“The Loved Dead”

The Lovecraft series continues with another secondary revision.

S. T. Joshi’s H. P. Lovecraft: A Life (yes, I will be doing a blog post on it eventually) relates some interesting details about this.

Eddy wrote the first draft, and Lovecraft the second draft ending the story with, in Joshi’s words, “perfervid free-association”.

Lovecraft was “thoroughly delighted” with this story so much that Muriel Eddy, C. M.’s wife, said he came to their house and read it aloud. Joshi suggests Lovecraft’s lurid prose was a conscious parody.

The story gained some infamy with rumors (though Joshi’s book says he found no evidence) that the May-June-July 1924 issue of Weird Tales, where it appeared, was banned in some locations. About a decade later, a Lovecraft cryptically mentions that he had the experience of seeing a magazine with one of his client’s works being banned by the police. In fact, Lovecraft said he went to a police station “several times” about the matter.

Joshi states the story may have gotten banned in some Indiana locations.

Raw Feed (2005): “The Loved Dead”, C. M. Eddy, Jr. [and H. P. Lovecraft], 1923.hm

This 1923 story is actually a rather creepy character study in to the mind of its narrator who finds himself increasingly obsessed with the dead and energized by being around them and their funeral rites. His stints as an undertaker aren’t the only unsavory thing about him. 

Eddy and Lovecraft all but write the word “necrophilia” with

… to find me stretched out upon a cold slab deep in ghoulish slumber, my arms wrapped about the stark, stiff, naked body of a foetid corpse!  He roused me from my salacious dreams …  

The narrator eventually turns to murder to satisfy his obsession. 

An effective story that has echoes of Lovecraft’s own “The Outsider” in its alienation and “Pickman’s Model” in its ghoul obsession.

 

More reviews of Lovecraft related titles are indexed on the Lovecraft page.

More reviews of fantastic fiction are indexed by title and author/editor.

One thought on ““The Loved Dead”

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