A clearly-delivered 30-minute video lecture on the influence of the myth of Atlantis on R.E. Howard, by pulp history scholar Jeff Shanks. Including discussion of the Atlantis fringe authors, who Lovecraft eventually got around to reading circa the mid to late 1920s.
Lovecraft had of course written an early Atlantis story in “The Temple” (1920), in which the Prussian narrator suggests the sunken city was the forerunner of Ancient Greece.
He commented to Clark Ashton Smith in June 1926 about his reading of The Story of Atlantis (1896)…
[he writes that he is undertaking new reading] of vast interest as background or source material — which has belatedly introduced me to a cycle of myth as developed by modern occultists and sophical charlatans … I only wish I could get hold of more of the stuff. What I have read is The Story of Atlantis … by W. Scott Elliott.
He then attempted the germ of an Atlantis-meets-Roman Britain story in his fragment “The Descendant” (c.1927)…
Gabinius had, the rumour ran, come upon a cliffside cavern where strange folk met together and made the Elder Sign in the dark; strange folk whom the Britons knew not save in fear, and who were the last to survive from a great land in the west that had sunk, leaving only the islands with the raths and circles and shrines of which Stonehenge was the greatest.
But this would have rather improbably placed Atlantis somewhere just off his beloved ancestral Cornwall and Devon. One suspects that even Lovecraft balked at the task of turning the homely Isles of Scilly into the evil-haunted remnant mountain-tops of a sunken Atlantis.
* Amy Ireland (2014), “Towards an Inhuman Critique of Representation (On Noise)”, the NOW now 2014 festival zine, 2014. (Short essay on Lovecraft’s conceptions of noise, with communication theory models to model these)
Fafnir : Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research. Free and open-access academic journal, online. Call for papers for the next issue, out now.
* Alexander A. G. Gladwin, Matt Lavin, and Daniel M. Look (2014), “[Who?]—can—write—no—more”: Stylometry, Authorship, and “The Loved Dead” (Pre-print, accepted for Literary and Linguistic Computing. Applies modern stylometrics to Lovecraft and Eddy’s story “The Loved Dead”, which Eddy claimed had caused Weird Tales to be “banned in Indiana” and perhaps elsewhere. The team’s results are inconclusive, but the investigation is prefaced by a good summary of the history of the story.)
Call for papers: Pulp Studies, PCA/ACA Conference. 1st-14th April 2015, New Orleans, USA. Deadline for abstracts: 1st November 2014.
* W.R. van Leeuwen (2008), Dreamers of the Dark: Kerry Bolton and the Order of the Left Hand Path, a case-study of a Satanic neo-Nazi society (Masters dissertation for The University of Waikato. Has nothing to say on Bolton’s fascination with Lovecraft’s various elitist philosophical stances and the racialist worldview he shared with his milieu. But van Leeuwen does allege, in passing, that Bolton was both the publisher and author of Walter Grimwald’s 1995 pamphlet Lovecraft’s Fascism. Bolton has responded that “Van Leeuwen’s thesis is a tissue of pure (and impure) inventions”.)