building a Lovecraft library

Discussion in 'H P Lovecraft' started by Richard--W, Nov 21, 2010.

  1.  
    Richard--W

    Richard--W writer-director-editor

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    I still have the paperbacks I bought forty years ago. It is time I upgraded my Lovecraft library. I know there are many different, even competitive editions that collect the same stories, but I want the most accurate and complete editions, preferably hardcovers.

    Which editions should I buy?
    Any recommendations here?
    Include links to where they can be bought if you can.

    Many thanks.

    Richard
  2.  
    Ningauble

    Ningauble Lovecraftian

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    I had a post on this a long time ago; here it is:

    http://www.sffchronicles.co.uk/forum/33454-complete-collection.html#post847692

    Much of what I wrote there still stands. However, The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions will be superseded once Bloodletting Press publishes HPL's revisions and collaborations in two volumes. If you get that, you won't be needing The Horror in the Museum, Nameless Cults and Eyes of the God.

    Miscellaneous Writings is out of print, but shouldn't be too hard to find.

    The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Revisions has been cleaned up in later eds., so it's much better now. You still need that for the complete text of "The Shadow out of Time" and the corrected text of "Hypnos".

    In addition to these, you may want to get Lovecraft Annual #3 (additional poems) and #4 (a new short version of one of HPL's autobiographical notes).

    And The Fiction published by Branes & Noble has the only publication so far of the long version of "The Mysterious Ship", but beware -- that book has got about a bazillion typos.

    Depending on how much of a completist you are, you may also want A Catalogue of Lovecraftiana, a catalogue of the Grill/Binkin collection -- in one of the plates you can see the title page of a copy of The Poetical Works of Jonathan E. Hoag, on which HPL has scrawled a poem that has been published nowhere else.

    (I discovered as late as yesterday that the Collected Essays series apparently doesn't have "The Weird Work of William Hope Hodgson", but since that essay was inserted almost word by word into "Supernatural Horror in Literature", that may not be much of a loss.)

    Heck, while I'm at it -- get all three Penguin collections. They've got tons of interesting notes. But it depends on how much money you are willing to spend. I've spent a lot on getting my collection -- but it has been spread out over 15 years.

    Links:
    http://www.arkhamhouse.com
    http://www.hippocampuspress.com
    http://www.nightshadebooks.com
    For the Penguin books -- any online bookstore
  3.  
    dask

    dask dark and stormy knight

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    Bye bye nest egg.
  4.  
    Richard--W

    Richard--W writer-director-editor

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    Ningauble, thanks, that's just the response I was hoping for.

    How do you rate the Library of America volume?

    Richard
  5.  
    Ningauble

    Ningauble Lovecraftian

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    You're welcome. :)

    It's OK, but it's got the same typos as the two Annotated volumes published by Dell -- for example, "silent strutter" becomes "silent stutterer". It looks good, but if you want a complete collection you can skip it.
  6.  
    Ningauble

    Ningauble Lovecraftian

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    BTW, I should add that there are some small errors in the Arkham House volumes -- for example, in "The Quest of Iranon" the phrase "and thou wouldst" should be "an thou wouldst" (an=if). Hence my recommendation of all three Penguins as a complement.
  7.  
    Richard--W

    Richard--W writer-director-editor

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    Still, it warms the heart to see Lovecraft included in the distinguished Library of America series.

    Did Arkham House issue an Errata for each volume?

    I clicked "Buy It Now" on the Penguins yesterday.

    Richard
  8.  
    Richard--W

    Richard--W writer-director-editor

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    By the way, I hope Penguin hasn't published the Lovecraft stories in that small tiny itsy bitsy teeny weeny-sized font they used to be infamous for. They have since converted to a larger font, but a lot of the smaller-font sized Penguins are still in circulation. If I receive another small tiny itsy bitsy teeny weeny-sized font Penguin it's going back.


    Richard
  9.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Completely irrelevant to the conversation, Richard, but... now, thanks to you, I'm going to have "(It was an) Itsy-bitsy, Teeny-Weeny Yellow-Polka-Dot Bikini" playing over in my head for the next few days... a tune I had (mercifully) completely forgotten....:rolleyes:

    *Harrumph!* On topic... the font size isn't quite as small as many of their older books, no (and I sympathize, believe me!); but it isn't exactly an enormous size either. Still, it is more easily legible, and they are both attractive books and offer very good texts and excellent annotations, so you may want to hold onto them regardless....

    No, Arkham House didn't release an errata list for the set, so far as I am aware; but then, so far as I can recall (I am sure someone here will correct me if I am wrong:D) they have never done an errata list for any of their volumes... and some of them would have been the better for it (e.g., Hodgson's The House on the Borderland and Other Novels).

    Also, depending on how far you wish to take this, you might want to consider the Hippocampus volumes From the Pest Zone, which collects together all the stories HPL wrote while living in New York; and The Annotated Shadow Out of Time; and, if you can find a copy, Necronomicon Press' annotated edition of The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Each of these contains supplementary material of considerable interest. From the Pest Zone, for instance, has a fascinating lengthy introduction by David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi, as well as information on and photographs of the locales concerned in the stories, a copy of the newspaper clipping of the little court off Perry Street which first caught HPL's eye and directed him to this locale (the site of "He"), Frank Belknap Long, Jr.'s "Preface to 'The Shunned House'", and copious annotations; The Shadow Out of Time not only has the complete text of the story, but another lengthy introduction concerning its origin, convoluted publication history, and the history of the long-thought-lost manuscript from which the text is taken, as well as HPL's "Notes" to the story and an early draft and, again, copious annotations; The Shadow Over Innsmouth features the usual annotations and introduction, HPL's notes to the story, a discarded draft of sections of the tale, etc.
  10.  
    Richard--W

    Richard--W writer-director-editor

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    Mr. Worthington, Esteemed Scholar: what exactly prevents Arkham House from offering an errata to those who want it? is it some kind of miasma? What are the most recent corrected editions? Normally I would not be concerned with such things, but when booksellers make a point of listing each successive printing as a "corrected" or "revised" edition, it makes me think I better keep up. I'm on the verge of buying 5th, 6th, 8th editions listed as corrected, but I don't know how many editions there are of each. Ideally, one likes to feel assured when purchasing the original 1st edition that it's definitive. I had this problem with Elvis CD's ....

    After browsing the Hippocampus website, it's clear I'll be buying from them for a long time. A couple of titles each month. Maybe more than a couple each month until my Lovecraft library achieves respectability. Except for that $100 biography. If the price doesn't come down to earth I'll have to live without it. Then I'll start on their other authors. Hippocampus looks like my kind of specialty press, although I do wish some of the paperbacks had been issued in hardcovers (The Annotated Shadow Out of Time).

    I'll start hunting for Necronomicon Press' annotated edition of The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Is that the edition edited by Stephen Jones?

    Like I said, if amazon sends me another set of itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny sized-font Penguins, they're going back. I don't have telescopes for eyes.

    Many thanks for your kind reply.

    Richard
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  11.  
    Richard--W

    Richard--W writer-director-editor

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    Which edition of Charles Dexter Ward is the most textually correct?

    Richard
  12.  
    Ningauble

    Ningauble Lovecraftian

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    It doesn't matter. As long as it's listed as "corrected" or "revised" you'll get the same text -- i.e., all eds. of The Dunwich Horror and Others printed by Arkham House from 1984 onwards have the same text, and so on.

    Nope. You're thinking of the anthology Shadows over Innsmouth, published in 1994 by Fedogan & Bremer.

    EDIT: I take back what I said above. It DOES matter -- some of the covers are nicer than others. I prefer the Raymond Bayless covers myself.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  13.  
    Ningauble

    Ningauble Lovecraftian

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    That must be the recent University of Tampa Press edition. It has been gone over by an obsessive-compulsive Lovecraft proofreader (i.e., me). And it has at least one correction that isn't in any previous edition of the text.
  14.  
    Richard--W

    Richard--W writer-director-editor

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    Appreciate the feedback. I'll try to get the Bayless covers.

    Mr. Donnelly informs me that the hardcovers will be on hand at the end of the month. I'm ordering that.

    I suspected you might be he.

    I'm taking the liberty of sending you a PM shortly.


    Richard
  15.  
    Richard--W

    Richard--W writer-director-editor

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    When does Bloodletting Press expect to unleash HPL's revisions and collaborations in two volumes? is there a publication date? do they have a website?

    Richard
  16.  
    Ningauble

    Ningauble Lovecraftian

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    The only information I have is from S. T. Joshi's blog (S. T. Joshi - Blog) and from his EOD apazine. He thinks that the first volume will be out in 2011 and the second in 2012; there will be both hc's and pb's; and they may be released under an imprint called "Arcane Wisdom".

    Bloodletting Press is here Bloodletting Press but there appears to be nothing there yet.
  17.  
    j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    I couldn't really answer that, save to speculate. Arkham House isn't a scholarly press, but rather a specialty press aimed at a broad audience of afficionadoes of the fantastic tale (chiefly weird, save for a period where they seemed to be almost exclusively oriented toward science fiction). While I am sure they would have no resistance to having perfectly correct texts, neither are they naturally inclined to ascertaining such, save in the case of, say, the revised Lovecraft texts edited by S. T. Joshi, where it was a particular individual's drive to see these done. And if you think those have any problems, you should look at earlier editions, from The Outsider and Others on....:eek:

    As far as textual accuracy is concerned, you really can't get any better guardian of such things than Martin (Ningauble). His work is meticulous and exacting, and all Lovecraftians owe him a debt of gratitude for his efforts.

    On the Necronomicon Shadow... no, that one was edited by Schultz & Joshi. As Martin indicated, the Stephen Jones was an anthology (actually, two now, at least), which not only included Lovecraft's tale but a number of others inspired by or connected to it....
  18.  
    Richard--W

    Richard--W writer-director-editor

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    Hmmm.
    I see that Bloodletting is a limited edition Press who command high prices, starting at $250 a book. A two-volume set will probably be priced higher? I don't know many people who buy $250 books. That's too steep for most people and it's too steep for me. I want the books rather badly, I admit it, but if one doesn't have the wealth, one doesn't have the wealth.

    Perhaps I'm jumping the gun, but it doesn't seem reasonable to restrict such scholarship to a small circle when a lot more people would buy it if they could. I wonder what the print-run will be. I better stick with The Horror in the Museum, Nameless Cults and Eyes of the God and enjoy the benefits therein. If the Bloodletting Press editions turn out to be reasonably priced, I'll certainly buy them.


    Richard
  19.  
    Ningauble

    Ningauble Lovecraftian

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    There will apparently be a pb version as well.
  20.  
    Starbeast

    Starbeast Benevolent Galaxy Being

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    [​IMG]



    How about getting illustrated graphic novels?

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