Monday, February 16, 2009

Dreamer on the Night Side... H. P.Lovecraft

Howard Phillips Lovecraft and I share the same birthday --- well, not the same DATE, mind you -- but the same day.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (aka: HPL) was born on August 20, 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island. His father died when he was rather young, leaving him in the care of his mother and grandmother. His mother was not altogether stable and much inclined to treat HPL as frail and an invalid. After his father's death, HPL's grandfather was the source of funding for them, and when the grandfather died, it turned out that much of their fortune was smoke and mirrors. He and his mother did not starve, but they did live in a very frugal fashion which rubbed off on HPL throughout the rest of his life. HPL was a voratious reader and a nearly obsessive writer of missives, letters and stories. He wasn't a garrulous type and found face t0 face meetings with his numerous correspondents to be difficult, but he wasn't a hermit by any means. His main claim to fame (which didn't happen, really, until after his death) was because of the short stories he wrote (generally late at night or very early in the morning...he was a true night person) that were ghostly in nature, weird (in the literature sense... the SF sense) and most especially macabre. He was the creator of the Cthulhu Mythos and now has rabid followers of his creation.

But there was a point in time where his writing might never have made print. If it hadn't been for a pair of sometimes correspondents (August Derleth and Donald Wandrei), much of HPL's writing would have been tossed out with the trash after his death and his works would never have seen the light of day.

Strange huh?

Now I started this blog off with the fact that HPL & I share the same birthdate, but I have to say that as far as I can tell, our personalities are poles apart (except for a few excentricities regarding our frugal natures....and I do NOT have his absolute adoration of ice cream). He is, however one of the more fascinating author's I've encountered (in biographical form in this case).

If you haven't read any of his work, try it. If you have never read up on his life, it's definitely worth a gander.


1 comment:

Canadense said...

In 1964 my Lovecraft buddy and I left Saskatoon and deliberately travelled past Sauk City WI. WE asked after August Derleth at the grill. "O yah. The writer feller." We were too frightened that night to go down the laneway when we found it. My question: should we have?