Saturday, 3 March 2007

Lovecraft Day — The Baroque and Necrid Anniversary of the Master's Demise

by Edwin Hesselthwite

“I dream of a day when they may rise above the billows to drag down in their reeking talons the remnants of puny, war-exhausted mankind—of a day when the land shall sink, and the dark ocean floor shall ascend amidst universal pandemonium.

The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it. It shall not find me. God, that hand! The window! The window!”

— The final sentences of Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft

Let it never be said that the protagonists of H.P. Lovecraft's stories didn't have balls. These academically educated New Englanders might be dragged into circumstances of darkest terror against their better judgement, but even the arrival of an unspeakable end won't cause them to lay down the fountain pens transcribing their final testament. It's an amusingly ridiculous affectation that turns up repeatedly in H.P's writing, and one I will discuss in more detail in a later post… Because this post is intended as an announcement of an occasion for celebration.

H.P. Lovecraft died (a nasty death from intestinal cancer) on the 15th of March 1937, and while it would usually be morbid to celebrate an artist's death, in the case of Howard Philips it is almost certainly the most appropriate occasion—his characters near universally had disturbing passions for grave robbing and necrology. Over the next 2 weeks we at Little Man, What Now? are going to be producing a series of Lovecraft and Gothic Horror related materials in the build up to the anniversary itself, climaxing with a couple of posts on the 15th and following days. There is a unique significance to this 70th Anniversary, because under EU and US law this is the date an author's body of work enters the public domain—The Cthulhu Mythos and all his published stories are finally being pried from the litigious claws of Arkham House and the estate of August Derleth. We will admit there is some legal dispute on this issue, Arkham House lay claim to the copyright running till 2018, but there are numerous parties long asserting this claim to be invalid (the works of Lovecraft's peer, SF writer Stanley Weinbaum are unambiguously in the public domain), and this anniversary should be the nail in Arkham's eldritch coffin.

We invite you to join the Lovecraft Day festivities. If you write a post about Lovecraft and link here using the banner at the top of this article, we'll add your posts to this list:

Lovecraft Day: Links

Lovecraft DayLittle Man, What Now? (The Event's page)
That Is Not Dead Which Can Eternal LieUK Commentators (Some Lovecraftian links, flagrant blogvertising)
A Horrible Dream Little Man, What Now? (Tales from Pooter's unconscious)
Providence: Following the footsteps of a horror icon - (A travel piece discussing the festivities being laid on in Lovecraft's home town)
Lovecraft is Dead — Long Live the KingLittle Man, What Now? (Pritchard discusses the influence of Lovecraft on 20th Century horror's biggest name)
Pulp Uncovered Festival Explores Controversial Roots of Pop IconsBrown University (Brown University are holding a community festival on Lovecraft Day)
The Inexorable Descent Into Gibbering Insanity Little Man, What Now? (An uncanny tale from Pooter's home town)
Las obras de H.P. Lovecraft pasan al dominio públicomenéame
(Translation: "The works of H.P. Lovecraft enter the public domain")
70 aniversario de la muerte de H.P. Lovecraftaceitunas sun hueso
(Translation: "70th anniversary of the death of H.P. Lovecraft")
Re-animation DayTampon Teabag (A short tribute from a sweary blog)
70 años de la muerte de LovecraftEl Joven Lovecraft (Translation: "70 Years After the Death of Lovecraft")
"Don't Mate with Fish" and Other Life Lessons, by H.P. LovecraftBiblioliatry (Our friend across the pond writes a long review of a recent republication... A fun read, as ever)
The Call of Cthulhu, Part ILittle Man, What Now? (Part one of Lovecraft's classic tale republished on this blog with original art work)
The Call of Cthulhu, Part IILittle Man, What Now? (Part two: The Tale of Inspector Legrasse)
The Call of Cthulhu, Part IIILittle Man, What Now? (The horrible conclusion)

So guard yourself at sundown, and meddle not with forces beyond man's comprehension, because the next two weeks are a time when the lone investigator is uniquely at risk from The Shoggoth and the works of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, author of The Necronomicon.


Edwin Hesselthwite said...

We are getting a significant number of hits from Spanish language websites at the moment, enough that our monitoring tools aren't quite up to the job of spotting every website that has linked to us.

Therefore, if we've missed you and you want us to link back to you from the main page, we would like to apologise. Please drop a note in this comments thread, and we will write you in.

JQ - Cisne Negro said...

Check it out:

70 años de la muerte de Lovecraft, from the authors of the comic "El joven Lovecraft" (Young Lovecraft), about to be published.

Rafael said...

This is great!