Eight hours to go, on a set of used Selected Letters on eBay, and the seller is offering an affordable shipping rate to the UK. Currently unaffordable for me, sadly, but one day I’ll get a full set of the Selected Letters hardbacks on my Lovecraft shelf.

Although, by then, there may be a good searchable public digital edition of Lovecraft’s letters. On that score I’d suggest that NecronomiCon 2015 seems a suitable venue for some serious pre-production discussion, and initial wallet-tugging for some seed funding. The digital Collected Letters don’t necessarily need to be released as a readily pirate-able DVD or USB stick. The Letters might appear as a website that only serves up Google Books-like page-views, in response to search queries, and only allows copy-paste of one paragraph at a time. An annual subscription fee could give access to such a site ($20 a year for individuals, $300 for libraries and institutions?), or it might be made free and the costs defrayed by ads or sponsors — in fact, a Kickstarter would probably fund it with $500,000 in a few hours if the campaign were to be fronted by Joshi, the HPLHS, leading scholars etc, and the amount was to be match-funded by an institution or foundation. Such an online format would, of course, have the great advantage of allowing a group of approved annotators to easily start work on annotating the letters in a coherent and moderated manner. Plus it would not eat into sales of existing print books of the letters, and might actually stimulate such sales.

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