H. P. Lovecraft’s Fungi from Yuggoth is a remarkable achievement. Written in little more than a week (December 27, 1929–January 4, 1930), the cycle of 36 sonnets is a compact encapsulation of the essence of Lovecraft’s imaginative vision. Its central motifs—the lure of hidden worlds, cosmic alienation, the terrors lurking behind the placid surface of life—are those that structured Lovecraft’s greatest weird tales.
David E. Schultz, one of the leading authorities on Lovecraft, has spent decades preparing this annotated edition of the Fungi. He meticulously discusses the origin of the poem (including the influence of Donald Wandrei’s similar cycle, Sonnets of the Midnight Hours), its connections with Lovecraft’s fiction, Lovecraft’s changing thoughts on natural expression in poetry, and the complex history of the poem's publication—both as individual sonnets and as a unity. Schultz also provides penetrating annotations on every poem.
This volume features the superlative artwork of longtime Lovecraftian artist Jason C. Eckhardt, who has illustrated each poem in a separate full-page edition. Readers are also treated to a reproduction of Lovecraft’s handwritten manuscript of the Fungi, which shows how carefully he revised each sonnet in the course of composition, and Harold S. Farnese’s sheet music for two of the sonnets, most of it never published previously.
This edition will take its place as a landmark contribution to Lovecraft studies—one that allows readers to appreciate Lovecraft’s most famous poem as never before.
David E. Schultz is the editor of an annotated edition of Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book (1987) and coeditor, with S. T. Joshi, of numerous editions of Lovecraft’s letters, including A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard (2009) and Dawnward Spire, Lonely Hill: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith (2017). A revised and updated version of Schultz’s critical edition of Lovecraft’s “commonplace book” is forthcoming from Hippocampus Press.
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