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Halloween Countdown, Day 16

Happy early birthday wishes to vulpine137, witchcat07, wallhaditcoming, bookwoman2009, jinjifore, edroxy, gracious_anne, lindajsingleton, xtrustisyoursx, and greenhoodloxley! May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day.

As you may have guessed, I love the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. If you'd like (and only if you'd like!), you can...
* read my essay (originally published in Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest) "The New Shoggoth Chic: Why H.P. Lovecraft Now?" here;
* read my essay "H.P. Lovecraft and the Imaginative Tale" at Revolution Science Fiction here: Part 1 and Part 2;
* listen to my tribute to Lovecraft on this episode of StarShipSofa; and/or
* listen to my two-part discussion of Lovecraft's non-fiction on StarShipSofa: Part 1 and Part 2.

Take the virtual tour of Lovecraftian sites in Providence! In 2008, I was invited to lecture at Brown University, and while I was there I led students on a walking tour of Lovecraftian sites around his hometown of Providence, RI. I photographed all of our stops and wrote up explanations and descriptions, so you can take a virtual tour of Lovecraftian Providence with me!

From that tour, here is the house used by H.P. Lovecraft as the Ward house in his novella The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. (One of the students had never read the tale, and yet he said the house still gave him chills.) In the story, Lovecraft describes the house as follows:

"His home was a great Georgian mansion atop the well-nigh precipitous hill that rises just east of the river; and from the rear windows of its rambling wings he could look dizzily out over all the clustered spires, domes, roofs, and skyscraper summits of the lower town to the purple hills of the countryside beyond. Here he was born, and from the lovely classic porch of the double-bayed brick facade his nurse had first wheeled him in his carriage..."

The Charles Dexter Ward House 2

Text of the Day: You guessed it! Today's text is the wonderfully haunting novella The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).

From a private hospital for the insane near Providence, Rhode Island, there recently disappeared an exceedingly singular person. He bore the name of Charles Dexter Ward, and was placed under restraint most reluctantly by the grieving father who had watched his aberration grow from a mere eccentricity to a dark mania involving both a possibility of murderous tendencies and a profound and peculiar change in the apparent contents of his mind. Doctors confess themselves quite baffled by his case, since it presented oddities of a general physiological as well as psychological character.

Read the complete novella.

Download an unabridged reading on episodes 60-75 of the Cthulhu podcast.

Listen to a discussion of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward on episodes 54-58 of The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 16th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
You like Lovecraft? No! Say it ain't so!
Oct. 16th, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
LOL! I couldn't go all Halloween season without a Lovecraftian post, could I?

I received my Lovecraftian TeeFury shirt, BTW: it's fantastic!
Oct. 16th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC)
Certainly seemed like it was right down your alley.
Oct. 16th, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
Speaking of Charles Dexter Ward, one of the few good Lovecraft film adaptations is The Resurrected. While it does many of the things other lesser Lovecraft adaptation do (contemporary rather than vintage setting, female character shoehorned into the plot), it somehow works. It was first brought to my attention by the review at BadMovies.Org.
Oct. 17th, 2011 10:36 am (UTC)
Oooh! Thanks for the heads up about this film. I didn't know about it, but now I must see it!
Oct. 16th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
I love Lovecraft's work, so this was an especially interesting post for me. Considering your "The New Soggoth Chic," it never would have occurred to me, the similarities between Lovecraft and Tolkien's work. But it certainly made clear to me why I prefer Lovecraft, since my world view would be considered much closer to his than Tolkien's. *g*

Do you know if "The Eldritch Influence: The Life, Vision, and Phenomenon of H.P. Lovecraft," is available to purchase? It sounds interesting. And have you seen the 2008 documentary, "Lovecraft, Fear of the Unknown"? It's really quite good.
Oct. 17th, 2011 10:39 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad this post was of interest! Thanks so much for reading the article. :) I'm glad the Lovecraft-Tolkien comparison made sense. I know what you mean about world views... I'd like to be more Tolkienian, but I definitely have quite a Lovecraftian streak.

"The Eldritch Influence" is indeed available for purchase. (I've seen it on Amazon and similar sites.) And I loved "Lovecraft, Fear of the Unknown"! I agree with you: it's very well done.
(Suspicious comment)
Oct. 20th, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
That's basically the impression I received from the reviews left on Amazon, so I'd already decided not to buy a copy. But thanks for reinforcing my decision.
Oct. 16th, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the birthday wishes! It's still somewhat warm here in Oklahoma, so I'm having trouble getting into fall mode. These posts help though.
Oct. 17th, 2011 10:40 am (UTC)
You're most welcome! Happy early birthday to you. I'm glad these posts are helping to build the fall mood, even if it doesn't feel like fall outside. (May you have a cool/cold front soon!)
Oct. 18th, 2011 01:44 am (UTC)
Thank'ee for the birthday wishes. Have been saving your longer texts of the day to savor later, preferably not right before bed. ;~)
Oct. 18th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC)
You bet! May you have a wonderful one.

LOL! I hope you enjoy them! I have some super-short ones for the weekdays this week. :)

Oct. 18th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
Ah good, look forward to them.
Oct. 18th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC)
There's nothing overtly creepy about that house.
Oct. 18th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC)
Ah, but covertly... ;)
Oct. 18th, 2011 03:16 am (UTC)
I relished the virtual tour of Lovecraft's Providence. His stories are flavored strongly with the haunting of architecture. . .I would have probably have tried to go down into the basement of these evocative old homes, especially those in which Lovecraft dwelt.:) . .thanks for sharing.
Oct. 18th, 2011 10:47 am (UTC)
My pleasure! I'm very glad you enjoyed it! You're so right about how profoundly architecture influenced his work.
Oct. 19th, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
And I could not help but notice the odd, but strangely satisfying presence of the headstone marked "Potter," to the right of the Lovecraft headstone . . .:)
Oct. 19th, 2011 11:07 am (UTC)
LOL! Yes! :)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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