Saturday, March 15, 2008
As most readers know, H.P. Lovecraft died on March 15, 1937, after a grueling battle with stomach cancer and renal failure. Lovecraft's death went mostly unnoticed by the world over seventy years ago. It mainly registered on the radar of the small circle of friends and correspondents HPL had knitted together through his letters and literary works over the years. Of course, as subsequent history proved, these colleagues were instrumental in saving Lovecraft from a temporary obscurity in world literature. Personally, this blogger agrees with S.T. Joshi's notion elsewhere: Lovecraft would've burst onto the scene of speculative fiction in some fashion, sooner or later. Yet, Arkham House, formed only a few years after his death, ensured no rediscovery of the weird writings were necessary. The publisher helped thoroughly propel Lovecraft to his current status in literature, unthinkable even a few decades ago.
Even though Lovecraft languished in the shadows of cheap pulps and less than cult status throughout his life, his death attracted some small notice. Below is the original obituary placed in the local paper shortly after H.P. Lovecraft's demise. Unfortunately, it contains little more than passing mention of his fiction, and mostly mentions his local activities in younger years, like the astronomical columns and amateur journals he produced. Oddly, the obituary mentions a journal or set of observations Lovecraft kept while he was dying, though it's unclear what ever became of this. Despite searching, I have found no other mention of it in the thorough biographical scholarship by Mr. Joshi.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Lovecraft.