Sixth Meeting of Cthulhu Rising at Cafe Express on Lovers Lane

Welcome to the sixth meeting of Cthulhu Rising: The HP Lovecraft Society of Dallas. We have a lot to read this time, but practically everything included is rather short. Please remember to take notes for discussion. I look forward to seeing you all on the 29th. 

Cthulhu fhtagn!


READING LIST FOR DISCUSSION 

• 1917: A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson

• 1917: Sweet Ermengarde

• 1918: Polaris 

• "A Few Thoughts on Polaris," by J. D. Worthington.

• An article entitled "The Worst of the Best," author unknown.

• A positive review of HPL from 1944 entitled "H. P. Lovecraft: An Appreciation," by T. O. Mabbott.

• A critical review of HPL from 1945 entitled "Tales of the Marvelous and the Ridiculous," by Edmund Wilson.


SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION

The A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson page on Wikipedia.

The Sweet Ermengarde page on Wikipedia.

The Polaris page on Wikipedia.

Below is a reading of Polaris. Narrator and publisher unknown: 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSTztChUUKM


And here is a reading of A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson: 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOeqK_ybVM4


GLOSSARY

Aldebaran - a first-magnitude star, orange in color, in the constellation Taurus.

Arcturus - a first-magnitude star in the constellation Boötes.

Cassiopeia - a northern constellation between Cepheus and Perseus. 

Coma Berenices - Berenice's Hair, a northern constellation situated north of Virgo and between Boötes and Leo.

Polaris - the polestar or North Star, a star of the second magnitude situated close to the north pole of the heavens, in the constellation Ursa Minor: the outermost star in the handle of the Little Dipper.



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  • Cary

    Melissa, you've talked about "Polaris" so much that I wanted to go back and reread it. The first time I read it I was rather rushed, and yes, finally, four months later, I've found some time to reread it. It still is not one of my favorites, but I fell like I understand the story, and what Howard was after, much better now. I get the impression that the narrator has somehow been cursed to be an immortal -- or something close to one -- and I wonder if Howard had recently read Melmoth the Wanderer.

    July 12

    • Melissa S.

      Cary, I wasn't thrilled with "Polaris" right off the bat until I started to analyze it and trace Lovecraft's possible sources of inspiration; the more I learned about the story, the more impressed I became. There are still portions of that story that I believe have very significant meaning and impact which I simply have not had time to go back and thoroughly investigate. I have really come to believe that Lovecraft's early/earlier tales have been under-analyzed and under-appreciated. Melissa

      July 15

  • Cary

    Good to see everyone again. I apologize if I seemed a bit tired and unprepared for this meeting. I've been swamped lately and a bit stressed, so reading hasn't been at the top of my list of priorities.

    March 29, 2014

    • Melissa S.

      Cary, no need to apologize! I've been in the same boat recently--very swamped and really stressed! I'm doing my best to get my life in order again. I'm having to take it day by day at this point, which frustrates me to no end, because I like to plan ahead and set goals. If you need help with anything, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will make every effort to help you, but I can't promise how much time I can devote to something because it's taking me so much time to clean up the debris of my life and to continue to address on-going issues. But please, there is absolutely no need to apologize-I understand and empathize and I'm sure everyone else in the group is supportive of you. Melissa

      March 31

    • Cary

      Thanks Melissa. Same here, if you need anything. I'll be okay.

      March 31

  • Cary

    Melissa, in your email you said you had an essay by Joshi you wanted us to read. Did you mean the one on Polaris you showed us in that book? Or something else you wanted to send me?

    March 30, 2014

    • Melissa S.

      No, not the essay on "Polaris" by Joshi, although it is excellent in terms of discussing Poe's influence on the story. I was referring to a short essay which appears as the "Introduction"­ to the 2004 (?) edition of The Dreams in the Witch House and other Weird Stories. The problem is that I am so ignorant regarding websites, scanning articles, etc. that I wouldn't be able to figure out how to get it on to the website. The essay may possibly appear on line somewhere but I haven't had a chance to look for it. Melissa

      March 31

  • Melissa S.

    Great! I am particularly interested in "Polaris" as it relates to my own Lovecraft research. I had planned to do more research on "Polaris" but unfortunately time has been short due to dealing with personal issues. I love the group discussion and love doing the readings Cary assigns because this always inspires me to continue my research. Melissa

    1 · March 31

  • Cary

    You know, I've learned SO MUCH about HPL from all this reading and from everyone's contributions, that it's hard for me to believe that we've only had 6 meeting so far.

    March 30, 2014

  • John P.

    As always, great discussion with lots of valuable insights.

    1 · March 29, 2014

  • Melissa S.

    Just wanted to let everyone know that I was bringing some information regarding the symbolism and mythology of Polaris and the Axis Mundi. I wish I could bring copies for everyone, but it's a great deal to read. If anyone is interested, go to http://www.constellationsofwords.com/Constellations/UrsaMinor.html ; also, click on the link to "Polaris." Keep in mind that Lovecraft was not only familiar with Greek and Roman mythology, but also with Egyptian, Hindu, and Teutonic mythology. The various myths and symbolism regarding Polaris are fascinating and suggestive. I wish I had more time this past month to study this information and draw some conclusions, but unfortunately, I have been dealing with some difficult medical issues. I hope to be able to get back to focusing on Lovecraft again. I love this group; I appreciate Cary so much; I hate it when I am not able to devote enough time to focus on the readings. Melissa

    March 29, 2014

    • Cary

      That's great Melissa. Yes, please tell us what you've learned. I'm actually swamped all the time now, so I can't read your link, but please share what you've learned.

      March 29, 2014

  • Melissa S.

    Probably more than you ever wanted to know about Ursa Minor and Polaris-see website Constellation of Words. Melissa

    February 23, 2014

  • John F.

    It looks as though (in the thread by J.D. Worthington) there is an expanded "Thoughts on Polaris" document that is available upon request.

    January 24, 2014

    • Cary

      Thanks. I'll look into that when I can.

      January 24, 2014

    • Cary

      I tried to contact him through the site, but I must register first. But it won't allow me. Keeps telling me I'm leaving something "blank," which I am not. I googled his name, but that wasn't helpful either.

      January 25, 2014

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