AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED (ALS). 2 pages, undated [circa November 1934], to "Dear Bho-Blok" [i.e., Robert Bloch], signed "Yrs for the Nameless Burnt Offering - E'ch-Pi-El." On plain 5 1/2 x 9-inch paper, with "Burrow of the Dholas - Hour of the Charnel Feasting" written in ink at top. Lovecraft congratulates Bloch on the acceptance of his second short story. " … a great step; for it proves that the first was no mere luck[y?] shot, & indicates that more are likely to loom ahead." Lovecraft fancies "you'll be placing things in WEIRD TALES right along -- to say nothing of other magazines of the same nature." He discusses TERROR TALES as a possible market. "I don't think everything in it is staff-written, for Carl Jacobi placed a tale there [Jacobi appeared in the issue dated October 1934]. They have certain standards of their own, though -- favoring cheap physical gruesomeness & sadistic cruelty." He requests a carbon copy of his own story, "The Music of Erich Zann," which Bloch was typing over for himself. In the days before photocopying (let alone digital texts and email), manuscripts went the rounds in hard copy and wore out after a certain number of readings. He thanks Bloch for the compliments on his weird poems (Yuggothian Fungi). "I might grind out more weird verse if I had more time, but latterly I have been utterly swamped by revisory tasks. Haven't written a weird line in metre since 1930." He also alludes to a libretto which he had evidently been invited to write by one Harold Farnese, a correspondent of his for a brief time. "I could never have produced what Farnese wanted. In the first place, I lack all dramatic technique. Secondly, the requirements of music drama are highly artificial & conventional, & involve a claptrap melodrama & sappy romance which I couldn't possibly bring myself to write." He reports at length an "enjoyable" recent weekend outing. "On the 20th [of October] my host & I explored a section of north central Massachusetts which I had never before visited, & in which I saw some of the finest autumnal foliage & landscape vistas that I have ever beheld." He executes some more verbal landscape painting here and back in Rhode Island. At the end of the letter, perhaps carried away by the memory of these actual landscapes, or the majesty of his own description of them, he conjures up a fictional one in what is essentially a 60-word short story, uncorking a draught of vintage Lovecraftian murk. "Yes -- the hellish Sabbat draws nigh, & the mountain shadows hover about the lonely hills & the dank wooded ravine where the leprous-white monolith crumbles in millennial decay…." The prolific and earnest correspondence between the 44-year-old Lovecraft and the 17-year-old Bloch says something not only about the precocity of Bloch but about the perspicacity of Lovecraft, who sensed correctly the stirrings of what would become an illustrious career. Faint creases where folded for mailing, else fine. (#102766).

Price: $3,500.00

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