Monday, February 11, 2008

Some Lovecraft Letter Fragments

"Regarding the solemnly cited myth-cycle of Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, R'lyeh, Nyarlathotep, Nug, Yeb, Shub-Niggurath, etc., etc.- let me confess that this is all a synthetic concotion of my own, like the populous and varied pantheon of Lord Dunsany's Pegana . The reason for its echoes in Dr. de Castro's work is that the latter gentleman is a revision-client of mine--into whose tales I have stuck these glancing references for sheer fun. If any other clients of mine get work placed in W.T., you will perhaps find a still-wider spread of the cult of Azathoth, Cthulhu, and the Great Old Ones! The Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred is likewise something which must yet be written in order to possess objective reality." - H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Robert E. Howard (August 14, 1930)

"Regarding the Necronomicon--I must confess that this monstrous & abhorred volume is merely a figment of my own imagination! Inventing horrible books is quite a pastime among devotees of the weird, &...many of the regular W.T. contributors have such things to their credit--or discredit. It rather amuses the different writers to use one another's synthetic demons & imaginary books in their stories--so that Clark Ashton Smith often speaks of my Necronomicon while I refer to his Book of Eibon . . & so on. This pooling of resources tends to build up quite a pseudo-convincing background of dark mythology, legendry, & bibliography--though of course none of us has the least wish actually to mislead readers." - H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Miss Margaret Sylvester (January 13, 1934)

"Abdul is a favourite dream-character of mine--indeed that is what I used to call myself when I was five years old and a transported devotee of Andrew Lang's version of the Arabian Nights. A few years ago I prepared a mock-erudite synopsis of Abdul's life, and of the posthumous vicissitudes and translations of his hideous and unmentionable work Al Azif ...--a synopsis which I shall follow in future references to the dark and accursed thing." - H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Robert E. Howard (August 14, 1930)

"The name 'Abdul Alhazred' is one which some adult (I can't recall who) devised for me when I was 5 years old & eager to be an Arab after reading the Arabian Nights. Years later I thought it would be fun to use it as the name of a forbidden-book author." - H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Harry O. Fischer (late February, 1937)

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