The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

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Snowy
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Snowy » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:02 pm

From a brief search...no. He is noted as an antiquarian rather than a genealogist, so I am definitely mistaken. I retract my suggestion forthwith :)
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Stormbringer » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:57 pm

Well, the narrator of The Picture in the House is doing genealogical research for an unspecified purpose. There's no reason why an antiquarian (or a weird fiction writer, as Carter is also mentioned as being) wouldn't do that. So there's no reason why it couldn't be Randolph Carter, but there's nothing affirming it either. Lovecraft was quite good at referencing small details in his stories in other stories in order to tie them together into a cohesive fictional web. However, never once does any Randolph Carter story mention the events of this story, which leads me not to jump to that conclusion.
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Sly Boots » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:58 pm

Sorry guys, I will read this one I promise, probably won't be tonight though as we've got the forum D&D session in an hour's time.

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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Stormbringer » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:27 pm

No probs, Sly. It is a pretty short one.
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Stormbringer » Mon Nov 04, 2019 3:46 pm

Managed to read this one yet, Sly? ¬_¬
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Sly Boots » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:44 pm

I've read it now.

Again, not sure how much I can add to what you both have already said. Short but sweet. It almost lost me early on, the opening two paragraphs just being a bit too florid and overwrought. I'm always left preferring the parts where Lovecraft just allows the horror to flourish organically without feeling the need to beat the readers about the ears proclaiming 'look! Look how scary this is! It's a weather-beaten old house with empty windows! OOOoooOOOooohhh!' It feels a bit try-hard is what I'm saying.

My favourite bit, then is the part where mid-sentence a drop of blood falls from the ceiling onto the open page, a lovely little denouement following all the build-up. A satisfying conclusion to the encounter, and, dare I say, a bit of black humour as well.

I also loved the little details like the civil-war era antiques, the book falling open at that page through over-use, the old spoken dialect... that's how to properly build up the creepy tension. I also like that the danger to the narrator was implied rather than overt which, thanks to a well-timed thunderbolt is where it remained.

As for the lightning itself, perhaps it was just a way for Lovecraft to end they story having already said everything he wanted to say, a bit of a tropey ending perhaps?

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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Stormbringer » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:21 pm

Sly Boots wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:44 pm
It almost lost me early on, the opening two paragraphs just being a bit too florid and overwrought.
I have to admit, this is one of the things I find the most appealing about Lovecraft. I adore that florid, overwrought introduction! That said, I do find it highly amusing, after several reads, that he describes a type of person who does all the following:
H.P. Lovecraft wrote:Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places. For them are the catacombs of Ptolemais, and the carven mausolea of the nightmare countries. They climb to the moonlit towers of ruined Rhine castles, and falter down black cobwebbed steps beneath the scattered stones of forgotten cities in Asia. The haunted wood and the desolate mountain are their shrines, and they linger around the sinister monoliths on uninhabited islands.
I totally dig that prose, but seriously, who actually does all that stuff? It sounds a bit like Indiana Jones, to be honest, but we know he'd do all that for fortune and glory, not horror!

Sly Boots wrote:I also loved the little details like the civil-war era antiques, the book falling open at that page through over-use, the old spoken dialect... that's how to properly build up the creepy tension.
Agreed. I also really like the bit about the book falling open at that page, especially in contrast to all the good Puritan literature he's got on his shelf: you know what he's been studying more of.

Finally, I realised I really like this line:
H.P. Lovecraft wrote: His proximity was becoming rather obnoxious, yet I saw no way to escape without offending him.
This is how I feel whenever I meet a drunk person in the street who wants to talk to me. :lol:
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Stormbringer » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:10 am

Well, chaps, the real purpose of The Picture in the House was as a primer for the setting of "Lovecraft Country", which will be the locale for the majority of the rest of Lovecraft's tales from here on out (with one or two exceptions).

Here's a little map of the region for reference:

Image

As you can see, it's all pretty much wedged into the State of Massachusetts.

The last story was not set at any particular named location above, just somewhere in the Miskatonic Valley region, but presumably somewhere near Arkham, as that is where the protagonist was headed.

Now that we've arrived in this region, I'm tempted to throw open the options again for where we go first:

1. Arkham
2. Kingsport
3. Innsmouth
4. Dunwich
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Sly Boots » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:35 am

In the interests of full disclosure, earlier this year I also read The Dunwich Horror, so as with Call of Cthulhu not sure if it would be one I would be ready to read again right now. I did really enjoy it though.

I'd probably vote for Innsmouth as if it's the one I'm thinking of I was already thinking about reading that one sometime soon.

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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Stormbringer » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:08 am

I imagine Snowy will go along with the consensus, so let us read...

THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH

http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/tex ... n/soi.aspx
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Snowy » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:39 am

Happy to go where I am pointed :)

Will re-read and post my thoughts, not read this one for yonks.
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Sly Boots » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:35 pm

Am working my way through this btw, will probably take me a few nights to do so!

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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Stormbringer » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:53 pm

No probs; it's a longer one so take your time.
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Snowy » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:29 pm

Sly Boots wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:35 pm
Am working my way through this btw, will probably take me a few nights to do so!
As above :)
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Re: The H.P. Lovecraft Reading Club

Post by Sly Boots » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:17 am

Should be finishing this up tonight, Kindle reckons another 20 minutes although I think for these I tend to read at a slower pace than it expects to try to process it all properly.

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