Our Member of the Month for January, 2022 is Jean-Philippe Ranger of Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Jean-Philippe says: "I came to Lovecraft later in life, but in many ways, it seemed that I had been preparing myself to love his work long before. In my first university degree, I studied Latin Literature and Classical Archaeology, so I quite liked the characters in Lovecraft’s stories. For many decades, I had been a fan of fin de siècle decadent literature, so I recognized some of Lovecraft’s tropes and style and felt at home in many of his stories. Four of my favorites are “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward,” “The Dunwich Horror,” “Dreams in the Witch House,” and “The Thing on the Doorstep”. I love the idea of cosmic horror, combined with the notion that in order to be able to fully grasp knowledge of the inner workings of this bizarre cosmos that we are part of means that we lose some of our humanity. I don’t believe this is the case, but I think it makes for good stories!
From Lovecraft and through others who enjoy his stories, I have come to discover other authors who influenced him like Arthur Machen, Robert W. Chambers, and M.R. James. Lovecraft’s stories have opened a whole world that was unknown to me before.
I first heard of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society through one of the early episodes of the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast and I quickly became a fan. I have many of their DART adaptations and a few pieces of apparel. I make sure to wear my Arkham Sanitarium lab coat for all my kitchen experiments, my Miskatonic Antarctic Expedition Hoodie for my arctic travels (I live in Canada’s maritime provinces, and it gets quite cold in the winter) and my Miskatonic Metaphys. Ed T-Shirt when I practice my calisthenic exercises in the summer. My family like to laugh at my two favorite Christmas decorations: a Cthulhu ornament as well as a Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition commemorative ornament. I like to carve and print old alchemical images, some would have been in books that HPL’s characters pour over.
I am currently having great fun running the Horror on the Orient Express, Chaosium’s classic 1920’s era campaign.
In my spare time, I teach Ancient Greek Philosophy at a small liberal arts university. Secretly, I spend my days reading tomes of ancient lore in dead languages and strive to learn the wisdom that the Ancients have tried to impart on us.
Finally, I have a historical doppelgänger: Alexander Hermann, a 19th century magician. What was that story about the 'essential saltes'?"