Friday, November 13, 2015

still cool, bitches

I was sent ye ARC of The Annotated Fungi from Yuggoth---& I cannot speak too much about ye book because it is still a work in progress and not yet available for pre-order from ye publisher. But--Great Yuggoth!--it is such a cool edition, utterly sublime & definitive. Hippocampus Press will probably publish it in handsome hardcover format early next year. 


One of ye highlights of ye book, for me, is that each page of Lovecraft's holograph manuscript has been photograph'd & printed; and, once again, I am rather happy that I never had ye yearning to be an editor of Lovecraft's texts. I mean, check it out:

Lovecraft wrote Fungi from Yuggoth in the week between December 27 and January 4, 1928--so that had me imagining that he sat down at his desk and easily spill'd forth his sonnets onto paper, that the entire thing was a simple and fast affair. But as ye can see above, he freaking slaved over ye writing of ye poem--for each handwritten original draft looks like ye one pictur'd above. Eventually, of course, a typed manuscript was produced. That wasn't the case with The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, which was left in handwritten manuscript form only at ye time of Lovecraft's death. Can you imgine trying to decipher a short novel where every page of manuscript looks like this:



Lovecraft handwriting can be rather attractive, and those clever folk at The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society sell a font based on Lovecraft's penmenship; and Will Hart, in his audio readers of ye Fungi from Yuggoth downloaded on YouTube, has used that font as the video image of each poem, thus:



Fungi from Yuggoth is a work that has captivated me for a long time. It inspir'd me to finally try my hand at my own sonnet sequence, which was publish'd in Sesqua Valley and Other Haunts--and I am now so asham'd at how poor my poems are that I won't allow moft of yem to be reprinted. I've been working on a new series, Sonnets of an Eldritch Bent, the first few of which have just been publish'd in Weirdbook #31. Of my old sonnets, my favourite is the one I wrote in memory of Oscar Wilde:



I had in mind the idea that I wanted to write something entirely inspir'd by Lovecraft's sonnets, and then Will Hart began to upload his readings of them on his site and on YouTube--and that's whut finally did it for me. I decided to write a prose-poem sequence completely inspir'd by Fungi from Yuggoth, a sequence of 36 segments, each individually inspir'd by one of HPL's thirty-six sonnets. Segment one was my prose "rendition" of Lovecraft's sonnet #1, &c. I became obsess'd with ye writing of this book--for I had indeed visualized it as being publish'd in book form as a wee individual volume. I became utterly obsess'd with ye project, and shock'd myself by writing ye entire thing (I think that first version was 33,000 words or something like that) in six weeks. Honey, I burned to write! First I wou'd listen to one of Will Hart's readings, then I wou'd carefully study the printed sonnet; and then I wou'd pen my prose piece. I have never written anything so quickly, so smoothly. I was high on art, babies. Happily, once ye piece was finish'd, Arcane Wisdom Press agreed to bring it out in a small hardcover edition, beautifully design'd, with illustrations by Matthew Jaffe. His jacket for ye book remains my favourite cover for any of my books.


For my newest book, Monstrous Aftermath, publish'd this past summer by Hippocampus Press, Matthew return'd to the scene of ye cover for Gulf

And now Will Hart has recorded new audio renditions of the entire Fungi from Yuggoth, with magnificent musical accompaniment by Graham Plowman. This is an astonishing production, and will be available on audio cd from Fedogan & Bremer in ye near future. Along with ye entire Fungi from Yuggoth, there are recorded renditions of other poems such as "The Ancient Track", "In a Sequester'd Providence Churchyard Where Once Poe Walk'd", "Nemisis", & many others. I haven't an exact date for when this set (probably a two-disc set) will be releas'd, but as soon as I know I'll give y'all ordering info. 

We are living in such a rich Lovecraftian era, with many more delights in store for future time. Lovecraft, that excellent artist, is indeed Eternal. Ia! Ia!



6 comments:

  1. Ever sense Weird Howard photoshoped sunglasses on ol HPL I've seen it pop up everywhere.

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  2. I don't know if Lovecraft even have any works written in in one go, but I'm not surprised he slaved over Fungi so much. He was very much a perfectionist, especially when it came to his art. And here it was worth the effort, Fungi from Yuggoth is one of his finest works - the finest, if to take into account only poetical ones - and your tribute does it justice, as well as the excellent audiobook by MorganScorpion.

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