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.
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In which HPL deploys shocking language in a feisty letter to his friend, Wisconsin schoolteacher Maurice Moe.
Thanks to Arkham House. You can read a much less abridged version of this letter in the book H.P. Lovecraft: Letters to Maurice W. Moe and Others from Hippocampus Press. Music by Troy Sterling Nies.
Pictured at left is the cover of the Walter B. Pitkin book which is apparently still available on eBay to anyone with $1250.00. But eagle-eyed listener Ryan Mullahy pointed out that you can save your money and read it online at the Internet Archive! Although we didn't manage to score it in hardback, the HPLHS library does contain a vintage copy of the handbook from the Newspaper Institute of America, which HPL also mentions in this letter. One of their ads is pictured on the right. You can learn a bit more about John Ronane here. In addition to Maurice Moe and Harry Houdini, a couple of other notable people from Appleton, Wisconsin were HPL's friend Alfred Galpin and acclaimed actor Willem Dafoe!