Sunday, January 7, 2018
HP LOVECRAFT - HP (Howard Phillips) Lovecraft was born to a lunatic father and fragile mother in Providence RI where many of his tales are set. His grandfather, a successful businessman, died. Resulting in the family losing their prestigious home. Meanwhile Lovecraft himself had a nervous breakdown but was also cursed with poor physical health. Both circumstances led to his failure to obtain a high school diploma, leaving Brown no longer an option. He toyed with amateur journalism and published his first short story, The Alchemist, in 1916. His mother became institutionalized, confined to the same mental hospital as his father, HPL was desperate. Lovecraft married and shortly thereafter his wife lost her business. He lived in Brooklyn NY but was robbed and returned to Providence. Lacking conventional skills, his job prospects diminished, and he struggled to make it as a working writer. The period from 1919 to 1920, Lovecraft's Dream Cycle, inspired such works as The White Ship, The Cats of Ulthar, Nyarlathotep and The Nameless City. The first story in the Cthulhu Mythos. He placed short stories in pulps, like Weird Tales almost exclusively, in the Twenties and Thirties. He declined Weird Tales’s offer of an editor position. He was fully capable of writing commercially viable stories (The Dunwich Horror) which the Weird Tales editor wanted but pursued work he couldn’t sell for profit. He left some unsubmitted (The Shadow Over Innsmouth), didn’t respond to a novel query simply because his notes weren’t typed up into submission format (The Case of Charles Dexter Ward) and other bungled efforts. Long separated, he agreed to divorce with his wife, but when he said he signed the decree, he actually had not. His inheritance dwindled until he was nearly broke so he wouldn’t eat to continue sending letters. Cancer and chronic pain plagued him until his death in 1937, killed by poverty at the very young age of 46. His work is rooted in the themes of science, the occult, decayed antiques, gothic architecture, churches and graveyards, Anglophilia, gods and monsters. His posthumous collections became best sellers but his writing was virtually unknown in his lifetime.