If You Were to Meet Lovecraft, Howard and Ashton Smith Would You Get Along with Them ?

Edward Druitt

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Personally I only know about Lovecraft. I think I know I would get along extremely well with him. I say this because the whole reason I got into Lovecraft because when I first started to actually read about his life the more and more I saw things in common: our worldview (cosmicism) is essentially the same, both atheist, both had severe depression issues resulting in reclusive behaviour, both devoured books when younger, strongly overbearing mothers, both with a love for fantasy and horror, both a strong love of science and astronomy especially for me. There's more but frankly I've never related with a human that much.

Honestly if I met him I would probably lose whatever wit and thought I had due to being in the presence of someone I idolized. But, barring that, I would love to discuss the source of his thoughts and creations. I imagine it comes from a somewhat dark and angry place. But there is a definitely a philosophy that brings it out. I would want to know that. I'd also love to discuss astronomy and science with him.

I recently read a passage regarding his death. He was in hospital, dying, and he knew that he was dying. He loved his work so much and put it before everything yet, while he said he would have written regardless of fame, I imagine he would have wished that he garnered a little more respect and admiration for his great contributions. I don't think he would believe me if I told him what a... ahem, cult following he has now.

I would like to think that Lovecraft would see similarities in me that I saw in him and that he would basically take me as an apprentice. Teach me the trade of writing. I know he helped fellow writers develop themselves. What more could a Lovecraftian want, right?
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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Personally I only know about Lovecraft. I think I know I would get along extremely well with him. I say this because the whole reason I got into Lovecraft because when I first started to actually read about his life the more and more I saw things in common: our worldview (cosmicism) is essentially the same, both atheist, both had severe depression issues resulting in reclusive behaviour, both devoured books when younger, strongly overbearing mothers, both with a love for fantasy and horror, both a strong love of science and astronomy especially for me. There's more but frankly I've never related with a human that much.

Honestly if I met him I would probably lose whatever wit and thought I had due to being in the presence of someone I idolized. But, barring that, I would love to discuss the source of his thoughts and creations. I imagine it comes from a somewhat dark and angry place. But there is a definitely a philosophy that brings it out. I would want to know that. I'd also love to discuss astronomy and science with him.

I recently read a passage regarding his death. He was in hospital, dying, and he knew that he was dying. He loved his work so much and put it before everything yet, while he said he would have written regardless of fame, I imagine he would have wished that he garnered a little more respect and admiration for his great contributions. I don't think he would believe me if I told him what a... ahem, cult following he has now.

I would like to think that Lovecraft would see similarities in me that I saw in him and that he would basically take me as an apprentice. Teach me the trade of writing. I know he helped fellow writers develop themselves. What more could a Lovecraftian want, right?
I think Lovecraft, Howard and Ashton Smith would have been amazed at the fact that so many today still read and love their stories.(y)
 

Ningauble

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By the way... how much of Howard's poetry have you read? I would also suggest checking out some of his collections, if you can find them, such as Always Comes Evening, Echoes from an Iron Harp, or Singers in the Shadows. The first was originally published by Arkham House, but has had at least two editions since then, while the other two were put out by Donald M. Grant back in the 1970s (if memory serves). I don't know if there were ever any reprints of these, but if not, it's a pity, as there are some fine pieces in each. (The latter two also contain some of his comic poetry, which is also sometimes quite good, and not infrequently rather bawdy.)
There is quite a big selection of Howard's poetry available from Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/frank-coffman/robert-e-howard-selected-poems/paperback/product-15910011.html (paperback) or http://www.lulu.com/shop/frank-coffman/robert-e-howard-selected-poems/hardcover/product-20586829.html (hardcover). The big Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard from the Roert E. Howard Foundation is currently out of print, but will most likely be reprinted eventually, with "new" poems added.
 

Ruina

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Even as early as 1921, he has a passage in one of his letters where he remarks on a visit to an amateur colleague and her family where they got him to dress up in drag, parasol over his shoulder and all, which he carried off to everyone's great amusement, including his own.
Are you talking about Lovecraft? Wow, I know he was quite a goofball, but that was unexpected.
 

Ningauble

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There is quite a big selection of Howard's poetry available from Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/frank-coffman/robert-e-howard-selected-poems/paperback/product-15910011.html (paperback) or http://www.lulu.com/shop/frank-coffman/robert-e-howard-selected-poems/hardcover/product-20586829.html (hardcover). The big Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard from the Roert E. Howard Foundation is currently out of print, but will most likely be reprinted eventually, with "new" poems added.
I spoke to Rusty Burke at NecronomiCon, and he mentioned that The Collcted Poetry will most likely be reprinted as a two-volume trade paperback set. They just need to go through the poetry that was found in Glenn lord's collection, but it may take a while.
 

w h pugmire esq

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I linger within ye shadows of Sesqua Valley, dream
It is not my nature to be social, and so the idea of "getting along" with writers I admire is alien to me. Moft of ye writers I have known I know only through correspondence, with the delightful exception of my soul-bro S. T. Joshi. I enjoy meeting writers at conventions, but it's always so wonderful to get back home and be alone.

My favourite way of getting to know writers is through their books. Happily, we have no end of Lovecraft books recently publish'd and forthcoming; & Night Shade Books has announc'd that they will soon begin to publish their Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith in trade pb editions.
 

lynnfredricks

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I think it would be as strange for a real, extended face-to-face between REH and HPL as meeting with any of us "Visitors Out of Time". Drinks wouldn't really work so well to break the ice, so I guess it would all come down to the flavor of ice cream.
 

BAYLOR

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Books I would show to Robert E Howard. The Kane novels By Karl Edward Wagner, The Games of Thrones books by George R Martin , The Black Company novels by Glen Cook, Terry Pratchett's Disco World novel Michel Moorcock's Eternal Champion books, Tolkien, LOTR, Stephen R Donaldson , Harlan Ellison The essential Ellison , Jack Vance Tales from The Dying Earth , Dan Simmons Hyperion novel stories Holdstock Mythago Woods novels. :)

I can think of many others.:)
 

Ningauble

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Did any of these guys drive? I have the impression that Howard did....

What Are Your Favorite Weird Tales or Stories that Fit That Category?
Howard had a car (although I'm not sure when he got it; he certainly didn't have one when Lovecraft visited New Orleans in 1932). I'm sure that Lovecraft didn't drive, and according to W. Paul Cook that was just as well since HPL loved high speeds. Not sure about CAS, but I don't think he drove (he didn't own a car anyway).
 

John Thiel III

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What kinds of conversations would you like to have with theses writers ? What subjects? What would you tell them about how they are remembered in the present? What would they think of their legacy and impact on the fantasy, science fiction and horror genres ? What would they likely think of our present world ? What would they think you as a person ?
I don't think I'd feel ill at ease in the company of all three of these writers at once. I would want to discuss their works, and in what ways these works relate to earthly realities. (Here Lovecraft explodes, as I visualize it: "NOT AT ALL! They heed alien geometries, are not enslaved to Earth's dream-transient sphere!" But this leads to discussion: "You do not seem to recommend that your readers depart from this Earthly sphere, any further than to read your poems." And the answer to that I cannot anticipate, so it would be a discussion, and one I'd like to have.) I think I would ask Howard if he could fight in a way that could be considered a match to what his characters can do. Klar Kashton I would ask what he had in mind when he decided to devote his abilities so much to the writing of fantasy--what was the call that brought him to this pursuit? I would be most vociferous in discussing what I have seen in present-day discussions of them. They would think of me as a most engaging conversationalist, and would all three of them want to know whether I had ever tried my hand at writing. (I visualize them making such comments as "That is, the flayed hand", and "...or claw, if you write in our mode".) Lovecraft would probably be surprised that our present world was still here, but I'd tell him "according to news reports, that's not very secure". He'd just look at me with a tight half-smile. Howard would object to our present world, I think, as being "over-civilized". I doubt if he would like the technological revolution, but that would probably make Smith stand up. "The latest wonder to occur amidst mankind, a dream!" And I would point out to him that Arthur Clarke had said that a sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Lovecraft, of course, would see this as overshadowing our grounded culture, would regard the computer as a being, a presence. They'd like their impact upon the genres, I suspect. These have all been very interesting conversational possibilities to me, and I think the three men would not wish me to cut it off so early, but without their urge to continue with what I'm saying, and the interchange of their reactions, I think I have given a complete answer to this question, and I regret the opportunity not being an actuality.
 
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BAYLOR

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I don't think I'd feel ill at ease in the company of all three of these writers at once. I would want to discuss their works, and in what ways these works relate to earthly realities. (Here Lovecraft explodes, as I visualize it: "NOT AT ALL! They heed alien geometries, are not enslaved to Earth's dream-transient sphere!" But this leads to discussion: "You do not seem to recommend that your readers depart from this Earthly sphere, any further than to read your poems." And the answer to that I cannot anticipate, so it would be a discussion, and one I'd like to have.) I think I would ask Howard if he could fight in a way that could be considered a match to what his characters can do. Klar Kashton I would ask what he had in mind when he decided to devote his abilities so much to the writing of fantasy--what was the call that brought him to this pursuit? I would be most vociferous in discussing what I have seen in present-day discussions of them. They would think of me as a most engaging conversationalist, and would all three of them want to know whether I had ever tried my hand at writing. (I visualize them making such comments as "That is, the flayed hand", and "...or claw, if you write in our mode".) Lovecraft would probably be surprised that our present world was still here, but I'd tell him "according to news reports, that's not very secure". He'd just look at me with a tight half-smile. Howard would object to our present world, I think, as being "over-civilized". I doubt if he would like the technological revolution, but that would probably make Smith stand up. "The latest wonder to occur amidst mankind, a dream!" And I would point out to him that Arthur Clarke had said that a sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Lovecraft, of course, would see this as overshadowing our grounded culture, would regard the computer as a being, a presence. They'd like their impact upon the genres, I suspect. These have all been very interesting conversational possibilities to me, and I think the three men would not wish me to cut it off so early, but without their urge to continue with what I'm saying, and the interchange of their reactions, I think I have given a complete answer to this question, and I regret the opportunity not being an actuality.
Well said.:)

I think that all three of them would be astonished and gratified at their present day popularity.:cool:
 

picklematrix

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I would have preferred to meet HPL during the later years. Supposedly he mellowed and became less misanthropic during tbat period.
 
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What kinds of conversations would you like to have with these writers? What subjects? What would you tell them about how they are remembered in the present? What would they think of their legacy and impact on the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres? What would they likely think of our present world? What would they think you as a person?
I would ask HP what happened from the time when he was in NY city and his return to Providence...his writing skills improved so much...it was during this period that he wrote "Call of Cthulhu" circa 1926, which by the way was not well received by Farnsworth Wright editor of Weird Tales (big mistake!) . I would also let him know that no one has been able to capture the grandiosity and mind-bending style of his cosmic horror imaginations quite like him (and probably why also no movie of measure has ever been filmed true to his vision).
 

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