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Lovecraft, H. P.. The Dunwich Horror and Others.

Lovecraft, H. P.. The Dunwich Horror and Others.

Sauk City: Arkham House, 1963.

First edition. 8vo. Publisher’s black cloth titled in gilt to spine, in dustwrapper, essentially a near fine copy. Internally clean, exlibris (of Joseph V. Maynard) to front pastedown, and a small bookseller’s label from Providence, RI, no less, to the same page. As greatest hits albums go, this one is pretty darn good; The Dunwich Horror, Pickman’s Model, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Call of Cthulhu, essentially it’s a mythos primer, attractively produced (although August Derleth never got the memo that 3000 copies is not “limited”) with a Lee Brown Coye dustwrapper (anyone who succeeds in making Lovecraft look odder than he already is gets my vote). I love these stories, I bathe regularly in the eldritch light of them, and I genuinely think that they are a very important part of the fictional evolution of human storytelling. That said H.P. Lovecraft was a racist, dysfunctional man muppet who seems to have been horrified by...well, pretty much everything, women in particular, the outside world in general, who knows, the rickety looking, weird chin having loon was just a whole mess. Creative genius? Absolutely. Inspiration to generations of storytellers? Definitely. A decent person? Not even slightly, because you cannot hold his opinions, and have his beliefs and be one. That’s just a fact. It’s unfortunate that he died before his world got large enough for him to learn from.

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