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Love Advice from H.P. Lovecraft


Imagine if the creepy King of cosmic horror, Mr. H.P. Lovecraft himself, was available to offer you guidance in all your relationship problems? It might look a little something like this:

Dear Howie,

My girlfriend has metamorphosed into a kind of polyhedron with many pairs of feelers, membraneous wings, and fanged orifices on stalks. Should I talk to her about this, or keep hoping it’s just a phase? Snapshot enclosed.

Amateur Photographer

Dear Amateur Photographer: –

I do not know long it was before I dared to inspect your snapshot. Once I did, I immediately fell wholly to the floor. How much time passed after that, do not ask me to guess, but a momentary fragment of memory shows me racing dementedly past a long stone colonnade towards a curious hummock. After that, mercifully, all is blackness. My aunts discovered me beside a nearby megalith, with my faculties paralyzed, a mark on my forehead bespeaking all too vividly the ravages of some snail-like marsupial. It was months before I regained the ability to talk any language but proto-Algonquian. Now my senses have somewhat cleared, I recommend you break things off with your fiancée as tactfully as possible, not letting her suspect you have noticed any change or blemish. Hers is such an image as — but I cannot go on. I have barricaded myself indoors, and hope never to look at another photograph, or touch any variety of leafy vegetable. Even Dalgaard’s worst prophesies fell short of the unspeakable reality! A rank odor now pervades everything, the hills resonate with sustained prehuman howling, and I keep losing my place in the Unrecommended Codex of Naarg,

Yrs Strkly. Trrfd., – HPL.

Dear Howie,

Last week I received a “you probably don’t remember me” note from a man I went to a school dance with nineteen years ago. He is married and has three kids, but states he is not happy. What should I do?

Concerned Lady

Dear Concerned Lady: –

Although humankind has a yearning toward whatever is redolent of mystery and allurement, it is well that certain lacunae in our knowledge should remain forever unfilled. Your shadowy correspondent’s mention of the ill-regarded numbers nineteen and three recalls an unutterable experiment performed on sticklebacks by the Swedish icthyologist Dalgaard. I dare not describe his observations, but he concluded that, the longer we can remain innocent of our place in the cosmos, the better it must augur for our mental integrity. He came to understand there was more meaning than is commonly supposed in the nebulous half-inscriptions found on abandoned wharves — while who knows what malign significance underlies the latest findings on the growth of angiosperms, or the cycle of the solar spots? What of the transgalactic pulsings that have cost more than one astronomer his powers of reasoning? I have heard it whispered that the imprints found on Dalgaard’s pillow, toward the end, resembled the fronds of a kind of bracken previously unknown to botany. The muffled clattering sounds from my roof impel me hastily to conclude,

Yrs most cordially & sincerely, – HPL.

All this and more at bygonebureau.

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

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