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Curious Lost Lovecraft Manuscript Discovered

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posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 08:21 PM
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While this might not have quite the same appeal to many Lovecraft fans as a previously unknown work of fiction, these 31 pages of an unfinished manuscript have a very interesting story behind them.

Guardian -
Lost HP Lovecraft work commissioned by Houdini escapes shackles of history





A long-lost manuscript by HP Lovecraft, an investigation of superstition through the ages that the author was commissioned to write by Harry Houdini, has been found in a collection of magic memorabilia. The Cancer of Superstition was previously known only in outline and through its first chapter. Houdini had asked Lovecraft in 1926 to ghostwrite the treatise exploring superstition, but the magician’s death later that year halted the project, as his wife did not wish to pursue it. According to Potter & Potter Auctions of Chicago, the 31-page typewritten manuscript was discovered in a large collection of memorabilia from a now-defunct magic shop. Part of the collection consisted of papers kept by Houdini’s widow, Beatrice, and her manager, Edward Saint.

“The collection bounced around after Beatrice Houdini’s death in 1943 and was never truly catalogued or ‘mined’ in all that time. The papers were never researched or inventoried,” said Potter & Potter president Gabe Fajuri. “In all that time, no one seemed to realise the significance of the manuscript.”

Fajuri said the collection was recently bought privately, and when “the new owner began sorting through the mountain of paperwork, he began putting the pieces together, and in the process discovered the manuscript and its significance”.

the document explores everything from worship of the dead to werewolves and cannibalism, theorising that superstition is an “inborn inclination” that “persists only through mental indolence of those who reject modern science”. “Most of us are heathens in the innermost recesses of our hearts,” it concludes.


Houdini commissioned Lovecraft to ghostwrite a treatise dispelling superstition. How unexpected is that? The bulk of the text was apparently written by Lovecraft's friend and fellow author C. M. Eddy, Jr. with the outline and ‘interlinear emendations and additions’ written by Lovecraft according to Lovecraft scholar ST Joshi who cites Lovecraft's publisher August Derleth from if I'm not mistaken, the final notes section of the collection Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces in which the first chapter was published.

The manuscript goes up for auction on April 9th with a starting bid of $13,000. It's estimated that it will sell for between $25,000 and $40,000.




posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 08:33 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Cool find


Hopefully it gets published or at least scanned and put on the Web.



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 09:07 PM
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Cthulhu is happy.



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 09:53 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

Cthulhu is happy.
Or Cthulhu exposed?



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 10:21 PM
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Should have donated it to the library at Miskatonic University.



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 10:33 PM
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Hmmm, take care with this. It might be as bad for Lovecraft as Go Set a Watchman was for Lee's legacy. Some things should remain unseen.



posted on Mar, 17 2016 @ 10:48 PM
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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Somebody had to....



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 02:41 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

please dont, please.. I have a problem with turning to Mr. Hyde



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 05:34 AM
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a reply to: Tsuro

You again, huh? How many accounts are you going to create?



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 05:49 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Well i think i kinda, figured out the most parts, its interesting how much details people give when they get frustrated..



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 06:11 AM
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That is awesome...

Doesnt matter if its not in the same vein as his other writings, I feel he was a brilliant writer an any addition to the library is worthy of a celebratory cheer... Huzzah.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 03:32 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

So your a fan of Lovecraft?

You probably think he was a seer and chutlu is real.



posted on Mar, 28 2016 @ 04:53 PM
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It has always struck me that HPL was personally a sceptic and a materialist; yet he wrote such nightmarish material, and his characters often describe how the 'cosmic horror they have discovered will silence sceptics forever.

I think about works like "The Silver Key" and "Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath". Where the protagonist is an atheist... who wishes he could believe....

It hardly surprises me that Houdini, who was also a famous skeptic and debunker, would commission a debunking of all 'superstition.' It's only ironic that HPL the sceptic was such an inadvertant "re-bunker" of outdated bunk, through the power of his fiction.

I guess it's no more ironic than the fact that I enjoy HPL's fiction and his sceptical stance, even though I myself am a religionist....


I suppose that's because I alone understand that this shared fiction we call 'reality' is merely a mote of self-imposed order, adrift in a sea of chaos, sweeping inexorably over a precipice of apocalyptic nothingness. Ignorance is not only bliss, it is your only hope for sanity...
edit on 28/3/2016 by redempsh because: had to edit; I just saw the Fnords!!!!



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