Dirk W. Mosig

Yōzan Dirk W. Mosig (born 1943) is a psychologist, historian, literary critic and ordained Zen monk noted for his critical work on H. P. Lovecraft. He was born in Germany and lived for several years in Argentina before emigrating to the United States. He received his Ph.D at the University of Florida in 1974.

Between 1973 and 1978, Mosig published numerous important essays assessing Lovecraft's work.

To cite but three, Mosig's 1973 essay "Toward a Greater Appreciation of H.P. Lovecraft: The Analytical Approach" is a psychological interpretation (based on the theories of C.G. Jung) of many Lovecraft stories.[1]

The pioneering and oft-reprinted "H. P. Lovecraft: Myth Maker" (1976) explores Lovecraft's philosophy of horror, takes issue with August Derleth's distorted interpretation of Lovecraft's myth-cycle and emphasises the latter's vision of an amoral cosmos in which humanity has little significance.[2]

In "Lovecraft: The Dissonance Factor in Imaginative Literature" (1979), insanity is the result of a fatal cognitive dissonance in the protagonist caused by encounters with cosmic horrors that contradict the protagonist's (and the reader's) worldview of the universe and its laws.[3]

Several of Mosig's essays assessed individual works by Lovecraft such as "The Outsider" and "The White Ship" according to a psychoanalytical perspective. One essays analysed Lovecraft's poem "The City.".

S. T. Joshi has stated that "Dirk Mosig is the key transitional figure in Lovecraft studies; and if the history of this field is ever written, he will have to occupy a central role."[4]

Mosig currently teaches psychology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where he is also engaged in research on the Punic Wars and the career of Hannibal Barca.

The volume Mosig at Last: A Psychologist Looks at Lovecraft (West Warwick, RI: Necronomicon Press, August 1997) collects Mosig's previously published Lovecraft papers and adds some previously unpublished, such as "Life After Lovecraft: Reminiscences of a Non-Entity" (reflections on his life as a Lovecraft scholar). Also included is "Growing Up Lovecraftian" by Mosig's daughter, Laila Briquet-Mosig.

Dirk W. Mosig
Dirk W. Mosig at IguanaCon - photo by Will Hart - 2-Sep-1978
Mosig at 1978 IguanaCon II, photo by Will Hart
Born1943 (age 75–76)
Alma materUniversity of Florida
OccupationPsychologist, historian, literary critic


  1. ^ "Toward a Greater Appreciation of H.P. Lovecraft: The Analytical Approach", Whispers (magazine) 1, No 1 (July 1973), 22-23; reprint in Gahan Wilson, ed. First World Fantasy Awards NY: Doubleday, 1977, pp. 290-301. Collected in Mosig at Last: A Psychologist Looks at H.P. Lovecraft. By Yōzan Dirk W. Mosig. West Warwick, RI: Necronomicon Press, August 1997.
  2. ^ In August Derleth, ed. It miti de Cthulhu. Rome: Fanucci, 1975: 23-31'; Requiem, 2, No 6 (October 1976), 18, 20-21 (as "H. P. Lovecraft: Createur de mythes"; tr. Esther Rochon); Whispers (magazine), 3, No 1 (Dec 1976), 48-55 (as "Myth-Maker"). Weird Fiction Times, No 48 (February 1977), pp. 35-44 (as "H. P. Lovecraft Schopfer eines mythos"; tr Heinz W. Kloos). In S.T. Joshi, H.P. Lovecraft: Four Decades of Criticism. Athens, Ohio University Press, 1980, pp. 104-12. In Franz Rottensteiner, ed. Uber H. P. Lovecraft. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1984; revised ed as H. P. Lovecraft kosmische Graeun. Frankfurt am main: Suhrkamp, 1997 (as "H. P. Lovecraft: Mythenschopfer"; in Gianni Pilo and Sebastiano Fusco, Tutto lovecraft. Rome: Fanucci (1987-1995, 12 vols) - see Vol 3 (Xinaian: Il ciclo de Cthulhu, Volume Terzo, 1928-1930)(Jan 1988) (as "Verso una maggiore comprehensione de H. P. Lovecraft: l'approccio analitico". Collected in Mosig at Last: A Psychologist Looks at H.P. Lovecraft. By Yōzan Dirk W. Mosig. West Warwick, RI: Necronomicon Press, August 1997. Richard Huber has taken issue with some of Mosig's conclusions in "A Critical Review of Professor Dirk Mosig's 'Myth Maker,'" in Huber's H.P. Lovecraft: Out for Blood. Columbia, MD: Blackstone Publications, 1984, pp 1-5.
  3. ^ The Platte Valley Review 7, No.1 (1979): 129-44 (Kearney State College Press); Gothic 1, No 1 (June 1979): 20-26; Crypt of Cthulhu 33 (Lammas 1985): 12-23; German translation: "Lovecraft: Der Dissonanz-Faktor in der Phantastischen Literatur" (1979), in H.P. Lovecraft - Stadt ohne Namen, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag (1981); in Works of H. P. Lovecraft ed by Sadao Miyakabe and Shiro Nachi. Takyo: Kousho-Kankohkai, 1984-85 . 11 vols in 10 - see Vol 9 (1985) [in Japanese]. Collected in Mosig at Last: A Psychologist Looks at H.P. Lovecraft. By Yōzan Dirk W. Mosig. West Warwick, RI: Necronomicon Press, August 1997.
  4. ^ Mosig at Last: A Psychologist Looks at H. P. Lovecraft, Necronomicon Press, 1997, p.123

Further reading

  • Peter Cannon "The Man Who Was Mosig." Crypt of Cthulhu 33 (Lammas 1985):36. Brief essay on Mosig's importance in Lovecraft studies.
  • Donald R. Burleson. "Fra Mosigus." Crypt of Cthulhu 33 (Lammas 1985): 37-38. A memoir of Mosig and a discussion of his importance in Lovecraft studies.
  • Joshi, S.T. "Concluding Address". in Joshi, ed. The H.P. Lovecraft Centennial Conference: Proceedings. Warwick, RI: Necronomicon Press, March 1991, pp. 78–90. Reprint in Books at Brown 28/29 (1991–92): 149-56. Summarises the Lovecraft Centennial Conference (Providence, RI, 1990) and memorialises the prior figures (Robert H. Barlow, August Derleth, Dirk W. Mosig and others) who made Lovecraft's recognition possible.
  • Joshi, S. T. "Mosig at Last: My Years with the Greatest of Lovecraft Scholars."Crypt of Cthulhu 33 (Lammas 1985):29-35, 23. Discusses Joshi's relations with Mosig and touches upon Mosig's significance in fostering understanding of Lovecraft.

External links

Acolytes of Cthulhu

Acolytes of Cthulhu is an anthology of Cthulhu Mythos stories edited by Robert M. Price. It was published by Fedogan & Bremer in 2001 in an edition of 2,500 copies. Many of the stories originally appeared in the magazines Weird Tales, Unusual Stories, The Acolyte, Stirring Science Stories, Fantastic, Magazine of Horror, Weird Terror Tales, Supernatural Stories, Atlantic Monthly, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lovecraftian Ramblings, The Nectotic Scroll, Eldritch Tales, Tales of Lovecraftian Horror and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

August Derleth

August William Derleth (February 24, 1909 – July 4, 1971) was an American writer and anthologist. Though best remembered as the first book publisher of the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, and for his own contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos and the Cosmic Horror genre, as well as his founding of the publisher Arkham House (which did much to bring supernatural fiction into print in hardcover in the US that had only been readily available in the UK), Derleth was a leading American regional writer of his day, as well as prolific in several other genres, including historical fiction, poetry, detective fiction, science fiction, and biography.

A 1938 Guggenheim Fellow, Derleth considered his most serious work to be the ambitious Sac Prairie Saga, a series of fiction, historical fiction, poetry, and non-fiction naturalist works designed to memorialize life in the Wisconsin he knew. Derleth can also be considered a pioneering naturalist and conservationist in his writing.

Crypt of Cthulhu

Crypt of Cthulhu is an American fanzine devoted to the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos. It was published as part of the Esoteric Order of Dagon amateur press association for a short time, and was formally established in 1981 by Robert M. Price, who edited it throughout its subsequent run.

Described by its editor as "a bizarre miscegenation; half Lovecraft Studies rip-off, half humor magazine, a 'pulp thriller and theological journal,'" it was a great deal more than that. Lovecraft scholarship was always a mainstay, with articles contributed by Steve Behrends, Edward P. Berglund, Peter Cannon, Stefan Dziemianowicz, S. T. Joshi, Robert A. W. Lowndes, Dirk W. Mosig, Will Murray, Darrell Schweitzer, Colin Wilson and Price himself. However the magazine published stories and poems too: resurrected, newly discovered, or in a few cases newly written, by Lovecraft and other such Weird Tales veterans as R. H. Barlow, Robert Bloch, Hugh B. Cave, August Derleth, C. M. Eddy, Jr., Robert E. Howard, Carl Jacobi, Henry Kuttner, Frank Belknap Long, E. Hoffmann Price, Duane W. Rimel, Richard F. Searight, Clark Ashton Smith and Wilfred Blanch Talman. It also had stories and poems by newer writers paying tribute to the old, including Ramsey Campbell, Lin Carter, John Glasby, C. J. Henderson, T. E. D. Klein, Thomas Ligotti, Brian Lumley, Gary Myers and Richard L. Tierney. Several issues were devoted to showcasing one or another of such authors. Its contents were illustrated by such artists of the fantastic as Thomas Brown, Jason C. Eckhardt, Stephen E. Fabian, D. L. Hutchinson, Robert H. Knox, Allen Koszowski, Gavin O'Keefe and Gahan Wilson. Its reviews covered genre books, films and games.

The magazine's run initial run encompassed 107 issues over a span of 20 years. The first 75 issues (dated Hallowmas 1981 through Michaelmas 1990), were published by Price under his own Cryptic Publications imprint. The next 26 issues, (dated Hallowmas 1990 through Eastertide 1999 and numbered 76 through 101) were published by Necronomicon Press. The last 6 issues, (dated Lammas 1999 through Eastertide 2001 and numbered 102 through 107), were published by Mythos Books. The magazine was inactive after 2001; however, Necronomicon Press revived it in 2017 with issue 108 (dated Hallomas 2017).

Cthulhu Mythos

The Cthulhu Mythos is a shared fictional universe, originating in the works of American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. The term was coined by August Derleth, a contemporary correspondent and protégé of Lovecraft, to identify the settings, tropes, and lore that were employed by Lovecraft and his literary successors. The name Cthulhu derives from the central creature in Lovecraft's seminal short story, "The Call of Cthulhu", first published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928.Richard L. Tierney, a writer who also wrote Mythos tales, later applied the term "Derleth Mythos" to distinguish Lovecraft's works from Derleth's later stories, which modify key tenets of the Mythos. Authors of Lovecraftian horror in particular frequently use elements of the Cthulhu Mythos.

Esoteric Order of Dagon

The Esoteric Order of Dagon is a fictional cult in the Cthulhu mythos of H. P. Lovecraft.

Necronomicon Press

Necronomicon Press is an American small press publishing house specializing in fiction, poetry and literary criticism relating to the horror and fantasy genres. It is run by Marc A. Michaud.Necronomicon Press was founded in 1976, originally as an outlet for the works of H. P. Lovecraft, after whose fictitious grimoire, the Necronomicon, the firm is named. However, its repertoire expanded to include authors such as Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Ramsey Campbell, Hugh B. Cave, Joyce Carol Oates, Brian Lumley and Brian Stableford.

Necronomicon Press published critical works by such pioneering Lovecraft scholars as Dirk W. Mosig, Stefan R. Dziemianowicz, Kenneth W. Faig, and S. T. Joshi, including Joshi's biography, H. P. Lovecraft: A Life (1996).

The firm published critical journals such as Lovecraft Studies (now superseded by Lovecraft Annual published by Hippocampus Press) and Studies in Weird Fiction, both edited by Joshi; Crypt of Cthulhu, edited by Robert M. Price; and has also published critical studies of Campbell (The Count of Thirty, edited by Joshi) and Fritz Leiber (Witches of the Mind, written by Bruce Byfield).

Necronomicon Press was awarded the World Fantasy Award in 1994 and 1996 for its contributions to small-press publishing, and the British Fantasy Award in 1995 for its publication Necrofile: The Review of Horror Fiction.

Necronomicon Press' books are mostly illustrated by Jason Eckhardt and Robert H. Knox. Some of their titles, such as Lovecraft's The Colour Out of Space, contain original artwork from the amateur writers' magazines of Lovecraft's own time. One issue of Lovecraft Studies was illustrated by Sam Gafford.

A flood in March 2010 caused a loss of more than $20,000 worth of books. The press has since reactivated its website.

S. T. Joshi

Sunand Tryambak Joshi (born 22 June 1958), known as S. T. Joshi, is an American literary critic, novelist, and a leading figure in the study of H. P. Lovecraft and other authors of weird and fantastic fiction. Besides having written what critics such as Harold Bloom and Joyce Carol Oates consider to be the definitive biography of Lovecraft, I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft (Hippocampus Press, 2 vols., 2010 [originally published in one volume as H. P. Lovecraft: A Life, 1996]), Joshi has prepared (with David E. Schultz) several annotated editions of works by Ambrose Bierce. He has also written on crime novelist John Dickson Carr and on Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood and M. R. James, and has edited collections of their works, as well as collections of the best work of numerous other weird writers.

He has compiled bibliographies of Lovecraft, Bierce, Dunsany, Ramsey Campbell, Ray Bradbury and Clark Ashton Smith. He has been general editor of the Horror Classics series for Dover Publications.

Joshi is known for his acerbic style, and has been described by editor Ellen Datlow as 'the nastiest reviewer in the field'. Most recently he has turned his attention to collecting and editing the works of H. L. Mencken. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington.

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