New Gaiman Story

I, Cthulhu. Owes more to Robert Graves than Isaac Asimov. But doesn’t owe much to either. Intriguing postscript:

…it is not generally known that the H.P. Lovecraft letters we know and love are incomplete in one important respect. In the late twenties and early thirties a young English writer – who, like Lovecraft, thought little of writing twenty thousand word letters – was in New York , working on his own books and writing the librettos to musicals.

That Lovecraft, a devoted anglophile, was a fan of the man’s work is unsurprising. That P.G. Wodehouse was a fan of Weird Tales is perhaps more so. How their lengthy correspondence got into my grubby little hands I do not wish to go into at this point. Suffice it to say that I possess not only their only collaborative novel (alternatively titled The What Ho! On The Threshold and It’s the Call of Cthulhu, Jeeves ) but also fragments of their musical, Necronomicon Summer , in which the heroine is called upon to sing those immortal lines:

I may be just a bird in a gilded cage
A captive like a parakeet or dove,
But when a maiden meets a giant lipophage
Her heart gets chewed and broken, like that old adage…
-I’m just a fool who
Thought that Cthulhu
Could fall in love!

The similarities between the two authors – not only in names, but also biography, both of them having been brought up by aunts for example (one of a legion of similarities) leads one to ponder why the collaborations were a failure and covered up by both men, and why they conducted their work together in such secrecy. Certainly the novel throws a fascinating light on both their obsessions (the sequence in which Aunt Agatha is revealed to be Nyarlathotep, and the Wooster-Psmith expedition to the thrice accursed plains of Leng, enlivened by their running battle over Bertie Wooster’s bow-tie, spring to mind immediately).

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