21 April 2012

Relationship Advice from H. P. Lovecraft

Apparently, H. P. Lovecraft also wrote an advice column.  A sample letter and reply:
Dear Howie, 
My girlfriend has metamorphosed into a kind of polyhedron with many pairs of feelers, membraneous wings, and fanged orifices on stalks. Should I talk to her about this, or keep hoping it’s just a phase? Snapshot enclosed. 
Amateur Photographer
Dear Amateur Photographer: – 
I do not know long it was before I dared to inspect your snapshot. Once I did, I immediately fell wholly to the floor. How much time passed after that, do not ask me to guess, but a momentary fragment of memory shows me racing dementedly past a long stone colonnade towards a curious hummock. After that, mercifully, all is blackness. My aunts discovered me beside a nearby megalith, with my faculties paralyzed, a mark on my forehead bespeaking all too vividly the ravages of some snail-like marsupial. It was months before I regained the ability to talk any language but proto-Algonquian. Now my senses have somewhat cleared, I recommend you break things off with your fiancée as tactfully as possible, not letting her suspect you have noticed any change or blemish. Hers is such an image as — but I cannot go on. I have barricaded myself indoors, and hope never to look at another photograph, or touch any variety of leafy vegetable. Even Dalgaard’s worst prophesies fell short of the unspeakable reality! A rank odor now pervades everything, the hills resonate with sustained prehuman howling, and I keep losing my place in the Unrecommended Codex of Naarg, 
Yrs Strkly. Trrfd., – HPL.
More here!

(hat tip: Chris Robichaud)


  1. Argh! The quote came out a bit weird (as six different quotes). Blogger has changed its formatting system, and I have yet to figure out how to cut-and-paste things properly.

    1. Akrasia,

      I can't find an email for you, so I'm posting this here; forgive me if that's gauche.


      I am writing to tell you about an illustrated book called _The Shadow out of Providence_, a metafictional response to the writings of H. P. Lovecraft. Two stories and a play re-work Lovecraft’s themes and plots, and celebrate his influence, while critiquing his racism and his nostalgia for aristocracy.

      Three artists illustrate the book. Erol Otus, of early Dungeons and Dragons cult fame (http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/04/an-interview-with-fantasy-artist-erol-otus), illustrates "The Vostok Dossier." Dan Zettwoch (http://www.danzettwoch.com/) illustrates the play "Facts Concerning the Late Eadweard Thurston and his Family." And Timothy Hutchings (http://www.timothyhutchings.com/TH/Timothy_Hutchings.html) illustrates "Diving to Dunwich."

      We have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the design and printing of the book. You can learn more about the project there: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/98284667/the-shadow-out-of-providence-a-lovecraftical-metat

      If we meet our goal, backers will get rewards ranging from copies of the book (digital or hardcover), to numbered prints or original works by the artists, to copies of the book handmade and bound by the graphic designer. Even small pledges will help us make this obsessive little project a reality.

      Please consider posting a link or a blurb about the project on Akratic Wizardry. If we get at least $100 in pledges that originate from your blog, we will send you a free hardcover copy of the book (provided we reach our goal).

      Thank you for your time.

      --Ezra Claverie

  2. if you let your computer read HPL's letter while simultaneously playing the intro to Metallica's 'One' it does funny things to your head.


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).