Which are better?

iansales

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#1
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#2
I've got both ... but I do remember reading in here that there were problems with the HarperCollins books; in that there are errors and typos.

I think the Penguin editions might be a better bet. However, you might wish to wait until JD or Ningauble come online. They'd know much better about the versions of the tales used in the books.
 
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#3
I think the Penguin ones are more authoritative and carry annotations by ST Joshi, the well-known HPL scholar, who sadly doesn't see it fit to simply release the entire Loveraft fiction canon in chronological order, but in selections as per his whim.
 
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#4
I don't think it's whim on his part. From my understanding, he's had to divide it up into several volumes in order to work with the publisher's concerns. Understandably, he would not want to put all HPL's very best together in one or two volumes, leaving the lesser tales for the remaining one; and he also attempted to give an idea of HPL's growth as a writer in each volume, from early to later tales....

And the answer is: the Penguin edition is the better of the two; much more attention was paid to getting the correct text (removing the various editorial incrustations and replacing the missing passages, etc.), while the annotations are frequently both helpful and insightful....
 

pyan

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#5
I wish I'd known this before buying the HarperCollins Voyager ones..
Perhaps someone with more knowledge than I of the accuracy and value of the collections could post a sticky in this sub-forum as to the best popular editions to buy, when they've time.
 
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#6
Best bet currently: go with the Penguin 3-volume set for his main corpus, and the Del Rey edition of The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions for his revision tales, as this last apparently follows the recent Arkham House editions done by Joshi. (I've not seen it myself, but Ningauble -- iirc -- mentioned this as being the case recently, and that's someone who is very attentive to such matters....)
 

iansales

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Best bet currently: go with the Penguin 3-volume set for his main corpus, and the Del Rey edition of The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions for his revision tales, as this last apparently follows the recent Arkham House editions done by Joshi. (I've not seen it myself, but Ningauble -- iirc -- mentioned this as being the case recently, and that's someone who is very attentive to such matters....)
Thanks a lot. I shall stick the Penguins down on the wants list, then.
 
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#9
Thanks a lot. I shall stick the Penguins down on the wants list, then.
De nada, Ian. I've got to admit, I'm very curious about what your take on HPL will be after that... Don't know whether to gird on my armor for the blast, or make extra room at the debating table....;)
 

Fried Egg

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#10
Best bet currently: go with the Penguin 3-volume set for his main corpus, and the Del Rey edition of The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions for his revision tales, as this last apparently follows the recent Arkham House editions done by Joshi. (I've not seen it myself, but Ningauble -- iirc -- mentioned this as being the case recently, and that's someone who is very attentive to such matters....)
Are you saying that "The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions" comprises of stories not in the Penguin collections? What are the "revision" tales exactly?
 
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#11
Are you saying that "The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions" comprises of stories not in the Penguin collections? What are the "revision" tales exactly?
No, they're not in the main body of his work because they were things he either revised or ghost-wrote for various clients. They vary in quality quite a bit, from the almost unreadable "Ashes" to the excellent "The Mound" (which may take more than one reading to really begin to appreciate -- it seems to for many, myself included), and were not published under his name until after his death. The newer edition includes tales not in previous editions, and removes one that was, based upon whether Lovecraft played any notable role in the writing of the tale or not. Here's what Wiki has to say about it (this also inclues a TOC for both editions):

The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Ningauble

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#13
Best bet currently: go with the Penguin 3-volume set for his main corpus, and the Del Rey edition of The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions for his revision tales, as this last apparently follows the recent Arkham House editions done by Joshi. (I've not seen it myself, but Ningauble -- iirc -- mentioned this as being the case recently, and that's someone who is very attentive to such matters....)
*bows and blushes* Thank you very much. :)

Yes, I leafed through the Del Rey edition of The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions down at the bookstore, and it looks exactly the same internally as the revised Arkham House edition -- layout, typeface, contents, etc. I'm absolutely sure that it's got Joshi's texts.
Curiously enough this makes it the only Del Rey edition of Lovecraft worth its price, as the others have the exact same problems as the Voyager editions. I should point out that the Del Rey editions of Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos and Cthulhu 2000, originally published by Arkham House, are also reliable, but these are anthologies not Lovecraft collections.

BTW: j.d., you say "Best bet currently". That's a good qualifier. Things keep happening on the Lovecraft front, and I wouldn't be too surprised if one of these years a textually reliable Complete Edition turns up.
 

Ningauble

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#14
I think the Penguin ones are more authoritative and carry annotations by ST Joshi, the well-known HPL scholar, who sadly doesn't see it fit to simply release the entire Loveraft fiction canon in chronological order, but in selections as per his whim.
Believe me, there's nothing S. T. would rather do than publish Lovecraft's stories in the correct chronological order. However, as j.d. points out, he has to satisfy the publishers too; publishing everything chronologically would mean putting all the good stuff at the end. I've played around with the idea of Lovecraft's complete fiction in four or five volumes, and the first one, covering the years 1897-1924, would be the weakest content-wise, in spite of some real gems like "The Rats in the Walls" and "The Shunned House".

[One of my latest reading projects is reading all of HPL's fiction, essays, and poems in chronological order. It's a huge undertaking, so I've barely scratched the surface; there are close to 1000 items on my list...]
 

Ningauble

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#15
I was going to wait until a Lovecraft omnibus was published as part of the Fantasy Masterworks series, but given that two publishers already have editions out, I don't think they'll bother.

It doesn't seem as if Gollancz' forthcoming Lovecraft collection will be part of the Fantasy Masterworks (the latest volume, which was #50, was published in January 2007, so the series may have stopped there, 50 being a nice even number to end on).

But it will appear anyway. However, I've heard different things about it: one source says it will have the best stories, another says it will have all of them, and I'm sure (since I've e-mailed the editor, Mr. Jones) that they're going to use the old Weird Tales and Arkham House texts.

However, I intend to get it anyway, because I don't have these text versions anymore (having sold my Voyager copies cheaply more than a decade ago), and the book looks so damn nice.

(BTW, I think there's a very simple reason why Gollancz postponed their Lovecraft collection: the old texts seems to have become PD as of January 1, 2008, 70 years having passed since HPL died.)
 
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#16
[One of my latest reading projects is reading all of HPL's fiction, essays, and poems in chronological order. It's a huge undertaking, so I've barely scratched the surface; there are close to 1000 items on my list...]
Uh-oh... another one!:eek: Add "letters" to the list, and that's what I've been working on for some time... jotting down thoughts (or sometimes full-blown essays) as I go along, from varying perspectives. It's tremendously enjoyable, and allows me to see all sorts of connections I'd not caught before... but oh, my!:eek::eek: What a lot of reading!!!!:D
 
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#17
Have fun Ningauble ... that's a massive undertaking and I am sure an enjoyable one.

Ummm JD ... have you not already been doing this for some time ... the reading and writing ... "nudge" *poke* *nag*

Having just finished reading the Horror in the Museum ... I can second what JD says. There's some amazing stories in there and there's some that make you want to run out in the street and kill someone. How Lovecraft managed to not commit murder I do not know; the man must have had more than the patience of a saint. But there are some very lovely gems in there indeed.
 

iansales

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#18
De nada, Ian. I've got to admit, I'm very curious about what your take on HPL will be after that... Don't know whether to gird on my armor for the blast, or make extra room at the debating table....;)
I read a few bits and pieces of Lovecraft before. I remember one drunken reading with some friends of the story with killer penguins and the invisible room (might have been two stories I've conflated into one). We were running out of booze that night, so mixed everything we had left together and christened it "Blasphemous Ichor" in HPL's honour :)
 
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#19
I read a few bits and pieces of Lovecraft before. I remember one drunken reading with some friends of the story with killer penguins and the invisible room (might have been two stories I've conflated into one). We were running out of booze that night, so mixed everything we had left together and christened it "Blasphemous Ichor" in HPL's honour :)
Oh, my, what a hangover that must have produced....:p And, considering Lovecraft was not only a teetotaller, but a supporter of Prohibition (at least, until it finally became convinced that it wasn't going to work, and even then he supported it in theory), I'd love to have seen his reaction to this one.....:D

Hmmm... the penguins (though not killer ones) came from At the Mountains of Madness; an invisible room... possibly the invisible maze from "In the Walls of Eryx"?

At any rate... Hope you enjoy. Just a warning, though: read Lovecraft carefully. As was said a long time ago, "Lovecraft does not write for lazy readers"... or hasty readings. That, from talking to various people who don't like his work, is usually what turns out to be the problem: they're used to writers who were much less dense textually and required less thought on the part of the reader, and so all they saw was the denseness, not the fact that that denseness is a very carefully crafted tool for achieving a specific (and often very subtle) set of artistic goals. While he may seem to have pulled out all the stops and gone for various shades of purple at times, a closer reading proves that (save when -- as with "The Hound" or "Herbert West -- Reanimator" or "The Lurking Fear" -- he's being self-parodic) for what he's attempting to do, he's actually quite controlled and restrained.....
 
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#20
Goodness ... had me worried for a while there. Killer penguins indeed. The Old Gent would have had quite a lot to say about this indeed Iansales.

Having said that ... I have read Lovecraft while 'under the influence' as it were and not just alcohol and it made the tales so much more vivid. His tales do lend themselves to such conditions even if he himself did not indulge.
 

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