The Loved Dead

The Loved Dead is a story written by C. M. Eddy, Jr. in 1919. A controversial tale of necrophilia, it was published in Weird Tales bumper issue for May/July 1924.[1]

Plot

The plot centres around an unnamed narrator living in the rural village of Fenham who is a necrophile. He describes his repressive childhood and what drove him to commit these crimes. He works for one Mortuary/Undertaker after another, in order to be near corpses. At the end of the story, with police hot on his trail, he commits suicide.

Reaction

Due to the tale's grisly subject matter, style and descriptiveness, it caused a storm of controversy.[1] According to Eddy, copies of Weird Tales had to be withdrawn from sale in many places.[2] Robert Weinberg has disputed this, saying he was unable to find evidence of such withdrawals.[1] On the other hand, S. T. Joshi contends that when published in Weird Tales, the story elicited a protest from authorities in Indiana, who sought to have the issue banned; subsequently, editor Farnsworth Wright became hesitant to accept any stories from H.P. Lovecraft that features explicitly gruesome passages of the kind found in "The Loved Dead", and as a result several of Lovecraft's tales were rejected.[3]

Ramsey Campbell wrote in 1969 that this story consisted of "ludicrous melodrama" and that it was a "distastefully sensationalist revision"[4] He later modified this view in a revision of his 1969 article.[5] Robert Weinberg described "The Loved Dead" as an "over-written and minor" story.[1] John Pelan wrote, "This shuddery tale, for all its Grand Guignol excess, still strikes a chilling chord after many years and deserves its place as the best of 1924. One challenge in assembling this collection was to disregard the notoriety of certain tales and evaluate whether or not a story really deserved to be considered the 'best' of a given year. In the case of C. M. Eddy's story, it managed to be both."[6]

Further reading

David E. Schultz. "On 'The Loved Dead'", Crypt of Cthulhu No 17 (Hallowmas 1983): 25-28.

Publishing history

References

  1. ^ a b c d Weinberg, Robert. The Weird Tales Story. West Lynn, OR: FAX Collector's Editions. p. 22. ISBN 1-58715-101-4.
  2. ^ de Camp, L. Sprague (1975). Lovecraft: A Biography. Doubleday.
  3. ^ S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001, p.156
  4. ^ Ramsey Campbell, "Lovecraft in Retrospect" (Shadow, 1969)
  5. ^ Ramsey Campbell, "Lovecraft in Retrospect in Retrospect", Voices from Shadow, 1993.
  6. ^ John Pelan, The Century's Best Horror Fiction, Cemetery Dance Publications, 2011.
C. M. Eddy Jr.

Clifford Martin Eddy Jr. (C. M. Eddy Jr.; January 18, 1896 – November 21, 1967) was an American author known for his horror, mystery and supernatural short stories. He is best remembered for his work in Weird Tales magazine and his friendship with H.P. Lovecraft.

In the Vault

"In the Vault' is a short story by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft, written on September 18, 1925 and first published in the November 1925 issue of the amateur press journal Tryout.

Necrophilia in popular culture

Necrophilia has been a topic in popular culture.

The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces

The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces is a collection of stories, poems and essays by American author H. P. Lovecraft and others, edited by August Derleth. It was released in 1966 by Arkham House in an edition of 3,460 copies. The dustjacket is by Frank Utpatel.

Some controversy was raised by the publication of the Chalker bibliography (see below), as George T. Wetzel claimed with some plausibility that Chalker had pirated Wetzel's own bibliography of 1955.

The Horror at Martin's Beach

"The Horror at Martin's Beach" is a short story by American writers H. P. Lovecraft and Sonia H. Greene. It was written in June 1922 and first published (as "The Invisible Monster") in November 1923 in Weird Tales (Vol. 2, No. 4, 75–76, 83).

The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions

The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions is a collection of stories revised or ghostwritten by American author H. P. Lovecraft. It was originally published in 1970 by Arkham House in an edition of 4,058 copies. The dustjacket of the first edition features art by Gahan Wilson.

The collection was revised in 1989 by S. T. Joshi adding an introduction by Joshi, correcting the texts and expanding the contents.

In 2007, Del Rey published a trade paperback version with a new introduction by Stephen Jones, and a brief biography of Lovecraft at the end.

The revised version of Lovecraft's revisions includes Henry S. Whitehead's "The Trap" but not the other two stories by Whitehead in which Lovecraft had a hand ("Cassius" and "Bothon"). The revised version also includes two collaborations by Lovecraft with Robert H. Barlow, but not the other tales on which they worked together, of which there are four or five. Sonia Greene's "Four O'Clock" is omitted from the revised version, S.T. Joshi having determined that this tale is not properly a part of the Lovecraft corpus; the story is entirely Sonia's, Lovecraft having simply made a few suggestions as to its prose style.

The Mound (novella)

The Mound is a horror/science fiction novella by American author H. P. Lovecraft, written by him as a ghostwriter from December 1929 to January 1930 after he was hired by Zealia Bishop to create a story about an Indian mound which is haunted by a headless ghost. Lovecraft expanded the story into a tale about a mound that conceals a gateway to a subterranean civilization, the realm of K'n-yan. The story was not published during Lovecraft's lifetime. A heavily abridged version was published in the November 1940 issue of Weird Tales, and the full text was finally published in 1989.

Weird Tales

Weird Tales is an American fantasy and horror fiction pulp magazine founded by J. C. Henneberger and J. M. Lansinger in late 1922. The first issue, dated March 1923, appeared on newsstands February 18th. The first editor, Edwin Baird, printed early work by H. P. Lovecraft, Seabury Quinn, and Clark Ashton Smith, all of whom would go on to be popular writers, but within a year the magazine was in financial trouble. Henneberger sold his interest in the publisher, Rural Publishing Corporation, to Lansinger and refinanced Weird Tales, with Farnsworth Wright as the new editor. The first issue under Wright's control was dated November 1924. The magazine was more successful under Wright, and despite occasional financial setbacks it prospered over the next fifteen years. Under Wright's control the magazine lived up to its subtitle, "The Unique Magazine", and published a wide range of unusual fiction.

Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos stories first appeared in Weird Tales, starting with "The Call of Cthulhu" in 1928. These were well-received, and a group of writers associated with Lovecraft wrote other stories set in the same milieu. Robert E. Howard was a regular contributor, and published several of his Conan the Barbarian stories in the magazine, and Seabury Quinn's series of stories about Jules de Grandin, a detective who specialized in cases involving the supernatural, was very popular with the readers. Other well-liked authors included Nictzin Dyalhis, E. Hoffmann Price, Robert Bloch, and H. Warner Munn. Wright published some science fiction, along with the fantasy and horror, partly because when Weird Tales was launched there were no magazines specializing in science fiction, but he continued this policy even after the launch of magazines such as Amazing Stories in 1926. Edmond Hamilton wrote a good deal of science fiction for Weird Tales, though after a few years he used the magazine for his more fantastic stories, and submitted his space operas elsewhere.

In 1938 the magazine was sold to William Delaney, the publisher of Short Stories, and within two years Wright, who was ill, was replaced by Dorothy McIlwraith as editor. Although some successful new authors and artists, such as Ray Bradbury and Hannes Bok, continued to appear, the magazine is considered by critics to have declined under McIlwraith from its heyday in the 1930s. Weird Tales ceased publication in 1954, but since then numerous attempts have been made to relaunch the magazine, starting in 1973. The longest-lasting version began in 1988 and ran with an occasional hiatus for over 20 years under an assortment of publishers. In the mid-1990s the title was changed to Worlds of Fantasy & Horror because of licensing issues, with the original title returning in 1998. As of 2018, the most recent published issue was dated Spring 2014.

The magazine is regarded by historians of fantasy and science fiction as a legend in the field, with Robert Weinberg, author of a history of the magazine, considering it "the most important and influential of all fantasy magazines". Weinberg's fellow historian, Mike Ashley, is more cautious, describing it as "second only to Unknown in significance and influence", adding that "somewhere in the imagination reservoir of all U.S. (and many non-U.S.) genre-fantasy and horror writers is part of the spirit of Weird Tales".

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