H.P. Lovecraft - The Complete Omnibus Collection - Supplement A (eBook)
Collaborations And Ghostwriting
de Finn J.D. John e Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Sobre o livro
This supplement to the two-volume Pulp-Lit Omnibus Collection of the work of H.P. Lovecraft presents all the works of weird fiction which he ghostwrote or on which he collaborated with another author.
Highlights of this volume include:
• Under the Pyramids, with Harry Houdini;
• The Mound, with Zealia Bishop;
• Two Black Bottles, with Wilfred Blanch Talman;
• The Horror in the Burying-Ground, with Hazel Heald;
• The Disinterment, with Duane W. Rimel;
• The Night Ocean, with Robert Barlow;
• In the Walls of Eryx, with Kenneth J. Sterling;
• The Electric Executioner, with Adolphe de Castro;
• The Diary of Alonzo Typer, with William Lumley;
• And over 20 more.
Although none of them rise to the level of quality of Lovecraft’s own by-lined work, the majority of these collaborations are still wonderful stories. They have a real contribution to make to the meta-story of Lovecraft’s creative life; and they reveal aspects to Lovecraft’s personality and especially his sense of humor that his more serious works seldom allow us to glimpse.
The reason for this is easily understood. When writing or revising a story for another writer, Lovecraft was able to fully relax. He knew (or thought he knew) that these stories would not affect his reputation as a literary figure; his name was not on them. So the terrible tension that dogged him throughout his literary life, the tension that kept him in a state of virtual creative paralysis for the last several years of his life, fell away like an old cloak, and his real style — his relaxed, chatting-with-friends style — was able to shine through.
In these collaborative stories we get to see glimpses of Lovecraft’s wry humor, kindly and benevolent but edged with a gently sardonic erudition. We also get to roll in the kind of over-the-top campiness that one just doesn't see in most of his bylined stuff (after “Herbert West, Reanimator,” that is) to the point where one wonders if he’s secretly engaging in a little self-parody.
One of the reasons Lovecraft’s output was so scant was that his almost obsessive perfectionism and severe self-criticism kept him diligently polishing and perfecting his own stories long past the point at which it made sense to continue doing so. This he could certainly not afford to do in a work-for-hire job that would pay him only $15 or $20. So in these anonymized stories we get to see Lovecraft’s work as it might have appeared in his second or third drafts — rough, sometimes unsubtle, often crammed with all-too-familiar buzzwords like “eldritch” and “cyclopean,” yet eminently, fundamentally, and wonderfully Lovecraftian.