"But human pride
Is skilful to invent most serious names
To hide its ignorance."
- Percy Bysshe Shelley (Queen Mab)
This is most certainly an OUTLAW DATE:
On this date in the year 911, Pope Sergius III dies after a turbulent reign
in which he ordered the strangulation of two competing Popes and fathered an illegitimate son, the future Pope John XI.
Abraham Lincoln was shot on this day in 1865, dying the following morning.
Walt Whitman’s diary records his frequent sightings of Lincoln in Washington during the Civil War.
One of Whitman’s entries describes the President passing by with his cavalry guard, dressed “as the commonest man,” his face “with the deep-cut lines,
the eyes, always to me with a deep latent sadness in the expression.”
1912 - The Titanic, running at full speed through the icy North Atlantic, struck that infamous iceberg, rupturing its hull.
“Black Sunday,” one of the worst of the Dust Bowl storms, occurred on this day in 1935.
"In the roads where the teams moved, where the wheels milled the ground and the hooves of the horses beat the ground, the dirt crust broke and the dust formed.
Every moving thing lifted the dust into the air: a walking man lifted a thin layer as high as his waist, and a wagon lifted the dust as high as the fence tops, and an automobile boiled a cloud behind it…."
- from the opening chapter of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
L for Outlaw Me is for Lovecraft --
Lovecraft became a prolific letter writer and by some accounts wrote 87,500 letters during his lifetime.
He was also in the habit of dating letters 200 years earlier than the current date.
Although now considered one of the greatest early American writers of horror, Lovecraft never received his high school diploma.
Lovecraft was friends with many contemporary writers of his time, including Conan creator Robert Howard, Robert Bloch and Fritz Leiber.
Lovecraft was once "killed" by fellow writer Bloch in the short story "Shambler from the Stars" and later killed Bloch in turn in a story called "The Haunter of the Dark."
Lovecraft ghost wrote a story called "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs" for Harry Houdini, who later commissioned Lovecraft to write a book debunking superstition (which was never finished due to Houdini's death).
Although Lovecraft is most famous for creating the Cthulhu Mythos,
he himself never used that term. Lovecraft referred to his own series of interconnected mythos stories as the "Arkham Cycle."
Lovecraft's favorite author was Edgar Allan Poe, of whom he said "Poe was my God of fiction."
Lovecraft in turn influenced numerous writers that came after him, including Stephen King, Cliver Barker and Neil Gaiman.
King called Lovecraft one of his biggest influences and "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale."
Lovecraft only truly became popular after his death, when friend and fellow writer August Derleth founded Arkham House publishing to help keep Lovecraft's work alive.
Lovecraft isn't buried under his headstone, even though hundreds of people visit it each year to pay homage to him.
(His body is buried nearby.)
Although dead, Lovecraft has a Facebook page with more than 122,000 fans.
“From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.”
“The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.”
― H.P. Lovecraft