A question on Lovecraft's letters

  1. nomadman

    nomadman Sophomoric Mystic

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    Quick question here.

    Was wondering if anyone could tell me of any collections of Lovecraft's letters devoted solely to his correspondences with (then) younger writers, Bloch, Leiber, Derleth, Wandrei etc, and specifically those letters relating to the craft and development of fiction. I'm already aware of a couple of single-author correspondences such as Writers of the Dark, but ideally I'm looking for a collection (if it exists) consisting of a variety of authors, preferably the aforementioned ones. Though any help would be grateful.

    Thanks.
     
    Jun 5, 2010
    #1
  2. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    I don't recall anything such as a collection dealing with several such writers, though I'll check the new edition of Joshi's bibliography this weekend just to make sure.

    However, Necronomicon Press did put out a volume of his letters to Robert Bloch (along with a supplement which included letters which had not been available when the first was published), as well as one to Richard F. Searight (another aspiring writer correspondent who produced a small body of weird and science fiction). Then there are Mysteries of Time and Spirit, which is both sides of the correspondence between HPL and Wandrei; Essential Solitude, which is all the extant correspondence between Lovecraft and Derleth; A Means to Freedom, ditto for HPL & Robert E. Howard; and O, Fortunate Floridian!, all Lovecraft's letters to Robert H. Barlow -- a very bright young writer (who became an even brighter light in Mesoamerican studies) whom HPL also named as his literary executor.

    Lesser-known writers who are nonetheless well worth looking up are Samuel Loveman, Alfred Galpin, and Rheinhart Kleiner -- the letters to these have all been collected either by Hippocampus or Necronomicon. (The Loveman volume also contains HPL's letters to Vincent Starrett.)

    There are plans to issue (fairly soon, I think) the correspondence between Clark Ashton Smith and HPL as well... and don't forget the volume of Smith's Selected Letters from Arkham House, and the letters of Smith and George Sterling, The Shadow of the Unattained (Hippocampus Press).

    You may also want to look at the "Upcoming Products" from Hippocampus here:

    Hippocampus Press

    A lot of very good things coming out of that house for not only the Lovecraft enthusiast but the lover of weird fiction in general....
     
    Jun 5, 2010
    #2
  3. nomadman

    nomadman Sophomoric Mystic

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    Very informative. Thanks very much.

    Am a little surprised no one's released a collection such as the one I mentioned above. Lovecraft had some invaluable things to say to writers, and considering what many of those writers went on to become, such a collection would I'm sure be of great interest to younger writers today.
     
    Jun 6, 2010
    #3
  4. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator

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    Part of the problem with that may simply be sheer volume. As you say, he had he had very good things to say to writers (young or experienced, as can be seen with his debates with such as Price, Derleth, etc.), and he had so many correspondents who were writers, that a collection of even a fair sampling would be quite sizable, to say the least....
     
    Jun 7, 2010
    #4
  5. w h pugmire esq

    w h pugmire esq Well-Known Member

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    I linger within ye shadows of Sesqua Valley, dream
    Just before they were publish'd, S. T. confided to me that the HPL/Derleth letters were a bit of a "disappointment" because they were mostly "about writing, especially Derleth's." But that is what I love to read in Lovecraft's letters, whereas S. T. prefers all of the philosophical chatter. My biggest disappointment with Lovecraft's letters is that he didn't go into more detail about writing his stories, his ideas of his stories, their inspiration, their interpretation by others, &c &c. That's what I love to read in HPL's missives.
     
    Jun 7, 2010
    #5
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