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  1. AE35Unit

    AE35Unit ]==[]===O °

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    Thanks,will avoid! ;)
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #81
  2. Ningauble

    Ningauble Lovecraftian

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    The Complete Chronology isn't complete, I expect -- compare with HPLA - Lovecraft's Fiction - Chronological Order
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #82
  3. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    Ah, yes. Meant to mention that, but got caught up in something else here at home. Most likely, this is the same as that included in the earlier Arkham House volumes, and nearly always reprinted in the paperback selections of Lovecraft (when they include a "chronology" at all), and entirely cobbled up by August Derleth, with some quite surprising errors -- especially given that he had access to Lovecraft's own list(s) of such things, as well as an enormous amount of his correspondence for nearly 3 decades (while editing the Selected Letters volumes....)

    I do not wish to denigrate Derleth too much; he did marvelous things for HPL, and wrote some damn fine things himself (especially his earlier regional work); but in certain ways, I can only look at things he did and shake my head....
     
    Aug 16, 2009
    #83
  4. Connavar

    Connavar Well-Known Member

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    Im so annoyed.....

    In a Jack Vance message board there were talk about fav classic weird,fantastic writers. A guy keep saying i don't like Lovecraft because of who i am.
    I must hate him because of his personal feelings about race. Like i know anything but vague remark by other readers.

    Doesn't matter I said I simply didnt like the stories I tried or that I have big contemporary of his as favs, older writers that had similar views.

    Not like i gave up on HPL. Just other weird,fantasy,horror writers i haven't tried yet are more important now.
     
    Aug 18, 2009
    #84
  5. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    Can't blame you for being annoyed, Connavar. While I think HPL's views on the subject are indeed an important component to understanding the man and his work, I also think it's long past time to put him into historical context, and defuse the issue in general. As I've said elsewhere, nearly every writer before the latter part of the twentieth century is going to have elements (sometimes quite blatant) to their work that are, to our eyes, disturbingly racist, ethnophobic, or simply hateful. Even Wells, as liberal and forward-looking as he tended to be, had some strong elements of that nature to his earlier writing... both in fiction and essays.

    This does not mean their work is worthless, valueless, or not of interest, but neither does it mean their work will appeal to (or have value for) everyone; and for someone to think a person who dislikes them or their work can only be because of that element is foolish and short-sighted, just as it would be to believe that no one of a particular ethnic group could appreciate, let alone enjoy, their writing for the same reason.

    HPL may simply never strike the right chord with you, or you may be so put off by his mannerisms in his writing that you won't ever enjoy them. I hope that's not the case, but you would hardly be the only person to like many of his contemporaries who just never warms to Lovecraft himself....
     
    Aug 18, 2009
    #85
  6. Connavar

    Connavar Well-Known Member

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    Its really annoying because i separate the writer from the man/woman. Only when its someone whose reading is special to me first then do i read bio,personal info.

    Really i know something about his personal life,views only because of the connection to REH.

    The reason im still interested is i haven't read a story about his tales of the tentacled Elder God Cthulhu.

    Also are his early Poe inspired Macabre stories any good to fans,critics ?

    At the mountains of madness and other novels of terror,The call of Cthulhu and other weird stories is my choice in HPL library books in english.
    I feel its not right that i dismiss him as not to my taste without trying the stories that are seen as quality stories of his..

    At the mountains of madness or The Shadow Over Innsmouth are my choice of famous HPL stories i know by name.
     
    Aug 18, 2009
    #86
  7. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    Well, yes, though the reactions vary. Some, of course, simply prefer the "mythos" tales, while others actually have a preference for his earlier works. And nearly all of his stories offer more than the bulk of weird fiction, especially on revisiting. "The Tomb", for instance, is a seemingly very simple story of either madness or possession, but there's a lot more there than meets the casual eye, and repeated readings make that one grow considerably in the eyes of many; hence the critical reaction to it has also grown and become more complex. Don Burleson, S. T. Joshi, and William Fulwiler have all done interesting work on this one.

    However, there are a substantial number of readers who are simply left col by his early, Poe-esque tales (or his Dunsanian fantasies -- James Blish, iirc, simply could not stand The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, for example).

    As for the following:

    It might be best to let you know that, with the exception of "The Call of Cthulhu", there really isn't any story about him, and even there he really appears "off-stage", in a secondary narrative... though the effects of his existence are indeed the focus of the story. True, he is mentioned in quite a few other pieces by Lovecraft, but by no means as a central focus. That sort of thing had to await August Derleth and his followers, and the creation of what has come to be known as "the Cthulhu Mythos"... a controversial concept, to say the least....

    On At the Mountains of Madness and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth"... the former is a difficult tale to many, but I think it is one of his very best; "Innsmouth" belongs very close to the same rank, but it somewhat unusual for HPL, in that it is the only story of his which contains a prolonged chase scene....
     
    Aug 19, 2009
    #87
  8. Syphon of Oor-Tael

    Syphon of Oor-Tael is going fishing

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    I should like to add one story to this list:
    Computercode Cthulhu, by Tais Teng and Paul Harland. I am not sure if it's also available in English, but if you can find it, get it. It's very nice. Set in modern times, it deals with...ah, well, you'll have to find out yourself! :p
     
    Aug 19, 2009
    #88
  9. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed with "The Lurking Fear" and "The Horror at Red Hook". Neither really worked for me, the former in the subject matter and the latter in the way it was told. Still, stories like "Hypnos" and "The Shunned House" make up for those weaker tales.
     
    Aug 29, 2009
    #89
  10. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    Yes, both have their interesting points, but neither is a particularly good story. As with nearly all of Lovecraft's work, there's so much richness in what he's doing that even his failures can reward rereadings -- for reasons other than the story told; which is why I still revisit this pair now and again.

    On "Hypnos" and "The Shunned House"... I feel "Hypnos" is the weaker of the two, but still rather good, while "The Shunned House" has always been among my favorites of Lovecraft's tales and, the more I learn about the blending of genuine history and folklore and that which he invented for the tale, the more fascinating it becomes.

    Incidentally, F.E. -- have you ever read his short poem, "The House" (1919)? It, too, was based (in part) on the same house, which is still standing at 135 Benefit Street; though the actual inspiration for the tale, rather than the poem, was a house he saw in Elizabeth, New Jersey, which "reminded [him] of the Babbit House".

    In case you're interested, here's a link to the verse:

    The House by H. P. Lovecraft
     
    Aug 29, 2009
    #90
  11. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read that poem, J.D., thanks for the link.

    I loved "The Shunned House" and commented about it in this thread. The story was very well constructed and I really engaged with the imagery HPL invoked. I was amazed when I read in the notes that it was rejected by Weird Tales when first submitted.
     
    Aug 29, 2009
    #91
  12. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    I like your comment there. Yes, it is quite a different take on the vampire theme, and rather well done. Incidentally, a lot of the information included there (at least, as concerns the "Nooseneck Hill country" and vampirism) is based on historical fact. If you would be interested in the details on that, send me a PM, and I'll be happy to look up my sources and send them to you....
     
    Aug 30, 2009
    #92
  13. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    I've now read "The Silver Key" and "Through the gates of the Silver key" and not overly impressed with either, especially the later. I'm now onyl "Dreams of the Witch House" and that is so far much more promising...
     
    Oct 14, 2009
    #93
  14. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    Finished "Dreams in the Witch House" now and it was very good. An interesting attempt to bring witchcraft and hyperspace mathematics togther. Joshi said in the notes that plot holes and florid prose prevent it from being considered among his best of his later stories. I didn't think that the prose was particularly florid (not by his standards) and whilst I am not sure what he means by plot holes, I was left wondering precisely what the significance of the stars were that he was drawn towards and of that humanoid rat thing that kept biting him...
     
    Oct 14, 2009
    #94
  15. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    The stars (or, more likely, planets circling them) would be the sites of the "dream" experiences he had had (which, of course, were not really dreams, but rather his somnambulistic hyperspace travel); hence an established "contact" with those places which would unconsciously keep drawing his attention (with an attendant desire to physically return) to them.

    As for Brown Jenkin -- he (it?) is the traditional witch's familiar, given to every witch who has signed herself away in the "Black Book" of legend and folklore; it acts as an intermediary between the powers she serves and the witch herself (or himself), as well as a sort of servant (though with an independent will of its own when appropriate).

    The former of these is left perhaps a bit too nebulous, though. As for "plot holes" -- one of the most glaring is the likelihood of Keziah, considering her advanced knowledge and connection to such cosmic forces, not to mention her longevity and the awareness which would come with it, being frightened by a crucifix, and the fact that this fear is a little too facilely opportune to give Gilman a chance to (successfully) fight back.

    Now, on this one, I have argued with Joshi a long time ago, though I don't think we ever came to an agreement. My point would be that, no matter how advanced, in the heat of an emotional moment, a person is likely to react on a very primitive level -- be affected by associations learned in earliest childhood, at least momentarily; in this case, long enough for Gilman to grasp the chain and use it. The association here, of course, being based on her growing up in a Puritan theocracy, and the associations the crucifix would have for someone of that background -- the early-instilled "fear of God" combined with a hatred/fear of the Catholic religion with its history of torture for those of other faiths, combined with the similar reaction of various Puritan movements from her childhood. It's a slender palliative for a rather glaring weak spot, but it is within reason that someone might react like that at such a moment, if only for the briefest of instants. Still, it does come across as the hackneyed "cross-and-vampire" idea, hence weakening the story at a crucial point.

    (Of course, the Puritans themselves tended to disdain crucifixes worn as amulets, because of the associations with the "Popish" traditions of whom they were inexorable enemies, so the choice of this symbol, handled in this way, makes even the above rather more tenuous still.)

    As for "The Silver Key" -- that's a pity, as I think it is one of his most eloquent and mystical statements, and the time-travel element is handled with great skill and originality (rather marred, despite his best efforts, by having to follow at least the skeletal outline of Price's own attempt at a sequel, "Lord of Illusions", which became "Through the Gates of the Silver Key"). It is also a story which I think plays on a lot of levels... but it does have a bit too much of the philosophical and not enough of the "story" about it for many....
     
    Oct 14, 2009
    #95
  16. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    I'm baffled as to what exactly Price was so attracted to in "The Silver Key" that he was so hell bent on making sequels to it. Surely there are other of Lovecraft's stories that would have been better suited to a sequel (and such a collaboration)?

    As for the story itself, I liked the way it began and the way that it tied in with the other Randolf Carter stories but left, I have to admit, a little confused by the way it developed. Perhaps it would benefit from a re-read...

    Oh, and thanks for clarifying things on "Dreams in the Witch House" for me.
     
    Oct 15, 2009
    #96
  17. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    I've started "Shadow out of Time" now and I'm quite sad, it being the last story not only in this collection but, as far as I am aware, the last of his major stories that I am yet to read (since I've read the other two penguin collections). Oh well, quite a few of them could do with a re-read...
     
    Oct 15, 2009
    #97
  18. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    Finished it last night and it was a good way to end the collection. I liked the way that it tied into "The Mountains of Madness". I can't help thinking though that the story would somehow be far more effective if you (as the reader) shared the protagonists disbelief over what had happened to him and then the revelation at the end would be far more of a shock.
     
    Oct 19, 2009
    #98
  19. J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    That was one of his last stories, as I recall. Makes you wonder where HPL would have gone next. IMHO, Shadow... is more SF than horror and had Lovecraft made it into the 40's and 50's he'd have been writing during the golden age, with Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov etc as his contemporaries.

    Makes you wonder how things would be now, had Lovecraft lived until old age, meeting Phillip K. Dick, say, or Stephen King...
     
    Oct 19, 2009
    #99
  20. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I wondered that. He did seem to be getting better and better. We can only wonder what he would have gone on to do next...
     
    Oct 19, 2009
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