October departs, and the rain-glittered pinnacle of Tentaclii Towers stands stark and black against a moonless sky. Strange little tappings may be heard within, but lesser than of late. Yes, it was a lightweight month here on the blog. Daily postings continued here, but I am unlikely to maintain that over the winter. There may be soon days here when there are no posts, since I have several books for which the writing needs to be finished. I also have a large amount of reading to catch up with. First up are the two Lovecraft Annual journals which arrived recently, and in which I’ve only read the book reviews so far. Expect reviews of those on Tentaclii, when you see them. My thanks for my Patreon patrons for helping fund the purchase of the Annuals. I see that the Patreon total is still at $58 U.S. a month, though. I’m aiming for $100 a month, so please make generous Lovecraftians and others aware of the blog and my need for my Patreon to grow. Thanks.
My blog’s “Postcards from Lovecraft” feature continued my occasional interest in Lovecraft’s various waterfronts: Lovecraft’s post-New York riverside cafes in Providence; my “Outward Bound” post which looked briefly but poetically at Lovecraft’s evocation of his own city’s harbour; and rather less poetically a post on the Fulton St. fish-market in New York City which was found to be amply illustrated with postcards and pictures. A more sedate but, it turned out, equally watery location included the park bandstand at Roger William Park — which was on a sort of pier that splayed out above the lake. One imagines problems with the midges rising from the depths on warm summer nights, but in those days they made liberal use of insecticide.
My blog’s weekly “Kittee Tuesday” feature also once veered in the direction of historical context, with “The Office Cat at the Brown Daily Herald”. This shed light on an editorial office tradition which appears to have been formative in Lovecraft’s youth, and thus of his own preference for ‘a kittie in the study’. Incidentally, this month I read elsewhere of a tradition among the Edwardian youth of pretending to be far older than they were (a sort of “young fogies” thing, but way back in the 1900s) and I wondered if that similarly fed into Lovecraft’s sense of himself as ‘an old gent’. Was his pose actually once part of a wider youth movement, to which he later clung — as he did to so many other passed-away things?
Sadly I feel I will have to scale back on these “Kittee” and “Postcards” blog features until next Spring. As I said above, I have several books that need to be finished. The “Kittee” posts often take much searching, and the “Postcard” posts do have a tendency to ramify if I let them, in terms of needing wider and wider historical investigations once one starts looking at a topic or a locale. Expect these posts when you see them, and there may well be weeks when they’ll be absent.
In non-fiction journals, I noted that the Blood ‘n’ Thunder journal has re-started, with a focus on scholarly fan-essays on “adventure, mystery and melodrama” in the pulps. The Italian Lovecraftian Dimensione Cosmica journal has also returned, and I translated the relevant contents pages to English.
In books, Io Sono Providence: la biografia di H.P. Lovecraft, the Italian translation of S.T. Joshi’s monumental biography, should be in the mail as I type; all three Lovecraftian Proceedings were noted as being available in very affordable Kindle ebooks; and forthcoming is a new wide-ranging Religion and Comics series from Claremont Press. In terms of collectables, a big Derleth collection popped up at L.W. Currey and was linked.
In audio, Lovecraftian multimedia sonics from Germany; the Lovecraft Geek Podcast made a welcome return with a fine and focused new episode; and a new audiobook of the HPL-fave The House on the Borderland appeared on Librivox.
Various creative endeavours and bits of art were noted. In comics I was pleased to learn that Marvel’s b&w 1970s and 80s Savage Sword of Conan is being properly reprinted as handsome volumes; and I was equally pleased to see as a follow-on that Howard Days 2020 will be “Celebrating REH in Comics”.
A clutch of academic calls and opportunities were noted, including a funded-PhD in Music and Multimedia Composition at Brown University; and the annual Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship 2020. I produced an annotated “The City” (1919) to mark the 100th anniversary of H. P. Lovecraft’s cosmic mythos in November 2019.