HPL's "He" and Mitchell's "Old Hotel"


Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2010
Rereading Lovecraft's New York story "He," I was reminded of Joseph Mitchell's (mostly) nonfiction collection Up in the Old Hotel. Mitchell is fascinated by odd byways of people and places in the city and its environs, and many of his sketches have a flavor of the macabre. I would hesitate to say that he is a Lovecraftian author (and I know no reason to believe he ever read HPL), but I think that many of the people who relish HPL's loving evocations of nooks and crannies would enjoy Mitchell. Likewise, the book must be eagerly recommened to you if you like that old between-the-wars flavor and the idea of real "bohemians." Up in the Old Hotel is an omnibus volume and, so far as I know, if you have this book you have all the Mitchell you need. Let me recommend that Lovecraftians try the following pieces in the book, which I've listed more or less in the order that I'd urge you try them:

"Up in the Old Hotel"
"The Bottom of the Harbor"
"The Rats on the Waterfront"
"Professor Sea Gull"
"The Cave Dwellers"

Then tell me if you don't feel there's some kind of subterranean affinity.
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