Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mission Statement

 Hello, and welcome to Leth is more. This blog will be dedicated to reviewing (for better or worse) the writings of August William Derleth. Of all of the Weird Tales authors who became a member of the famous “Lovecraft circle”, Derleth is easily the most controversial. Most consider him a hack and a fan-boy whose only talents lay as an editor. He also supposedly besmirched Lovecraft’s name for all time, bowdlerized Lovecraft’s concept of “Yog-Sothothery” into the “Mythos”, and whose iron-handed business practices set back the horror genre for decades.
 Others genuinely do appreciate him for his writing; his Sac Prairie novels are well-regarded, his Solar Pons stories are considered the finest Arthur Conan Doyle pastiches ever written, and a few of his short stories such as The Lonesome Place are considered both minor and genuine classics of the horror genre.
 My goal is neither to re-evaluate his output nor to give his detractors more ammunition (although in either case I’m willing to be surprised). It will simply be to review his writings. I know there is a lot of garbage, and I also know there are a lot of gems too. I am neither a fan (despite the name of this blog) nor a hater. Anyway, with no major sites about Derleth, I felt I’d start one, even though I’d be more interested in doing one about Hugh B. Cave or Robert Bloch (and I just might). The primary focus will be on his weird fiction, although I might take a look at his Solar Pons stories. I might review each story individually, or as part of a whole (if it was in an anthology), and in no chronological order. It depends upon whatever strikes my fancy.
 Also, since many of Derleth’s stories are pastiches and sequels to Lovecraft’s, it would not hurt to be familiar with his work before reading this blog. Also, for the reviews themselves, spoilers abound.
 Comments are welcome, but please, no continuity-obsessed Lovecraft fan boys.  S.T. Joshi, number one Derleth detractor in the world, says he wants Lovecraft’s work to be appreciated in a scholarly, non fannish light, and it’s he who the Derleth’s critics always turn to in order to back up their arguments. Don’t spite the hand that feeds you.


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