March 15th, 2007 marked the 70th year since HP Lovecraft's death. Necronomicon junkies and devotees of the Cthulhu mythos celebrated that day with online commemorations. La Petite Claudine has a thoughtful series of related posts on her blog here (mostly in Spanish): Link.
Image: "Azathoth is described as both blind and idiotic and is regarded as the head of the Cthulhu mythos pantheon." An illustration from this Lovecraft fan-page on MySpace (No artist credit given -- if anyone knows whose work this is, please let me know and I'll update this post accordingly).
(Thanks, Reverse Cowgirl)
Reader comment: Peetee sez, "A better term for death-a-versary is 'mortiversary'."
BoingBoing reader Rob sends the photo below, and says,
He has quite the boring headstone. It's in Providence, Rhode Island. I took the picture, it was midday and the lighting was all screwy, but you can get the gist of it.
BoingBoing reader Remus Shepherd says:
Xeni, I saw someone sent you a picture of HP Lovecraft's headstone...and called it 'boring'. Well, it is. But right behind it, they used to have a gigantic oak (?) tree, which was carved with various sayings from his stories.
I have some pictures of the Tree That Feeds On Him here: Link. I'd rather not mention who the people are in those photos -- but I swear we didn't carve anything!
Sadly, the Tree That Feeds On Him was cut down a few years ago. Either the cemetary owners found it too creepy, or they were tired of it being climbed by weirdos like...well, us.
Ambitious Wench says,
My friend Remus just sent a link to his website with pictures of Lovecraft's grave. While he didn't want to identify the people in the picture of the group at the Tree that Fed on Him, I can say that I am the woman in the dark red dress on the extreme right.Will says,
Regarding the old tree near H.P. Lovecraft's grave, it blew down in a windstorm not more than two years ago, I'd guess. Last October I left my beloved Yosemite to go back to RI to see friends and family. While there, I stopped at Swan Point Cemetery and snuck a few pictures.
The new Tree that Will Feed on Him is the same species as the old giant; I believe it was a beech.
Just wanted to point out, since it's not obvious in the photograph- Howard's headstone reads "I am Providence." HP is buried in the lovely Swan Point Cemetery, where Rhode Island's finest families rest their bones.Emily says,
Although the on-site "find a grave" computer kiosk at Swan Point (Link 1) will locate his grave for you, the cemetery's website lacks any mention of him. This is typical of the city itself- although many places mentioned in Lovecraft stories survive to this day, there are no memorials or markers (that I know of) at those sights. This AP story (Link) has a nice overview of some historic sites, but neglects to mention the most conspicuous- the Providence Art Club (Link), mentioned in the seminal "Call of Cthulu", which has a truly weird, cylopean facade.
Concerning Lovecraft and Providence - I believe there is a plaque marking the former location of the church that featured so prominently in "The Haunter of the Dark", despite the lack of markers at other Lovecraft-significant places. And not only does the John Hay Library have the world's largest Lovecraft collection, they also have an enormous vault in the basement in which they keep particularly rare and valuable books, including one bound in human skin. (I worked there one summer. I was not, however, permitted to enter the vault. Ahem.)Wil Wheaton says,
Am I the first reader to notice that if you squint a little bit, the illustration in your Lovecraft post looks eerily similar to the FSM?
It's clearly a sign.