H. P. Lovecraft’s literary reputation: Joshi’s keynote address at this weekend’s NecronomiCon (Video)
The NecronomiCon, long known as the greatest of all Lovecraft conventions, is going on in Providence even as I type these words. A huge number of my friends in the Lovecraftian realm are there, and I’m presently experiencing severe pangs of regret at being unable to attend.
Here’s some consolation, though. Steve Ahlquist has done us all a fine favor by uploading a video recording of S. T. Joshi’s keynote address, which was delivered yesterday at Providence’s historic First Baptist Church in America. It was a fitting location, since this church was famously one of Lovecraft’s favorite buildings.
S. T.’s topic was the long and convoluted history of Lovecraft’s literary reputation, extending all the way from his mainstream obscurity during his lifetime to his famous “pulp hack” reputation among the reigning literati during most of the twentieth century to his final canonization as a major American author at the turn of the millennium. S. T. also spoke briefly and movingly on Lovecraft’s deep personal connection to Providence and his status as “a uniquely American writer” in an era when his renown and popularity have grown to become a manifestly global phenomenon.
For those of us who couldn’t be there, this video is a gift indeed.