From The letters of Hart Crane, 1916-1932 (1952)…

* Hart Crane [c. June 1922, still in Cleveland], on Lovecraft’s good friend Samuel Loveman…

     “You will like my classic, puritan, inhibited friend Sam Loveman who translates Baudelaire charmingly! It is hard to get him to do anything outside the imagination,—but he is charming and has just given me a most charming work on Greek Vases (made in Deutschland) in which satyrs with great erections prance to the ceremonies of Dionysios with all the fervour of de Gourmont’s descriptions of sexual sacrifice in Physique de L’Amour, which I am lately reading in trans. [translation]”

* Hart Crane [14th Sept 1924, from Brooklyn, NYC], on Samuel Loveman…

     “I have just come back from a breakfast with Sam [Loveman] […] I have been greeted so far mostly by his coat tails, so occupied has Sambo [Crane’s nickname for Loveman] been with numerous friends of his here ever since arriving; Miss Sonia Green and her piping-voiced husband, Howard Lovecraft (the man who visited Sam in Cleveland one summer when Galpin was also there) kept Sam traipsing around the slums and wharf streets until four this morning looking for Colonial specimens of architecture, and until Sam tells me he groaned with fatigue and begged for the subway! Well, Sam may have been improved before he left Cleveland, but skating around here has made him as hectic again as I ever remember him …”

* Hart Crane [23rd Sept 1924, from Brooklyn, NYC], Crane feeling hard-done-by and rather catty because Samuel Loveman now spends his time with Lovecraft…

     “Sam is still here, and sleeping in the back room. […] What his present plans are—I don’t know, as I have scarcely had a word with him since last Friday night. He doesn’t evidently think about spending much time with me. […] It is all right with me, because I realize that Sam touches life at very few points where I do, and this even comes into our abstract discussions of literature, quite naturally, of course, because I see literature as very closely related to life,—its essence, in fact. But for Sam, all art is a refuge away from life,—and as long as he scorns or fears life (as he does) he is witheld from just so much of the deeper content and value of books, pictures and music. He sometimes talks about them in terms as naive as an auctioneer would use. Yet he is instinctively so fine and generous that I will always love and pity him, however much my admiration is curtailed. I don’t think he will remain in New York much longer. He is really bound to his family more than we’ve ever realized, although I have thought of that a good deal. He must have the assurance of his mother’s attendance and he fancies that the “quiet” of Cleveland is a more normal environment for him. Well, if he feels that way, it’s so. Feeling, his own feeling, is the only scale there is to use in such a matter, and I shall not urge him to stay here against his will—which couldn’t be done anyway.”


Many years later…

     “Charles Hamilton, in his Great Forgers and Famous Fakes (1980, pp.198—99), wrote that Loveman “dabbled in forgery.” For instance, he had obtained a supply of bookplates from the late Hart Crane (whom Loveman claimed had been his homosexual lover) and pasted them in books Crane would have been likely to own. Hamilton added. “Nearly every catalogue that Loveman issued was tilled with fabulous ‘bargains’ — books signed by Melville, Mark Twain or Hawthorne — a whole galaxy of great authors. All priced at ten to twenty-five dollars each. The signatures were in pencil and were not, of course, genuine; but it was exciting to study his catalogue and pretend that such bargains really existed.” (Joe Nickell, Real or Fake: Studies in Authentication, University Press of Kentucky, 2009).

     “He [Loveman] had acquired, on the death of Hart Crane’s mother, her entire archive of her son’s letters, books, and papers, a lot that included a large supply of Crane’s unused bookplates. Well into the late 1960s Loveman was pasting these into otherwise valueless books, offering them as books from Hart Crane’s library. At least once, to my knowledge, he slipped up and put a bookplate into a book not published until after Crane’s death. As senility set in, Loveman got more and more careless about signing books, using ball-point pens for signatures of authors who had died before the ball-point pen was invented. His catalogs were an endless source of amusement to those familiar with his wares. To my mind, he reached the peak of his forging career when he offered, for a mere $50, a book on whaling “annotated in pencil by Herman Melville.” I’ve often wondered who bought this treasure.” (Robert A. Wilson, Modern Book Collecting: A Basic Guide to All Aspects of Book Collecting, 1980).

So far as I’m aware, he never produced Lovecraft fakes as well. Such a pity that he didn’t sell his Lovecraft letters, rather than burn them all, if he needed money that badly.

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