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En revised and updated in light of the new information on Lovecraft that has emerged since 1996 Provided by publisher. I spent a long time reading this massive two volume biography of HP Lovecraft but it was time well spent I have been a fan of Lovecraft s work since I was a teenager and the man himself always fascinated me This is I believe the definitive biography It is the closest we can come I think to knowing Lovecraft as a person Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman Summary & Study Guide updated in light of the new information on Lovecraft that has emerged since 1996 Provided by publisher. I spent a long time reading this massive two volume biography of HP Lovecraft but it was time well spent I have been a fan of Lovecraft s work since I was a teenager and the man himself always fascinated me This is I believe the definitive biography It is the closest we can come I think to knowing Lovecraft as a person

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I Am Providence

In 1996 S T Joshi's HP Lovecraft a life was published The edition was abridged by than 150000 words This new version. A fascinating account with an incredible and staggering amount of detail I do not think I have ever read a biography so minutely researched This does mean that I Am Providence is strictly for Lovecraft scholars and admirers but as one myself this is no real criticism because ST Joshi has set the standard so high for other biographies I read from this point on I seriously doubt they will be as informative and as entertaining as this account of the Old Gent from Providence Rhode Island

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I am Providence the life and times of HP Lovecraft restores every word of Joshi's original manuscript The text has be. My favorite work of nonfiction and biography is Peter the Great His Life and World by Robert K Massie a biography of almost 900 pages which I read in 2007 Considering how much nonfiction I read being the unuestioned favorite is a very very lofty perch This is now my second favorite biography Almost right up there with that oneSo let us begin Anyone interested in not just reading Lovecraft as fiction but also as a writer with something to say has no doubt heard of ST Joshi Not only the greatest and most comprehensive of Lovecraft scholars alive but of them all period Joshi lets Lovecraft tell his own story through many letters as well as letting others who have met him chime in through their impressions of the man Naturally as a literary critic he also ads his own exceptionally erudite commentary to also bring a contemporary perceptive on these matters All of it is handled excellentlyWe are taken on a linear tour of HPL s life with numerous asides about other developments overlapping chapters and thus get to see the development of a remarkable individual ridden with high and low points which alike come together to make the man and many of his influences I need not state the life of the man here Joshi s focus on his thought evolutions in his politics philosophy featuring just as much as literary developments really help to show where the core perspectives that make HPL so uniue really came from His condemnable racism and uestionable early reactionary nature is neither brushed over nor excused but neither is it taken out of proportion to his many virtues as a man Most pertinent of which is just what a good and honorable friend he was to those he both new in person and those he only knew from correspondence Works of charity tips and advice and a lively social circle in which he eventually became the star Coupled with his wide travels for the time and his income and vigorous efforts to go out of his way to relate them to others the man must have been one one of the best people anyone could have had as friends and clearly is a far cry from the obtuse recluse narrative which seems to dominate thinking about himIf I had any uibbles with this work the only one I can think of is very minor and that is the dismissive way Joshi treats Howard Granted I agree that a significant chunk perhaps even almost half of what Robert E Howard wrote was hack work its still fun though but what he really invested in a few independent stories Most of Conan all of Kull etc I think deserves serious literary credit Of course its not a book about Howard so that hardly matters I generally agreed with Joshi on Clark Ashton Smith being a good poet a great fantasist Zothiue among the best but that the Averoign stories are banal and forgettable I also learned about a few authors from that period I need to check out so that is always goodI specifically liked Joshi s mentioning Laird Barron and Thomas Ligotti who recently I have become uite into and agree wholeheartedly that they are amongst the contemporary vanguard of the weird tale I would also include John Langan and Nathan Ballingrud in that list as well I clearly have to check out Pugmire and will be sure to do so soonSo in all a fantastic work of both scholarship and erudition A feat I can be uite sympathetic to having just completed a doctoral thesis myself but also of heart soul and passion This book is a testament to both the man it is about and the man who wrote it


10 thoughts on “I Am Providence

  1. says:

    A walking paradoxThe first half of this authoritative biography of Lovecraft covering the years 1890 to 1924 offers invaluable info

  2. says:

    A fascinating account with an incredible and staggering amount of detail I do not think I have ever read a biography so minutely researched Thi

  3. says:

    Good God I must stop reading biographies of writers However much I may love their fiction they have a terrible inclination to lead boring lives

  4. says:

    When S T Joshi's H P Lovecraft A Life came out in the late 1990s I was one of the first folks to get a copy and I

  5. says:

    An exhaustedly researched biography of HP Lovecraft ST Joshi crafted probably the definitive bio on the weird fiction writer who is

  6. says:

    My favorite work of nonfiction and biography is 'Peter the Great His Life and World' by Robert K Massie a biography of almost 900 pages which

  7. says:

    A thousand page book for a man who lived 47 years That's about 12 page for every month that he lived You would think that this much detail would be mired down in minutia but this level of detail I found to be actually uite captivating Because Lovecraft was a prolific letter writer we are able to know much about his life from the profound to the mundane Joshi has read thousands of Lovecraft's letters and the level of detail he wrote about

  8. says:

    Best Lovecraft biography available

  9. says:

    I spent a long time reading this massive two volume biography of HP Lovecraft but it was time well spent I have been a fan of Lovecraft's work since I was a teenager and the man himself always fascinated me This is I believe

  10. says:

    An astoundingly scrupulous piece of biographical work containing myriads of trivia however notably marred by the author's much too categorical 'best''mediocre''poor' evaluation of the various pieces of fiction that make up Lovecraft's collective authorship

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