Those who have been in the Grave the longest

Howard Phillips Lovecraft [August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937]

I’ll take my obit for the day from Emily Dickinson, poem No. 691 –

Would you like summer? Taste of ours.
Spices? Buy here!
Ill! We have berries, for the parching!
Weary! Furloughs of down!
Perplexed! Estates of violet trouble ne’er looked on!
Captive! We bring reprieve of roses!
Fainting! Flasks of air!
Even for Death, a fairy medicine.
But, which is it, sir?

Which, indeed, could it be? I’m trying to think of myself as some kind of Joseph Curwen, concocting a “fairy medicine” that will prevent Lovecraft from dying…alas, I’m not so sure my landlady would even remotely approve of my setting up a secret lab, where files of

Curious porters and teamers

would trickle in to deliver their goods to restack the lines of

“fantastic flasks, crucibles, alembics, and furnaces”.

Well, I guess I could scare the bejesus out of the little sonic hellraisers next door (aka, my neighbors’ kids) with all the stench, the foul light, and the tortured noises that I see implied by a secret lab, alas: this won’t go down. Guess, I’ll have to stay glued to my desk to do it the old-fashioned scholarly way.

Meanwhile, I’m also doing some prep work for my upcoming seminar – I’ll teach a class on the American Apocalyptic, & am looking forward to it. Lovecraft will figure in it, too, in a supporting role that will help me get the discussion into science fiction, as far it is happening in genre terms; – that should make me the first person to teach him at my alma mater, ever. I find it a little tricky to teach the historical tail – all the way from Columbus’s apocalyptic call – without overemphasizing that apocalyptic call as a foundation to American culture, the way it’s been done well into even more recent discussions of the topic. I wouldn’t want to paint the Puritans as driven harbingers of the eschaton, even though they did make it (in its apocalyptic version) into a constant concern in their writings…



Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s