AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED (ALS). 6 pages, dated 9 June 1933, to "Dear Bho-Blok" [i.e., Robert Bloch], signed "Yrs for the Dark Lore & Elder Sign - E'ch-Pi-El." On three sheets of plain 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper, with address "66 College Street, Providence, R.I." written at the top right corner of the recto of first sheet. Mentioning that the previous day had been 90 degrees in Providence, HPL speaks (as he does elsewhere) about his preference for hot weather, and the debilitating effect of New England's cold weather on him. "… I really feel up to par only about 10 days each year." Adds some remarks about his new residence at 66 College Street. Offers some badinage about his appearance and Frank Belknap Long's -- about both of which Bloch had expressed his intuitions before seeing photos of them. Thinks Long would look better "if he'd erase that ambiguous lip-fuzz of his & get a regular guy's haircut …." Reminisces about "having a whole makeup kit of bushy beards, fierce moustaches, slouch hats, daggers, pistols, & other appurtenances of the desperate characters toward which my youthful fancy inclined me." Contrasts his present slightly cadaverous physique with the grotesque version in the early 1920s when he grew so fat that he went on a diet. "That was in faraway, 1925 -- & in 5 months I had sloughed off 50 lbs." Refers to some snap shots he is enclosing, on loan, of other writers in the Weird Tales circle (including "Two-Gun Bob, the Terror of the Plains", i.e. Robert E. Howard). Names half a dozen stories from Weird Tales, "the most truly & disturbingly horrible that have appeared in the magazine." Adds that he finds promising the work of Paul Ernst and Carl Jacobi. On the other hand, "Single-Plot Hamilton is one of the best sedatives I know …." but blames this on commercial pressures from callow editors succumbing to the debased taste of "the eburneocraniate public." Responding to some comments from Bloch about which of Lovecraft's stories he likes most, HPL responds with his own rating of his work, which is generally critical except for "The Colour Out of Space," which he terms "my best effort." Bloch had evidently bemoaned some "introverted self-projection" in his own work, and HPL here admonishes him to stay receptive to such dream-like states of mind. "The trouble with most cheap weird fiction is that it doesn't have enough of this introverted self-projection! The thing to do is not to eliminate it, but to let it operate in conjunction with an objective critical sense." Critiques several of Bloch's recent stories -- always in his customarily gentle, shepherding manner. "Go ahead with your myth-cycle -- since I swiped the idea from Dunsany, you can't be any more of a pirate than I am!" (Does this refer to the stories enumerating the mythology of Cthulhu?). Short extract published in Selected Letters V, pp. 203-4 (#624), but largely unpublished. Faint creases where folded for mailing, else fine. (#108088).

Price: $3,500.00

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