses Derleth of following HPL’s hand-corrected copy of ASTOUNDING, and boasts that he does otherwise. Hence, until further evidence arises, we can tentatively conclude that Derleth is following HPL’s final draft with reasonable accuracy and faithfulness. In the face of this, arguments from context and internal evidence would have to be pretty strong to overcome the respect that ought to attach to an author’s final draft. You have failed to meet that burden; leading to the conclusion that it makes more sense to regard these variants as Joshi corruptions.

[10] MOUNTAINS Ch.2 at (Derleth’s) 6th-to-last para [Luckhurst p.203]: You claim “prematurely developed” (“The muscular system was almost prematurely developed”) [Derleth, Luckhurst] should be “preternaturally developed” [Joshi]. However, Derleth supports Luckhurst here. Nor does context help Joshi. Neither “preternaturally” not “prematurely” make much sense here. “Preternaturally” (if it reflects a prior draft) may have been originally meant to suggest something analogous to supernatural strength, but it is difficult to see how Lake could discern such a quality by examining an organism that is dead or completely inert. Perhaps HPL realized this, and hence changed it. By contrast, “prematurely” may be meant to suggest a musculature that is too highly specialized and complex for so supposedly-primitive an organism. Note that Lake immediately makes analogous observations about the brain and nervous system (“Though excessively primitive and archaic in some respects, the thing had a set of ganglial centers and connectives arguing the very extremes of specialized development.”)

[11] MOUNTAINS Ch.2 at [Derleth’s] 5th-to-last para. [Luckhurst p.203]: You claim “Pteridophyta” (“It reproduced like the vegetable cryptograms, especially the Pterydophyta…”) [Derleth, Luckhurst]. Should be “pteridophytes” [Joshi], except that you have misquoted Luckhurst (he does NOT have “Pteridophytes”). Derleth supports Luckhurst. “Pteridophyta” is the name of the genus, normally capitalized; whereas “pteridophyte” (pl. pteridophytes) refers to a member (or members) of the genus, and is not normally capitalized. Context does not favor either reading. You write “HPL himself complained in his letters about this sort of useless, antiquated capitalization of such terms”, but I cannot help suspecting you got this factoid from the same place you got your rule against indented single sentences. It is INDEED proper to capitalize the name of a genus, so I am reluctant to believe that HPL mistakenly believed otherwise.

[12] MOUNTAINS Ch.5 at (Derleth’s)para.22 [Luckhurst p.230]: You claim “the town” (“When at last we plunged into the town itself …”) [Derleth, Luckhurst] should be “the labyrinthine town” [Joshi]. But why? Joshi apparently got the extra word from an earlier draft. If the author is to be allowed to control his text, it is the later draft that should guide us. Before you decide that that “labyrinthine” is needed, I suggest re-reading chapter 5, and count how many times the city is referred to as a “maze” as “twisted” as a “labyrinth” (etc.), before our heroes even reach this point. In Ch.5 para.1, when we first see this “town” it is described as an “almost endless labyrinth”; in para. 2 as “a tangle of orderly stone”; in para.3 as “this Cyclopean maze”; in para.6 as a “nameless stone labyrinth”; in para.7 as the “whole tangle”; in para.10 as a “tangle of stark titan towers”; in para.11 as a “labyrinth of rock and masonry”; in para.15, they supply themselves with paper to tear up “in any interior mazes”; in para.16 they are walking downhill towards “the stupendous stone labyrinth”; in para.19 they see a “monstrous tangle of dark stone towers”; in para.20 they note that of “orderly streets there appeared to be none”; and in para.21 can see that it is a “complex tangle of twisted lanes and alleys”. Which brings us to para.22, where they plunge into “the town itself” and immediately feel “the oppressive nearness and dwarfing height of omnipresent crumbling and pitted walls”, and get nervous where a “debris-littered alley turned a sharp corner”. Nor will this be the last of the maze references before the story is through. I am not saying that all this repetition fails to serve a mood-building purpose; merely that, even so, there must be a limit at some point; and I don’t need to decide where that limit is, because the author has already made that decision: his final draft does not contain this word. HPL was self-critical, in his letters of his own “adjectival excesses”, so we should not be surprised if redundant adjectives occasionally disappear in later drafts.

[13] MOUNTAINS Ch.6 at (Derleth’s) 2nd-to-last para. [Luckhurst p.239]: You claim “filling up gaps” [Derleth, Luckhurst] should be "filling in gaps" [Joshi]. Derleth supports Luckhurst here, so no dice.

[14] MOUNTAINS Ch.7 at (Derleth’s) 1st para.[Luckhurst p.240]: You claim “membranous” (“able to traverse the interstellar ether on their vast membranous wings”) [Derleth, Luckhurst] should be “membraneous” [Joshi]. Both spellings are accepted. You claim “membraneous” matches the manuscript, but do not claim you actually checked this (Joshi’s reading proves nothing; it is his standardization-policy to always spell “membraneous” the same, regardless of source texts). You also do not claim it matches the surviving typescript. You cannot know whether it matches what HPL submitted for publication; since that text no longer exists. His hand-corrected ASTOUNDING copy almost certainly says “membranous”, as well as “color”, “odor” “dispatch” and a host of other standard American spellings, which HPL seemed perfectly satisfied with. And why not? Dyer, his narrator, is a modern American

[15] MOUNTAINS Ch.7 at (Derleth’s) 5th para. [Luckhurst p. 242] You claim “prothallia” (“they did not encourage the large-scale development of new prothallia except when they had new regions to colonize”) [Derleth, Luckhurst] should be "prothalli" [Joshi]. Except Derleth stands against you, and you offer nothing to counter that. Nor does context help: “prothallia” is the plural form of “prothallium”, whereas “prothalli” is the plural of “prothallus”. Both words mean the exact same thing; and I believe “prothallium” is actually the more-common form. I suspect the reason Joshi changed this from “prothallia” to “prothalli” is because he is a stickler for consistency. Earlier in the story, the narrator paraphrased Lake as referring to the creatures having a “thallus or prothallus” (which rolls off the pen better than “thallus or prothallium”). But both words are correct; and there is no rule that an author must always use the same word (especially since he was paraphrasing another person on the first occasion).

[16] MOUNTAINS Ch.7 at (Derleth’s) 5th-to-last para.[Luckhurst p.246]: You claim that the bracketed material in the "During the Jurassic Age the Old Ones met fresh adversity in the form of a new invasion from outer space -- this time by half-fungous,half-crustacean creatures [from a planet identifiable as the remote and recently discovered Pluto] -- creatures undoubtedly the same[...]". You support this with reference to the wording in Luckhurst’s footnote (where he includes the bracketed text), and refers to it being “added” in HPL’s manuscript. But “added” in this context is merely Luckhurst’s loose way of saying that HPL’s manuscript contains additional words. Luckhurst claims to have done no original research with the manuscript. He is not trying to make any claim that HPL finished the manuscript and then went back and added these words later. All he knows is that Joshi got this passage from an earlier text, and that is all he means to say. The burden is on you to show it that HPL wanted these words, even though his final draft does not contain them. And it’s a hard burden, because HPL did indeed check the published text against the manuscript, and eliminated a paragraph break that occurs at precisely this point.
HPL could have excised these words for any number of reasons. Firstly, the implication that they come from Pluto conflicts with the implication that they come from interstellar space, and even beyond. They have only just arrived at the point in Star-Head history being discussed, have invaded and settled on Earth, and since they are not originally FROM Pluto any more than they are FROM Earth, there is no particular need for them to be identified strongly with Pluto at this early stage. As the next paragraph makes clear they are actually from even remoter gulfs of interstellar space than the Old One’s are, perhaps even originating beyond the space-time continuum. Even in WHISPERER it is explained to Wilmarth that Yuggoth is merely one of their outposts. HPL may have excised these words because they are a minor spoiler for WHISPERER, wherin the identification of Yuggoth with Pluto is kept back throughout the tale, and revealed for effect very late in the tale, just before the final denouement. Finally, the excision of these words costs us, as fans, nothing. What have we lost? We already have WHISPERER. We already know that these Fungus-Creatures have an outpost on Pluto. Mentioning the detail here adds nothing to this particular tale – it is a distraction. And Derleth’s text of MOUNTAINS already gave us more-than-enough information to permit us to realize that the same creatures are being discussed here. Joshi has done us no favors by restoring these words.

[17] MOUNTAINS Ch.9 at (Derleth’s) 1st para. [Luckhurst p.255]: You claim that “in our present trip” (“we realized we must begin the quest at once if we expected to include it in our present trip.”) [Derleth, Luckhurst] should be :“on our present flight.” [Joshi] (except you misquote Joshi as “in our present flight.”). Derleth stand against you, & so does context. The word “flight” is being used VERY loosely in Joshi’s reading (to say the least), to refer the ENTIRE round-trip including its NON-FLIGHT portion. The “quest” they mean to include “on our present flight” is a foot-journey through an underground labyrinth. The narrator is already on foot when he mentions their “present flight, ” which is about to become a tunnel-crawl. They are not even running away – at least not yet; so it isn’t even a flight in THAT sense. So “trip” is simply the better word choice, from the author’s final draft. And yet, amazingly, you claim that context supports “flight”. Were you that confident no-one would check the context?

[18] MOUNTAINS Ch.10 at (Derleth’s) para.14 [Luckhurst p.270]: You claim that “characteristic cartouches” [Derleth, Luckhurst] (“That others had recently noticed this belt of carving was hinted at by the presence of a used flashlight battery on the floor in front of one of the most characteristic cartouches”) should be "characteristic designs" [Joshi]. Except Derleth stands against you. Your only counter-argument is that “it is specifying a particular motif within the cartouches”, but the general context does not support this claim. Yes, the [cartouche or design] is part of a larger “belt of carving”, but nothing suggests that this “belt of carving” is itself merely a single “cartouche”. The flash-battery found on the floor in front of one of the [designs or cartouches], allowing the narrator & Danforth to conclude that others had already examined it recently; would hardly support your extremely narrow and specific an interpretation. In any event, Derleth’s reading, taken at face value as evidence of the author’s final wishes, proves that “cartouches” are the type of characteristic designs he had in mind; and Joshi’s reversion to a more-ambiguous early draft must be seen as a corruption.

[19] MOUNTAINS Ch.11, at (Derleth's) para.7 [Luckhurst p.273]. You claim “in a series of grouped dots” (wherein the black slime “clung to those bodies and sparkled less voluminously on a smooth part of the accursedly reschulptured wall in a series of grouped dots”) [Derleth, Luckhurst] should be in italics [Joshi]. Except Derleth supports Luckhurst against you. I don’t, of course, deny that the words are significant -- perhaps even for the reasons you state; but it hardly follows that the words must be italicized. The “iridescent black slime” is also significant, and perhaps even more-so, if the point is (as you say) to foreshadow the Shoggoth encounter. It is up to the author, then his final text must control, and it seems his final text has no italics.

[20] MOUNTAINS Ch.12, at (Derleth’s) 5th para. [Luckhurst p. 281] You claim that "abhorrent Leng, whereof primal legends hint evasively. [end paragraph]" should be "abhorrent Leng, whereof primal legends hint evasively. We were the first human beings ever to see them -- and I hope to God we may be the last. [end paragraph]". However, these extra words are not in Derleth. The fact that these words occur at the very end of a paragraph renders implausible any theory that HPL inadvertently overlooked Tremaine’s excision here (we know he checked these last chapters carefully, restoring both paragraphing AND those excisions he wanted restored). Your claim that it “reinforces” certain elements of the story which run “throughout the novel like a musical motif”, sounds to me like an admission of redundancy. Frankly I think the sentence is out of place, and does not follow naturally from the meditations on primal Leng. But it’s not up to me. It’s up to HPL … or should be, and the only way to leave the author in control is to trust his final draft.

[21] MOUNTAINS Ch.12 at final sentence. [Luckhurst p. 284] You claim that the final sentence (“At the time, his shrieks were confined to the repetition of a single, mad word of all too obvious source: ‘*Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!*’ ”) [Derleth, Luckhurst] should have a paragraph break after the colon [Joshi]. Your position, I guess, is that the italics, and the exclamation points, and the characterization of these words as a mad shriek, and their position at the very very end of a long story, are not quite emphasis enough. Problem is, HPL seems to disagree. Luckhurst (following ASTOUNDING) has 28 paragraphs in the final chapter; whereas Derleth (following HPL’s hand corrected copy) has only 14. This means that HPL eliminated 14 paragraph breaks in the last chapter alone, but left the (critical) final paragraph/sentence precisely as it was. What’s good enough for HPL is good enough for me. Sorry!

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 20 June, 2014 12:33AM
Here's six more Joshi corruptions, for good measure:

[66] CTHULHU Ch.3 at (Derleth's) 6th para. after news article [B&N p.374] "Christiana" [Joshi] should be "Christiania" [Weird Tales, Beware After Dark, Derleth, Luckhurst] ("kept alive the name of Oslo during all the centuries that the greater city masqueraded as 'Christiania'"). The real historic name of a real place.

[67] DUNWICH Ch.7 at para.3 [B&N p.655]: "De Vigenére's *Traité, des Chiffres*" [Joshi] should be "De Vigenere’s *Traité des Chiffres*" [Derleth, Weird Tales]. Trivial, I know. But if jdworth gets to scold Luckhurst for misplaced commas, ...

[68] MOUNTAINS Ch.2 at (Derleth's) para.10 [B&N p.733]: "was to establish" [Joshi] should be "planned to establish" [Derleth, Luckhurst] (Lake "would need a great deal for the new base which he planned to establish at the foot of the mountains"). The phrase "was to establish" would normally be understood as indicating that Lake did indeed later establish such a base, which is not the case. This might be an early-draft error - fixed in HPL's final draft.

[69] MOUNTAINS Ch.2 at (Derleths) 9th-to-last para. [B&N p.740]: "Lake was sending more messages, and told" [Joshi] should be "Lake, sending more messages, told" [Derleth, Luckhurst]. This is a efficiency edit, saying the exact same thing with fewer words. Joshi is apparently reverting to an inferior early-draft reading.

[70] MOUNTAINS Ch.3, final para [B&N p.750]: "that which may end the world we know" [Joshi] should be "that which we know may end the world" [Derleth, Luckhurst]. The final draft is stronger and more ominous. As the song goes "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine".

[71] MOUNTAINS Ch.5 at (Derleth's) para.19 [B&N p.762]: "something whose" [Joshi] should be "something of which the" [Derleth, Luckhurst](the downhill walk to the alien city "was something of which the smallest details will always remain engraved in my mind"). I'm not going to be a pedant and say that "something whose" is absolutely unacceptable; but on the other hand it is easy to see why it was fixed in HPL's final draft.

Really, however, it is all trivia. I have never accused Joshi of "butchering" HPL's texts. Joshi, and his allies, are the ones throwing around that accusation.

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 22 June, 2014 12:18PM
Platypus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> [67] DUNWICH Ch.7 at para.3 : "De Vigenére's
> *Traité, des Chiffres*" should be "De
> Vigenere’s *Traité des Chiffres*" . Trivial, I
> know. But if jdworth gets to scold Luckhurst for
> misplaced commas, ...

Hilarious. The original printing, which had some trouble with diacritical marks (turning "coöperate" into "co,,perate", for example), had this as "Trait, des". I did catch this one, however, for correction to "Traité des", as shown by the errata list at the H. P. Lovecraft Archive. The person at B&N tasked with entering the corrections into the text obviously retained the comma by mistake. Thanks for catching it -- it shouldn't have been necessary.

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Chipougne (IP Logged)
Date: 22 June, 2014 01:19PM
Interesting. The official spelling of the author's name is actually Blaise de Vigenère.
[en.wikipedia.org]

One does find it spelled DE VIGENERE, often because, due to well known technical limitations, printers failed to accuentuate properly capital letters.
As it is the case here, on the front page of De Vigenère's Traité, or Traicté as it was spelled then.
[gallica.bnf.fr]

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 22 June, 2014 02:29PM
Chipougne Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Interesting. The official spelling of the author's
> name is actually Blaise de Vigenère.

Joshi renders it correctly (by French standards, anyway), with the backwards-slanting mark. The only error I meant to complain of was the misplaced comma. Sorry if I was unclear.

> One does find it spelled DE VIGENERE, often
> because, due to well known technical limitations,
> printers failed to accuentuate properly capital
> letters.

Derleth renders it without the backwards-slanting mark. Probably it is not present in the typescript upon which Derleth relies. It is not present in WEIRD TALES either. Quite possibly, HPL never used it. I'm not sure the mark should be thought strictly necessary in an English text. There has always been a certain amount of flexibility in the adaptation of foreign alphabets; and this is a horror story, not an encyclopedia article; and the backwards mark (unlike the forward-slanting mark) is meaningless to most English readers.

I have no strong opinions either way. Again, the misplaced comma was the only error I meant to complain about.

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 22 June, 2014 03:34PM
Martinus Wrote:
------------------
> Hilarious. The original printing, which had some
> trouble with diacritical marks (turning
> "coöperate" into "co,,perate", for example), had
> this as "Trait, des". I did catch this one,
> however, for correction to "Traité des", as shown
> by the errata list at the H. P. Lovecraft Archive.
> The person at B&N tasked with entering the
> corrections into the text obviously retained the
> comma by mistake. Thanks for catching it -- it
> shouldn't have been necessary.

IIRC, there are a number of errors in that category: Things you thought and fixed in your "errata list" which were either misapplied or in some cases skipped entirely in the corrected B&N text. For instance, in "History of the Necronomicon", "Sanaá" in Yemen is still misspelled - the error has merely been rendered less obvious. IIRC, this also happened somewhere with your attempt to fix the spelling of "Baudelairean". IIRC, my error #19, on by June 16th post above, was also the result of the imperfect application of an error you caught (whoever undertook to fix the error you noted, failed to reinsert all of the missing words).

But it is really not about who gets blamed. On a personal level, Luckhurst may be reasonably innocent of many of the errors in his own text. It's about a claim of superiority being made about a product being sold. And it seems to me that stones are being thrown from a glass house.

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Chipougne (IP Logged)
Date: 22 June, 2014 05:17PM
Platypus Wrote:
> The only error I meant to complain of was the
> misplaced comma. Sorry if I was unclear.
Not at all, and it is perfectly justified to stick to the original typescript, not the actual spelling.


>I'm not sure the mark should
> be thought strictly necessary in an English text.
Probably not.

> There has always been a certain amount of
> flexibility in the adaptation of foreign
> alphabets
Yes, it all depends on who writes it, and to whom.

> and this is a horror story, not an
> encyclopedia article
Of course. But sometimes horror writers do chose to use original spellings for reasons of local colour.

> and the backwards mark
> (unlike the forward-slanting mark) is meaningless
> to most English readers.
Quite understandably. The same thing happens to us in French with most European alphabets like German, Polish, etc.
These marks can make a big difference, though. Consider this sentence, for instance: J'aurai des dés dès que possible (I'll have some dice as soon as possible).

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 22 June, 2014 05:17PM
On many issues (such as French-derived accent marks, mentioned above), Joshi has no consistent policy other than the need to make multiple corrections. Hence "Vigenere" becomes "Vigenère" to me more correct (which is fine).

But then "facade" was generally was published during HPL's life as the more-correct "façade". Naturally, HPL made no objection (how could he object?) I can only assume he left "façade" exactly as it was in his hand-corrected copies of ASTOUNDING and other texts (hence, Derleth, following HPL's hand-corrected copies, also has "façade"). The "cedilla" mark under the "c" reflects the French source, and is meant to signify that "c" is pronounced "s" even though not followed by an "i" or an "e". "Façade" is considered the correct spelling not only in French, but also English as well (see, e.g., the OED). But Joshi restores it to "facade" to better reflect HPL's typescripts and manuscripts. Which again is fine.

But you can bet that if early editors had left it as "facade" in early published texts, Joshi would be changing it to "façade" and calling "facade" an "error".

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 23 June, 2014 02:05AM
Chipougne Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Not at all, and it is perfectly justified to stick
> to the original typescript, not the actual
> spelling.

I agree in principle with the idea of textual conservativism, but I'm not sure this is the best example. If HPL did want "proper" French accent marks on French words and names, then the "original typescript" is the last place one would expect to find them. One would expect to find them hand-drawn onto the typescript that is actually sent to the publisher.

> These marks can make a big difference, though.
> Consider this sentence, for instance: J'aurai des
> dés dès que possible (I'll have some dice as
> soon as possible).

Your French is better than mine. I can actually read French to some small extent, and the "accent grave" (or backwards-slanting accent) has never meant anything to me (unlike the "accent aigu" or forward-slanting or acute accent, which does affect pronunciation). One source says that the "accent grave" is usually used to distinguish between words that would otherwise look identical.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 23 Jun 14 | 03:03AM by Platypus.

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 25 June, 2014 09:31AM
Off-topic: Is this H. P. Lovecraft's genuine signature on the front leaf, or a forgery?
[www.ebay.com]

Re: New edition of HPL from Oxford University Press
Posted by: wilum pugmire (IP Logged)
Date: 25 June, 2014 02:07PM
I have my doubts about the signature. In moft of his signatures that I have seen, the e and c are not conjoined, bur rather he writes "Love," then there is a wee break, followed by "craft." In all of his books in his personal library signed by HPL, he never signs just "Lovecraft," but always "H. P. Lovecraft."

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

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