I was well aware that yesterday was birthday 124 for H.P. Lovecraft — been doing a lot of rereading of The Old Gent in the past year or so, even grabbed a moment in memoriam to decipher some of his squiggly holograph off a photocopy of a 1932 letter. Noticed a nice tidbit that was left out of the Arkham House Selected Letters set, where Lovecraft mentions:
Oh, yes — about my 46 titles, only 31 have been professionally published. The two long novelettes — “Kadath” & “Charles Dexter Ward” — have never been even typed (god, how I hate that damned machine!), & besides myself no living soul but Donald Wandrei (while on a visit here in 1927) has even read them.
Think about that. As late as November 1932 — Lovecraft would die early in 1937 — Don Wandrei was the only reader for “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath” and “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.” Might not mean anything to the General Public, but for any Lovecraftians in the audience I think a little awe is in order. Makes me appreciate my days hanging out with Wandrei all the more — never met HPL, but knowing Wandrei had to be close to the same experience.
And if you want to read a nice article on Lovecraft, John J. Miller’s piece from the Claremont Review of Books earlier this year is worth checking out. It became available just in time for the birthday festivities. “Wake me when the stars are wrong again” — great line.