Saturday, March 16, 2013
I Am Providence Vol II
I mentioned in my review of the first volume of S.T. Joshi's biography of H.P. Lovecraft that the book was as concerned with Lovecraft's writing as with his life, and that carries through into volume II as well. Joshi looks at the origins, compositions, publications and impact of the big stories. THE DUNWHICH HORROR. THE CALL OF CTHULHU. THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH. The heavyweights of Lovecraft's fiction.
We also hit a couple of areas where Joshi and I disagree. He doesn't care much for The Dunwich Horror, which is probably my favorite Lovecraft tale and he has a pretty low opinion of the writing of Robert E. Howard. But hey, I don't expect to agree with everything a writer says, even in a book I like as much as this one. And, in both cases, Joshi gives plenty of explanation of why he holds the opinions that he does. Can't ask for more than that.
Any minor quibbles are far outweighed by the amazing amount of stuff I learned about Lovecraft that I didn't know. He did travel through Atlanta a couple of times but he didn't stop long. He visited Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, just as I have, and he traveled to Knoxville, birthplace of Karl Edward Wagner. I knew that Lovecraft made several trips to Florida, but didn't know much about his wanderings in other parts of the south.
But mainly I learned about the creation of some of my favorite stories. Wonderful stuff.