Collected Fiction, A Variorum Edition,
Volume 2: 1926–1930
Edited by S.T. Joshi
In the 1980s, S.T. Joshi prepared revised editions of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories for Arkham House. Basing his work on consultation of manuscripts, early publications, and other sources, Joshi corrected thousands of errors in the existing texts of Lovecraft’s fiction, allowing readers to appreciate the stories as Lovecraft originally wrote them. In the thirty years that have followed, Joshi has continued to do research on the textual accuracy of Lovecraft’s stories, and this comprehensive new edition is the result. For the first time, students and scholars of Lovecraft can see at a glance all the textual variants in all relevant appearances of a story—manuscript, first publication in magazines, and first book publications. The result is an illuminating record of the textual history of the tales, along with how Lovecraft significantly revised his stories after initial publication.
Along the way, Joshi has made small but significant revisions to his earlier corrected texts. He has determined, for example, that Lovecraft slightly revised some stories when a reprint of them was scheduled in Weird Tales, and he has altered some readings in light of a better understanding of Lovecraft’s customary linguistic usages. The result is the definitive text of Lovecraft’s fiction—an edition that supersedes all those that preceded it and should endure as the standard text of Lovecraft’s stories for many years.
In this second volume, the tales that Lovecraft wrote immediately after returning to his native Providence, R.I., from two years of “exile” in New York are presented. The landmark tale “The Call of Cthulhu” was only the tip of the iceberg of a flood of stories he wrote in 1926–27, which include the two short novels The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. “The Colour out of Space” is a pioneering tale that initiates Lovecraft’s distinctive melding of horror and science fiction, while “The Dunwich Horror” and “The Whisperer in Darkness” are rich novellas simultaneously evoking terrors from outer space and the brooding darkness of the New England backwoods.
S.T. Joshi is a leading Lovecraft scholar and author of H.P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West (1990), I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft (2010), Lovecraft and a World in Transition (2014), and other critical and biographical works. He has also done significant research on such writers as Lord Dunsany, Ambrose Bierce, Arthur Machen, and Ramsey Campbell.
Collected Fiction, A Variorum Edition, Volume 2: 1926–1930. By H.P. Lovecraft, Edited by S.T. Joshi. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2014; ISBN 978-1-61498-110-7; 538 pages; hardcover.
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