voluminous banner

In addition to his classics of horror fiction, it is estimated that Lovecraft wrote 100,000 letters — or roughly 15 every day of his adult life — ranging from one-page diaries to seventy-page diatribes. Perhaps 20,000 of those letters have survived, in the hands of private collectors and at the John Hay Library in Providence.

In each episode of this podcast, we'll read one of these letters (or part of it) and then discuss it. In his letters HPL reveals an amazing breadth of knowledge of philosophy, science, history, literature, art and many other subjects, and forcefully asserts some highly considered opinions (some of which can be upsetting).

And of course his letters offer a fascinating window into his personal life and times. Although we've been working with Lovecraftian material for over 30 years, we still find interesting new things in his letters, and while we don't claim to be experts we look forward to sharing them with a wider audience.

Subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get podcasts! Or listen right here!

RSS Feed

  • Episode 43
  • Posted August 16, 2020

Pronouncing Petaja

In a letter of February 8, 1935 to young writer Emil Petaja, HPL talks about just who is and who isn't a "weird" author and how hard it is to make that distinction. Also we finally learn definitively how to pronounce some of the names of HPL's friends and correspondents, including Petaja's own!

Music by Troy Sterling Nies. Our thanks to Hippocampus Press for their book H.P. Lovecraft: Letters with Donald and Howard Wandrei and to Emil Petaja.

Hannes Bok Pickman's ModelBok WT CoverHere are a couple of illustrations by Petaja's close friend and roommate Hannes Bok. In black and white Bok's pointillistic style is similar to Virgil Finlay's, and here is his interpretation of Pickman's Model. At right is one of his covers for Weird Tales from 1941.

After moving to Los Angeles, Petaja hung out at storied Clifton's Cafeteria with Ray Bradbury, Henry Kuttner, Forrest Ackerman and others.