Sunday, October 22, 2017

The New Arrivals (CAS & HPL)

So, this week brought two more books in the mail, one I was expecting and one I'd ordered a few months back and forgotten was on its way (though I'm v. glad to have it).

The former is the latest from Nodens Books, THE LAUGHING ELF by Ronald MacDonald. No, not that Ronald MacDonald, but one of the sons of old George MacDonald, author of PHANTASTES and THE LIGHT PRINCESS and the Curdie books. It seems that in addition to Geo. MacDonald's eldest son Greville writing a biography of his parents, Greville's brother Ronald was also an author, of more than a dozen books (two co-written with Ronald's son, mystery writer Philip MacDonald). I'm currently struggling through REMAINS OF THE DAY* and Christopher Milne's autobiography, so haven't had a chance to read this one yet.

The other book, from Hippocampus Press, is a massive (666-page, not counting the appendices) tome containing all the surviving correspondence between H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith: some 330 letters exchanged over a period of fifteen years.

In the old days, scholars looking to find a passage in Lovecraft's selected letters had to wrestle their way through the hundreds of pages of the non-indexed five-volume set of Lovecraft's letters from Arkham House. But in recent years we've seen a new approach: individual volumes, each reprinting Lovecraft's complete exchange with a specific correspondent -- say, all his letters to and from R. H. Barlow (2007) or Donald Wandrei (2002). Or, now, Clark Ashton Smith.

Even though I don't expect to work my way through this for some time to come, the timing is good, since I've just received word that the big book of Smith's artwork is just now shipping: IN THE REALMS OF MYSTERY AND WONDER, from Centipede Press.

So, a good week for the books, if not for the bookshelves. Oh for a tardis of a library. Though I have now reached the point at which there are more books going out than coming in.

--John R.

*a good book for those who think Henry James is too action-packed and plot-driven.**

**THE WIFE SAYS (and I paraphrase): Ain't that the truth

1 comment:

N.E. Brigand said...

I borrowed The Remains of the Day and Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence from my school library in 1993 when I was intrigued by the trailers for the films adapted from them. I breezed through the former in a weekend; I stopped about two-thirds of the way through the latter.