I continue to explore the fourth volume of Lovecraft's selected letters. While these 20 letters are not the most exciting we see a continuation of some important themes: frustration with publication in commercial fiction market and Lovecraft's flirtation with fascism.
I kick off my four-part look at THE PROUD TOWER by Barbara Tuchman. The first two chapters of this book look at pre-Great War British aristocracy and anarchism. Two topics that do not see to meld, within a book that does either.
In these letters we see Lovecraft's continued frustration over the the state of the magazine fiction market and the personal impact of the death of his aunt, Lillian Clark.
The finale of my review of THE GUNS OF AUGUST by Barabara Tuchman. I give my overall feelings of this text along with a look at the last chapters and Tuchman's conclusion.
The H. P. Lovecraft letters from early 1932 show his frustration with the status of the Weird Tales and other magazines, as he finds he cannot match they style they desire and have come to expect from him. Some real anxiety in this set of correspondence.
Toward the end of Barbara Tuchman's THE GUNS OF AUGUST we explore the battle of Tannenberg and the retreat of French armies toward Paris. Tuchman also analyzes the situation at sea and the position of the USA in the early days of the Great War.
I finish up this series on Lovecraft's stories from the late 1920s and early 1930s with a look at his collaboration with Donald Whitehead, "The Trap". While not as amazing as the Bishop revisions, this story does have some interesting ideas, and a 17th century wizards.
Part three of a review of THE GUNS OF AUGUST by Barbara Tuchman. The logic of planning leading to entrenchment (military, institutional, and ideology) is explored in the middle chapters of this excellent study of the first days of the Great War.
The last of the Lovecraft revisions of Zealia Bishop's work is also the most controversial. This short story explores the culture of the Black Atlantic, the post-war south, and art. It is the most detailed study of the artist by Lovecraft since "Pickman's Model".
In this episode, I explore the second part of THE GUNS OF AUGUST by Barbara Tuchman. In these chapters we see how the war plans set up by the Great Powers made conflict unavoidable and prevented military and political institutions from changing course.
I did not plan to record any two-part reviews of the H. P. Lovecraft revisions, but THE MOUND is such a massive and interesting tale that I just had to this time. In this episode, we focus on the culture and society of K'n-yan.
One of Lovecraft's most significant revision works was the novella THE MOUND. Zealia Bishop provided the original prompt and Lovecraft ran with it creating an entire civilization. Influenced by THE COMING RACE by Edward Bulwer-Lytton.
In this episode, I explore THE CURSE OF YIG by Zealia Bishop and H. P. Lovecraft. It is one of his most famous revisions and a great story that takes Lovecraft's worldbuilding to the American Midwest.
My final thoughts on THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH by H. P. Lovecraft. This story ends with some action and then an coda examining our narrator's deep family history.
Next, we will explore the Zealia Bishop revisions.
In this episode, I dig deeper into THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH. We get a walking tour of the city, in classic H. P. Lovecraft style.
In this episode I give my thoughts on the early pages of THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH by H. P. Lovecraft. One of his most important stories, for many reasons.
The finale of my coverage of AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. So what did Danforth see? That is the most compelling mystery at the close of this epic story. Next up, SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH.
So glad to be back with a volume of The Library of America. This episode will begin a one-month series exploring THE GUNS OF AUGUST and THE PROUD TOWER, beginning with the opening chapters of GUNS. The warnings of the Great War speak to the Cold War in rather direct ways.
This episode is part 3 of my coverage on AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS by H. P. Lovecraft. Much of this section deals with the history and society of the Elder Things and brings us right up to the climax of the story.
In this episode I dig deeper into AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, which as Lovecraft tries to warn us is a bad idea. Part 2 of 4.
One of the more popular H. P. Lovecraft stories is AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. It may really be the best example of Lovecraft's later style. The opening pages focus on science and exploration. I give my thoughts on these early sections.
The finale of my review of THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS by H. P. Lovecraft. Things get nice and cosmic and strange in the final chapters of this story, but for me the early chapters contain the most interesting elements.
This episode is the second of three covering my thoughts on THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS. Fun with letters from a crazy friend.
THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS begins a new phase in Lovecraft's career and a new series in this podcast. The rich look at folklore, skepticism, and conspiracy make this story lots of fun. I just get started reviewing this tale in this episode.
The second part of my review of FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH by H. P. Lovecraft. Also, plenty of evidence on why I should not be doing too much with Lovecraft's poems.
My thoughts on the first half of FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH by H. P. Lovecraft. This is a cycle of sonnets exploring various of Lovecraft's themes, vistas, and questions.
We wrap up our look at the third volume of the "Selected Letters of H. P. Lovecraft" with the later part of 1931. During this period, Lovecraft was writing THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH. He begins to write with increasing frequency to J. Vernon Shea, a young weird fiction writer.
Lovecraft was not writing too much fiction in the summer of 1931 (the exception being the collaboration "The Trap" with Henry Whitehead), but as always was busy with his penpals. Included in this period is a letter to Elizabeth Toldridge in which Lovecraft explores the causes of the Great Depression. For my money, this is the highlight of this set.
In the first half of 1931, H. P. Lovecraft was writing AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, but he was also also writing some substantial letters. A highlight here is on to Frank Belknap Long one cosmic isolation, race, and machine culture. Another fascinating letter is to Henry George Weiss on socialism and ethics. This episode explores these and more.
In the winter of 1930-31, H P. Lovecraft wrote about time travel stories with Clark Ashton Smith, Asian poetry with Elizabeth Toldridge, Quebec with James Morton, and atheism with August Derleth. There is more but you will need to listen to this episode.