It would have been something of a lark as far as purchases went. I don't recall making any concerted effort to find it, for example. By the time I was a senior in high school, I'd discovered the magic of special orders, and I remember having Bookland order L. Frank Baum's Oz books for me one at a time. The ones they didn't already have, at least, which was most of them. STILL haven't read most of those, by the way; but that day will assuredly come.
I can remember seeking out a hardcover of The Lord of the Rings around the same time. But in the case of The Essential Lovecraft , I have no memory of anything like that.
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Therefore, I think that it is likely that I didn't buy it until I was in college and had my first actual job. I'd have felt rich, and that would have meant that I began taking chances on books that were new in the same way I'd taken chances on used books. I'd almost be willing to bet -- almost -- that that is what prompted me to shell out for a Lovecraft collection. So there's one mystery that has been quasi-eliminated. As for when I read it? Man, I've got nothing. But I can't pin down any sort of a rationale for why I think that, so I'm standing by as the official date. I'm in roughly the middle of my middle age currently, and the notion of being able to remember stuff like that is growing more important to me.
It's a big part of the reason why I blog at all as I know I've mentioned before. I suspect that at some point in the future, when my memory has degraded even further, I'll be able to come back to some of these posts and read through them and feel as if I was undergoing a process of legitimate rediscovery.
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As I suppose, in fact, I will be. The subject is not one that is inappropriate to a conversation of Lovecraft. I issued an easy out for people to skip this stuff, but in all honesty, if I didn't feel it was germane then I would exercise some self-editing and remove it. The motion of memory is an important one within Lovecraft's canon, though. A story like "The Shadow Out of Time," for example, is rife with it.
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And so forth; there'd be a fine essay for me to write on that subject, and if I ever start a Lovecraft-centric blog -- which I might well do some day -- then it's be a good fit there. But I'd want to call it Blog-Sothoth, and somebody beat me to that name, so my enthusiasm is dampened. Suffice it, then, to say that Lovecraft definitely uses the notion of memory and loss of same as a subtheme.
I'd like now to delve into a quartet of personal memories of mine. They've got nothing to do with Lovecraft, but they do have a lot to do with things that I'm afraid of; and the notion of memory is important to this conversation in a major way. Memory 1 :.
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By virtually any standard I would care to employ, that's a very fine collection of stories. But I feel obligated to go through them one at a time and answer the following question: do they belong in a best-of collection? Any Lovecraft great-hits that didn't include this would not be worth owning.
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Although "The Shadow Out of Time" fulfills that role, too. It feels to me as if maybe it's slightly out of place, although I do like the story. I'd put it in. I do like it, though, so why not let it stay in? Just you try it, mister! By the way, a quick sidebar about that. Lovecraft , I'd totally forgotten about this story. Before I got to it, I even point-blank told a friend that I'd never read it, but was looking forward to it.
I also seem to have almost entirely forgotten "In the Vault," "The Silver Key," and "The Picture in the House"; none of them rang any bells when I read them recently, despite the fact that I'd obviously read each of them three or four times due to their inclusion in The Best of H. I begin to wonder if I am not part of the Quantum Leap project Including them would have swelled this page collection to about twice its present size, so I get why none of those were included.
They would make for an excellent Vol. Overall, though, I'd have to say that The Best of H.
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Lovecraft does a good job of actually delivering on its title. If you're looking to dip your toes into the Lovecraftian waters, this is almost certainly the book to do it with. I think there are a few things that are missing, arguably: the short piece "Memory" probably belongs, as do "The White Ship" and especially "The Shadow Out of Time. Essentially, though, what you've got here is indeed the vast majority of Lovecraft's dream cycle minus "The Shadow Out of Time". Lovecraft , I found myself struggling to engage with the material at certain points, especially toward the beginning; i.
That changed once I got to "The Silver Key" and The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath , and once I had those works in mind, I found myself wondering if the understanding of Lovecraft's intent that they gave me might make me enjoy some of the earlier stories more. That question remains unanswered, but I plan to revisit Lovecraft's work on a continuing basis I think I'm going to designate October as Lovecraft-reading month here at The Truth Inside The Lie , and I plan to read this book and see whether I do indeed get more out of the individual components of the dream cycle now that I have the key to them by way of enjoying the major works within it.
Time will tell! But I discovered it while making a list that will appear later on, so let me add a brief look at it here. Chapman Miske, , published The editors of Dreams of Terror and Death list this as a story fragment alongside "Azathoth" and "The Descendant," but in fact it's a story revised by J. Chapman Miske. It appeared in the January issue of Bizarre , supposedly, although I've also seen references to it being in the January issue of Weird Tales. The genesis of the story comes from a letter Lovecraft sent to Donald Wandrei in He described a dream he'd had. You can read a side-by-side comparison of Lovecraft's letter excerpt with the Miske revision here ; most Lovecraft scholars have seemingly stricken "The Thing in the Moonlight" from their lists now, but I think that's the wrong move.
Miske did retain the majority of Lovecraft's writing, and I think you can consider it to be a posthumous collaboration. It's not particularly good, but should it count?
I think it should. The thesis behind this one is that it charts Lovecraft's progress from developing writer to master writer. I think that's an acceptable way to approach the compilation of a collection that, if Vol. Which is not to suggest that this book's contents are unworthy. There is a lot of good stuff here, and I'd say that roughly half of it is great. The book might indeed have been compiled with an "everything else" intent, but enough of it is essential that it won't exactly feel like a book-length afterthought.
The introduction by Barbara Hambly is good; she is apologetic for the racism and sexism of the man's work, but approaches it with a "so be it" attitude. She writes about how she returns to Lovecraft quite frequently, and I always enjoy hearing about another artist who does that; it makes my urge to revisit authors like especially King and Ian Fleming and Larry McMurtry and Lovecraft himself seem somehow more legitimate.
I'm unfamiliar with Hambly's work, with one exception: she has written a trio of Star Trek novels, and one of them, Ishmael , is one I owned and read as a kid. I remember nothing about it except that I enjoyed it; I've still got it, and would love to revisit it one of these days. Being as this marks the end of Del Rey's three-volume collection of Lovecraft's fiction, I feel obliged to point out that there are several stories in The Complete Fiction which did not make it into any of Del Rey's books.
Those are: "A Reminiscence of Dr. But there's no excuse for "History of the Necronomicon" being omitted, and all of them would have fit with the theme of Lovecraft as a developing writer. Ah, well. Well, here's the thing about that: that book isn't actually complete. What a rip-off! To some extent, it's understandable. Most of what was left out consists of stories that Lovecraft wrote in collaboration with another author; this dilutes the purity of the authorship, so leaving them out of a complete-fiction collection is understandable on those grounds Hoffman Price.
If those are included, I think you must be open to considering including others. My guess is that Knickerbocker A did not want to increase the book's length by several hundred more pages and B felt that "Under the Pyramids" and "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" were both too good and too Lovecraftian to omit.
If so, they were certainly correct about the latter, and can be forgiven for the former. Lovecraft wrote quite a few stories with other authors, by the way; and we will be covering many of them in the third post in this series. Before that, though, let's now, talk about the handful of stories stories in The Road to Madness which are not in Knickerbocker Classics' Complete collection:. When researching the various stories for my review of The Complete Fiction of H.
Author:Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Lovecraft , I was almost always able to easily find a bit of background information by consulting Wikipedia. There does not appear to be a Wikipedia entry for "Poetry and the Gods," however, and in digging deeper, I discovered that that may be because very little is known about the story which Lovecraft apparently never mentioned in any extant letters or its co-author, Crofts.
The story is about Marcia, a woman who reads some poetry, is visited by Hermes, and is taken to Mount Olympus for further communion with the Greek pantheon. At first glance, this does not seem much like a Lovecraft story; I would speculate that Crofts wrote the majority of it, with Lovecraft possibly revising it for her. It's worth remembering, however, that Lovecraft's early writings often found him imitating the styles of other authors Lord Dunsany, for example ; therefore, saying that a story from "does not seem much like a Lovecraft story" is not quite as meaningful a statement as it might appear to be.
There are a few themes that pop up which could be called Lovecraftian: the visit to Mount Olympus might well be a dream of the sort Randolph Carter would recognize; and Hermes explicitly tells Marcia that the Green pantheon of gods is not dead, but merely asleep and awaiting their time coming around again. Not, then, unlike Cthulhu; an interesting and compelling notion, that. Overall, I don't think it's much of a story; it's got its interesting moments, but I'm not sure I understand why it was included in this collection when there were a few other solo-Lovecraft pieces which could have taken its place.
I have not read this story yet. The reason for that is that, unlike "Poetry and the Gods," it is included in The Horror in the Museum. Therefore, I will be reading it as part of my exploration of that book. Lovecraft wrote quite a lot of poetry; enough to fill a page collection called The Ancient Track we'll get it to it sometime down the line a ways. Until now, I'd read none of it.
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