August 28, 2002
8:08 PM   Subscribe

This summer, I took a trip to the Brattleboro region of Vermont. Until I picked up Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in Darkness" again this past week, I had not realized that I had just made a trip into Lovecraft Country. [more inside]
posted by ursus_comiter (12 comments total)
Lovecraft wrote Whisperer after having visited southeastern Vermont and described the impressive geology quite well. I can't speak for the people, since there's been a turn towards the crunchy since his day, but I expect that the bucolic region he depicted was true to the Vermont of those days.

Having so recently penetrated into the deep woods of the highest peaks myself, Lovecraft's use of them as a hiding place for the alien Fungi from Yuggoth worked quite well and contrasted with my previous reading of the story 18 years ago. At that time, I focussed on the use of language and on the alienation of the narrator. With my recent reading, I can easily see why someone might go on a Lovecraftian holiday. This should come as no surprise, as Lovecraft was also something of a travel writer.
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:11 PM on August 28, 2002

Plus, we've got antiquing. And leaf-peepers.

crunchy, hell. We're downright gristly.
posted by ook at 8:45 PM on August 28, 2002

And writing about traveling was much more attractive to the lamentable recluse, locked up in 598 Angell Street's attic, really the only travelling he'd braved for his first 30 years of existence was the quiet park down the block (from where he'd forge his reputation for keeping epistolary associations with people from all corners of the globe) very brief marriage and trial of the ravages of life in New York City notwithstanding.

On another note, I'm a big fan of Brattleboro, which is 40 minutes North of my birthplace and most of my life. McNeill's brewery has a tasty adult beverage called Ringworm, which they've stopped bottling, due to a request for highway authorities. Very strong, very tasty.
posted by Busithoth at 8:54 PM on August 28, 2002

I'd say Providence was more lovecraft country than Vermont. I lived on college hill last year (I go to RISD) and I must say I completely understand why this city would cause him to write what he did.
posted by atom128 at 9:01 PM on August 28, 2002

Here's a challenge to MeFi writers, try to write a short story pretending that you are Rushdie writing as Lovecraft.

Lovecraft rules.
posted by Grod at 9:58 PM on August 28, 2002

As off-topic as this might be, I probably would never have read any Lovecraft had it not been for the Mefi masses and the mentions of Cthulhu. Checked out a short collection of his stories in June. Enjoyed it greatly. Enough to be actively building a homespun text adventure around 'In the Mountains of Madness'.

I'm now about halfway through 'Snow Crash' for similar reasons. I'm enjoying it so much that I believe any MeFi reccomendations are sheer gold.
posted by ttrendel at 12:23 AM on August 29, 2002

The Lovecraft walking tour of Providence nearly killed me. How can an entire city be uphill?

I really want to see "America's Stonehenge" but I'm very disturbed at how cheerful their website is. Nothing ruins a sp00ky atmosphere like cute alpacas.
posted by JoanArkham at 4:44 AM on August 29, 2002

Something in a similar vein here.
posted by piskycritter at 5:08 AM on August 29, 2002

Lovecraft rules.

Yes. But Robert E Howard ruled Weird Tales, where Whisperer was first published.

Similarly, Howard fans regularly descend on Cross Plains, TX, to visit Howard's home.

Howard and Lovecraft were friends and correspondents, as well as "competitors" in the pulps: This letter from HP to Howard details some of Lovecraft's favorite foods.
posted by Shane at 6:02 AM on August 29, 2002

Busithoth--where is it you're speaking of that's 40 minutes south of Brattleboro? I live about 30-40 mins south of Brattleboro as well, due south on I-91 o_O

As for Lovecraft country, I thought it was pretty neat once I found out that some of his stories were based around here, although I've never actually been to see any of the places he mentioned in them. Still, being a New England native I was always able to relate to his descriptions of this area :)

And, alpacas?! Wierd. And there's a lot of llamas around here where I live, too. Lovecraft never wrote anything about llamas or alpacas, did he?
posted by cyrusdogstar at 6:03 AM on August 29, 2002

I'd say Providence was more lovecraft country than Vermont.

Yes, and Massachusetts too, but it was with Vermont and Whisperer that I had my serendipitous moment.

It could have been with Hadley, MA and The Dunwich Horror, but it's not one of my favored stories.

I've been through Providence by train. I mean to visit the place eventually, perhaps for the next NecronomiCON. (Bah. In getting that link, I found two other conventions using that name - one in Florida (Tampa) and one in New South Wales, Australia)

I'd expect Howard would have been more likely to have written of llamas or alpacas.

And then the mighty thewed warrior slaked his thirst with the hot blood of the strange mountain beast...

Eh, what a horrid pastiche, especially since I haven't read any Howard in a long long time. When I want cheesy heroic fantasy, I look to Burroughs.
posted by ursus_comiter at 8:53 AM on August 29, 2002

the next NecronomiCON. (Bah. In getting that link, I found two other conventions using that name - one in Florida (Tampa) ...

The one in Tampa has been occurring for over two decades.
posted by piskycritter at 6:05 AM on August 30, 2002

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