Joshi Sunand Tryambak - I am providence

Author : Joshi Sunand Tryambak
Title : I am providence The life and times of H. P. Lovecraft
Year : 2013

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Preface. I don’t imagine that the publication of so large a biography of H. P. Lovecraft needs a defence today: his ascent into the canon of American literature with the publication of the Library of America edition of his Tales (2005), and, concurrently, his continued popularity among devotees of horror fiction, comics, films, and role-playing games suggest that Lovecraft will remain a compelling figure for decades to come. What may perhaps require some justification is my decision to issue this unabridged version of a biography that I wrote in 1993–95 and that was published in truncated form in 1996. In the nearly fifteen years since that time, a surprising amount of new information about Lovecraft - his life, his work, and his milieu - has emerged, necessitating some significant revisions in various portions of this book. Foremost in this regard must be cited Kenneth W. Faig, Jr, who with others has dug even deeper than before into Lovecraft’s paternal and maternal ancestry. Other research by Steven J. Mariconda, David E. Schultz, T. R. Livesey, Robert H. Waugh, and any number of others has resulted in changes both large and small. I believe I have also benefited from the pertinent criticisms of a number of reviewers of the truncated edition. A reader of the earlier version might ask: Exactly what is new about this edition aside from the bare addition of more than 150,000 words ? In all humility I am now unable to answer this question in any detail. My pruning of the version I wrote in 1993 - 95 - comprising more than 500,000 words - was on the level of both individual words, phrases, and sentences and some entire sections. One gauge of the kind and degree of omissions can be gauged by the number of footnotes in the trimmed and the full version; to choose a chapter at random, Chapter 14 in the earlier version had 75 footnotes; the current version has 98. In this version, therefore, I am even more determined to specify the documentary basis for my assertions. In the past decade and a half, important publications by and about Lovecraft have made the biographer’s life much simpler, at least in terms of citations. Far and away the most significant in this regard is Peter Cannon’s exemplary compilation of memoirs of Lovecraft, Lovecraft Remembered (1998), a volume so close to definitive that it scarcely ever need be done over again. I have some small quibbles with Cannon’s selections: for example, I wish he had not included the truncated version of Sonia Davis’s memoir of her husband, successively edited by Winfield Townley Scott and August Derleth, and had included the first of Muriel Eddy’s memoirs rather than a later one; as a result I have cited these (and a few other) items from sources other than Lovecraft Remembered. ...

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