Archive for July 1, 2013

THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD by H.P. LOVECRAFT

Our lab-mix, Millie, has not tolerated the thunderstorms very Here in southeastern Pennsylvania we have endured, for the last week or so, and continue to endure almost daily rain and thunderstorms.
well. My computer table is rather small with a printer beneath and all the necessary plugs and cords. During one particularly violent storm Millie squeezed all of her 61 pounds under the table while I was working. I fear that if I decided to turn on the vacuum cleaner during one of these events I would surely send poor Millie over the edge.
These storms, however, provided the perfect atmosphere for my latest reading endeavor, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft.
The background of a good thunderstorm forms the perfect atmosphere of a story full of the nameless and unspeakable.
Unlike most of Lovecraft’s writing efforts, primarily short stories, this work is a short novel, one of his longest works. The story begins with Joseph Curwen and follows his activities during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Curwen is consumed with certain mystical activities involving obscure chemistry and strange chants. Charles Dexter Ward is his great-great-great-grandson and follows in his relatives footsteps.
I love Lovecraft’s stories and his style of writing. However, I think he would have some difficulty finding a publisher in today’s market. This effort is almost exclusively narrative. As usual, the atmosphere of the story is rich with the bazaar and implied bazaar, but he occasionally violates the writer’s rule of ‘show don’t tell’.
Yet, no matter how archaic his work may be, I still enjoy his stories a great deal.

July 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment


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