Saturday, February 5, 2022

not a conference

The Mythopoeic Society decided that, as long as we're still holding conferences by Zoom, to hold an extra one-day conference in February. The theme of horror did not initially attract me, but I decided to sign up as an attendee once I saw the topic would be horror elements in the Inklings. I'm not interested in horror as a genre or the works that comprise it, but horror elements in fantasy is more intriguing; much as I have no desire to eat spices, but spices in actual food are more appetizing.

That was today. Unfortunately I'm finding that either my interest in, or capacity for, listening to scholarly papers on Zoom has atrophied, so I only attended intermittently. Several of the papers were on Tolkien, often focusing on the sense of menace exuded by some of his forests: the Old Forest and Mirkwood in particular (but not Fangorn, curiously enough). A friend with an interest in both authors is convinced that Charles Williams's P'o-L'u has enough in common with Lovecraft's Cthulhu that Williams must have read the Cthulhu stories somehow, but I don't see how he could have known them. Williams read widely in popular literature, but we know only that he reviewed lots of a) books b) of UK publication. The relevant Cthulhu stories were then only in Weird Tales, which didn't have a British edition until 1942, long after Lovecraft's death. Could Williams have gotten hold of the US edition?

Tybalt did make an appearance, standing on my shoulders to lick my hair. "Interesting parrot you have there," remarked someone in chat.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very doubtful about the Lovecraft > Williams idea too. If you need tentacular horrors emerging from the ocean, there's Wells's "Sea-Raiders," which wouldn't be hard to come by. It's possible that issues of Weird Tales ended up crossing the Atlantic and going on sale in English Woolworth stores -- as Astounding did (see below). But I'm still very doubtful about WT & CW.

    Dale Nelson