The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Classics)
H. P. Lovecraft, S. T. Joshi
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A definitive edition of stories by the master of supernatural fiction
Howard Phillips Lovecraft's unique contribution to American literature was a melding of traditional supernaturalism (derived chiefly from Edgar Allan Poe) with the genre of science fiction that emerged in the early 1920s. This Penguin Classics edition brings together a dozen of the master's tales-from his early short stories "Under the Pyramids" (originally ghostwritten for Harry Houdini) and "The Music of Erich Zann" (which Lovecraft ranked second among his own favorites) through his more fully developed works, "The Dunwich Horror," The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and At the Mountains of Madness.
The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories presents the definitive corrected texts of these works, along with Lovecraft critic and biographer S. T. Joshi's illuminating introduction and notes to each story.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
had agreed to relay outside, and to hide our camera films for private development later on; so that part of my present story will be as new to Pabodie, McTighe, Ropes, Sherman, and the rest as it will be to the world in general. Indeed—Danforth is closer mouthed than I; for he saw—or thinks he saw—one thing he will not tell even me. As all know, our report included a tale of a hard ascent; a confirmation of Lake’s opinion that the great peaks are of Archaean slate and other very primal crumpled
1952. 8 Hārūn ar-Rashīd (766-809) was the fifth caliph of the Abbasid dynasty (r. 786-809), which ruled the Islamic world, then extending from the western Mediterranean to India. His reign is glorified in the Arabian Nights. HPL had in his library an old biography, Edward Henry Palmer’s The Caliph Haroun Alraschid and Saracen Civilization (1881). 9 The travel guides published by the German firm of Karl Baedeker, beginning in 1829 and subsequently translated into many languages, became
MW) HPL provides a tongue-in-cheek history of the volume. In that essay he makes the mistake of dating Olaus Wormius’s Latin translation to 1228, when in fact Wormius (Ole Worm, 1588-1654) was a Danish doctor and scientist who lived in the seventeenth century and wrote treatises on Danish antiquities, medicine, and the philosopher’s stone. HPL’s error derives from an erroneous interpretation of a discussion of Wormius in Hugh Blair’s Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian (1763). See S. T.
reproduced through seeds or spores which clustered on their bases and could be developed only under water” (DH 399). 86 Cf. the Great Race in “The Shadow out of Time”: “Family organisation was not overstressed, though ties among persons of common descent were recognised, and the young were generally reared by their parents” (DH 399). 87 This sentence suggests that HPL himself had converted to a moderate, non-Marxist socialism by this time. In July 1931, speaking of the effects of “technological
year 1766; so will be guided by you in all Matters. I am impatient for yr Brig, and inquire daily at Mr. Biddle’s Wharf.” A third suspicious letter was in an unknown tongue and even an unknown alphabet. In the Smith diary found by Charles Ward a single oft-repeated combination of characters is clumsily copied; and authorities at Brown University have pronounced the alphabet Amharic or Abyssinian, although they do not recognise the word. None of these epistles was ever delivered to Curwen,