Today is H P Lovecraft’s 120th birthday!
HPL is my favorite writer, and is generally regarded as the most important horror and weird fiction author of the 20th Century. He never wrote about zombies by name, but several of his stories feature zombielike creatures (my favorite is “Pickman’s Model“) and his work is bursting with exotic cults, native swamp rituals, and other elements that are obviously influenced by the zombie folklore of his day.
So, how ought one to commemorate Lovecraft’s birthday? I have a few suggestions based on my readings of his biography and letters:
- Eschew fiber, fruit, and vegetables of any kind. Lovecraft’s diet was terrifying. His typical menu (as he often described it in letters to friends) was: “Breakfast: A donut. Lunch: A piece of cheese. Dinner: Tinned meat from a can.” And that was all he ate. (It’s no wonder that he died of intestinal cancer in his 40’s.) So make like HPL and stick to meat, cheese, and white flour for the day.
- Be less racist. Over the course of his life, HPL went from being very incredibly racist to not racist at all. Celebrate this by being less racist yourself.
- Mooch!!! Lovecraft was almost as talented a moocher as he was a writer. He more or less never worked a day in his entire adult life. Lovecraft lived off his parents, then his wife (who ran a hat shop), and then off of elderly aunts and relatives until he died. (In the documentary Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown, Peter Straub identifies this as HPL’s greatest personal failing. But I think Straub ought to stop and also appreciate the breathtaking degree of mooching acumen it took for Lovecraft to pull this off.) So make like HPL and try to live off of others whenever possible today.
- Write a letter to a friend. Lovecraft was an incredible epistolarian, writing several letters a day for most of his life. The communication this created made HPL a kind of nexus for the horror and fantasy writers who were his friends and associates. So commemorate HPL by writing a letter or an email to your buds.
2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday HPL!”
Great post. I like the lessons learned approach to celebrate HPL. I’ll personally celebrate by going to McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts!
Great 120th Birthday Presents to/from H. P. Lovecraft!
Happy 120th. Birthday H.P.L.!
Freebies released in celebration of H. P. Lovecraft’s 120th. birthday on 20-August-2010, and to stir up excitement for the possible making of the Universal Studios 3D version of “At the Mountains of Madness” by Guillermo del Toro and James Cameron; and as a celebration by Will Hart of the 20th. anniversary of his being at Lovecraft’s grave-side on his 100th. birthday.
Released during the last few hours in MP3 Format on:
(The audio companion to the CthulhuWho1 Flickr collections.)
“Fungi from Yuggoth”
H. P. Lovecraft’s complete 36 sonnet set; in an all-new recording by William (Will) Hart; in single file, and multiple file versions. A dark poetry reading if there ever was one…
“What If H. P. Lovecraft Had Lived Into The 1960’s?”
A 163 minute panel recording in six parts, of Professor Dirk W. Mosig, Professor Donald R. Burleson, J. Vernon Shea, Fritz Leiber, Jr., and S.T. Joshi at the 36th World Science Fiction Convention in Phoenix in 1978. A must-have for Lovecraftians!
Plus, behind the scenes recordings including a live reading by Don Burleson of his darkly funny, “The Last Supper.”
And more audio goodies too!
And there are now over 1200 Lovecraft, Cthulhu, and Providence related images for the taking at the CthulhuWho1 Flickr page at:
(The image companion site to the http://cthulhuwho1.com audio site.)
All of the above items (and more to come) were created in honor of H. P. Lovecraft; but since he’s not here with us, it’s up to you, and everyone you can share them with to enjoy them!
aka California Cthulhu