AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED (ALS). 2 pages, dated 14 July 1934, to "Dear Bho-Blok" [i.e., Robert Bloch], signed "Yrs in the tenebrous sodality of Yoth - E'ch-Pi-El." On plain 5 1/2 x 9-inch paper, with "Home Again" written above the date at top. Lovecraft tells Bloch that he has just returned from a trip to Florida. "I had a great time week there, & then began my reluctant progress northward," stopping off at Charleston, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Washington and Philadelphia. "In Philadelphia I visited the Poe cottage -- inhabited by Poe in the late '30s or early '40s, & recently opened as a museum & shrine. A fascinating place -- furnished as in Poe's day, & with a [?] collection of reliques." He inquires after Bloch's "simultaneous plunge into prose, poetry and drawing" and mentions the "trick" photography of "Ar-Ech-Bai" (R. H. Barlow), who had been using double exposures, models and retouching "to achieve some rather bizarre and terrifying results." Reports that he has read the latest issue of WEIRD TALES "and fear it's one of the poorest issues yet. Quite a contrast to the excellent April & May issues." The letter is mostly a musing on various landscapes: the exotic South, which he had just visited; the more homely North, to which he had just returned; and the far-off West, into which category he conflates the Midwest of Bloch and Derleth ("Count d'Erlette") and the West Coast of Clark Ashton Smith ("Klarkash-Ton"). "After the palms & live-oaks & Spanish moss of Florida, the scenery of the north seemed oddly strange to me at first …" The area around Silver Springs and the Silver River (near Orlando, Florida) was a "bit of jungle which suggests the Congo or Amazon valley." Towards the close of the letter, he notes, "I am writing this in the open air in a rural spot not far from Providence's busy center, yet with a positively idyllic vista of green fields, blue water, and distant village steeple." There is something rather touching about this letter's suggestion of a tug-of-war in the soul of HPL between the exotic and the traditional; a simultaneous longing for vast mythological meaning and homely local tradition, for escape and return, and perhaps for some way to unite these opposites. Perhaps "familiar," reassuring as an adjective yet portentous as a noun, whispers of the existence of some hidden tunnel between these two worlds. A bit of trivial wrinkling near the top edge, faint creases where folded for mailing, else fine. (#102765).

Price: $3,500.00

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