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Primal Sources:
Essays on H.P. Lovecraft

By S.T. Joshi


Back Cover Text

For the past 25 years, S.T. Joshi has been the leading scholar on Lovecraft. His biographical, critical, and bibliographical research has clarified many aspects of Lovecraft’s life, work, and thought and suggested new avenues for study. This volume constitutes the first major selection of Joshi’s Lovecraftian essays to be published, and exhibits the full range of his investigations of the dreamer from Providence. From Lovecraft’s taste in films to his aesthetics of weird fiction; from autobiographical elements in his fiction to his use of pseudonyms; from his involvement with Weird Tales and the Munsey magazines to his discussions of contemporary political, social, and cultural events—all these and other aspects of Lovecraft’s mutifaceted thought and inexhaustibly rich fiction are probed by Joshi with meticulous accuracy and penetrating insight. An entire section features close readings of individual Lovecraft stories, studying their literary influences, their philosophical ramifications, and their fusion of thought and imagination. A previously unpublished essay reveals a new influence on Lovecraft’s great Antarctic novel, At the Mountains of Madness.

S.T. Joshi is the author of The Weird Tale (1990), The Modern Weird Tale (2001), and the award-winning H.P. Lovecraft: A Life (1996). He has prepared corrected editions of Lovecraft’s fiction, poetry, and letters as well as editions of works by Ambrose Bierce, H.L. Mencken, and other writers. He is at work on a five-volume annotated edition of Lovecraft’s Collected Essays, to be published by Hippocampus Press.


I. Lovecraft The Man
Lovecraft and the Munsey Magazines
Lovecraft and Weird Tales
A Look at Lovecraft’s Letters
Lovecraft and the Films of His Day
Lovecraft’s Library
II. Lovecraft the Writer and Thinker
Autobiography in Lovecraft
“Reality” and Knowledge
In Defence of Dagon and Lovecraft’s Philosophy
The Rationale of Lovecraft’s Pseudonyms
The Dream World and the Real World in Lovecraft
Lovecraft’s Alien Civilisations: A Political Interpretation
Topical References in Lovecraft
III. Studies on Individual Works
Lovecraft, Regner Lodbrog, and Olaus Wormius
On “Polaris”
What Happens in “Arthur Jermyn”
“The Tree” and Ancient History
The Sources for “From Beyond”
Lovecraft and the Regnum Congo
Lovecraft and Dunsany’s Chronicles of Rodriguez
On “The Descendant”
Some Sources for “The Mound” and At the Mountains of Madness
On “The Book”
Lovecraft’s Fantastic Poetry
Books by S.T. Joshi

Bibliographic Information

Primal Sources: Essays on H.P. Lovecraft. By S.T. Joshi. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2003; ISBN 0-9721644-0-5 (paperback).

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased in paperback from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or directly from the publisher, Hippocampus Press.

  Return to Literary Criticism This page last revised 7 March 2004.
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