Thank you to the Miskatonic Books blog for alerting me to the news of a monument to the “god of Chaos“ which mysteriously appeared yesterday. Their blog entry includes a link to the newspaper article and that site also has a video report from Channel 4, KFOR in Oklahoma.
The plaque on the monument reads:
“In the Year of Our Lord 2012 Creer Pipi claimed this land for Azathoth”
“Azathoth” is a fragment and can be read at the H. P. Lovecraft Archive.
Howard Lovecraft thought of writing a novel with that title. In a letter to Frank Belknap Long dated June 9, 1922, he wrote:
“Like you, I am impressed with the futility of all effort–and the only reason I ever read or write anything is that I would be still more miserable if I didn’t. As it is, I am not nearly so active and studious as I was in youth–when I felt that it led somewhere. Nowadays I am active only in order to kill boredom–but that is something. The only legitimate artistic motive is to please oneself–to utter things because they have to be uttered, or because it is by uttering them that one may be most comfortable. Imagination is the great refuge. That is the theme of the weird Vathek-like novel Azathoth, on whose opening pages I have been experimenting. I planned it long ago, but only began work–or play–on it a few days ago. Probably I’ll never finish it–possibly I’ll never get even a chapter written–but it amuses me just now to pretend to myself that I’m going to write it.”
Vathek: An Arabian Tale is a novel by William Beckford which Howard had read during the prior year.
Azathoth is mentioned in four of Lovecraft’s stories: The Dreams in the Witch House, The Haunter of the Dark, The Thing on the Doorstep and The Whisperer in Darkness.
A great blog entry from Wilum about his first job in a very special museum.
Cover: Murray Tinkelman
Will Hart’s free audio of Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is now complete.
As part of its third anniversary issue (September, 1935), Fantasy Magazine commissioned two stories with the same title. One was to be written by science fiction writers (Stanley G. Weinbaum, Donald Wandrei, Edward E. Smith, Harl Vincent and Murray Leinster) and the other to be by authors in the weird genre (C.L. Moore, A. Merritt, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Belknap Long).
The science fiction story starts out with more promise for me than the weird story. Just the character names–Thaddeus Crabb–now there’s a name for you. The other story starts out with the rather mundane name of George Campbell. Weinbaum begins the science fiction story hilariously with some over-the-top humor which was carried on by Wandrei’s pleasant humor. I enjoyed the humor.
My liking for the two stories even out with the third segments as Lovecraft took over the weird story and E. E. “Doc” Smith began the actual adventure in the science fiction story.
Ultimately, I can’t choose a favorite. Both were fun to discover how each author carried on the plot left for him. The science fiction story was more to my personal taste but the weird story packed more of a punch.
By Greg Oliver Bodine and Nat Cassidy
Weston Clay’s Review
of two solo shows by Greg Oliver Bodine inspired by H. P. Lovecraft.
Howard with Robert and Parents
I love to discover mentions of books and authors in whatever book I’m currently reading.
Here is one from Cemetery Dance
by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston
Pendergast has made a present of rare editions to archivist Wren.
Wren examined the books one after the other. “Hmm. A pre-publication Outsider, with the trial green dustwrapper. Always Comes Evening–he plucked off the jacket to examine the cover–“with the variant spine. And a leather-bound Shunned House . . . containing Barlow’s signature on the front pastedown. Dated Mexico City, not long before his suicide. A remarkable association copy.” Wren raised his eyebrows as he carefully put down the books. “I spoke too rashly. A noble gift indeed.”
Always Comes Evening
January 6 – 9, 2011 Phoenix, Arizona