Haunting Providence

Published by zengizmo in the blog zengizmo's drunken rants. Views: 447

I am on vacation this week. That doesn't really mean a whole lot in the overall scheme of things, except that: I don't need to work. So I can do whatever.

I don't have a lot of money. I don't even have a lot of inclination to get out of my apartment, except that: Yeah, now and then I kinda think, "I need to get the hell out of this apartment!"

So: Last Sunday I took a train to nearby Providence, RI and did a walking tour of H P Lovecraft sites.

Most folks don't know who H P Lovecraft was, so I will provide some insight. He was born in the late 1800s - in Providence. He grew up in Providence, lived most of his life in Providence, and died and was buried in Providence in the 1930s. And he loved Providence.

He was a writer of horror stories. Hardly anybody even knew he existed when he was alive. He died in poverty. It was only after his death that his legend began to grow. Famed horror fiction writer Stephen King has proclaimed Lovecraft as the greatest horror fiction writer of the 20th century. Lots of other modern authors have named Lovecraft as one of their major influences.

I discovered the stories of Lovecraft in a book in my dad's library when I was 11 years old. I immediately fell in love with his writing.

And now, through vicissitudes of fate, I find myself within a couple hours' driving distance of where Lovecraft lived most of his life. And finally last Sunday I went to Providence to walk where he once walked, and to see the things he once saw.

There is an ancient church cemetery in his old neighborhood that he used to like to haunt.

His literary hero Edgar Allan Poe also used to haunt that same cemetery. And the house of a poetess whom Poe used to court is still standing on Benefit Street, in Lovecraft's old neighborhood.

I took photos of the cemetery and of Poe's gf's house.

What kind of strange coincidence is it that the lives of Poe and Lovecraft overlapped so closely in this way...though they were two generations apart in time and never met in person?

And how interesting that our modern horror author Stephen King also makes his residence here in New England, and has set a lot of the scenes of his novels in local areas?

Another of my all-time favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr, used to live in a house on nearby Cape Cod - in the town of Barnstable. I found the house he used to live in online. One of his daughters now lives there. I thought of driving there...but, for what? I can view the house on Google Maps. What would driving there get me? I couldn't go into the house...and anyway the house is different now from when Vonnegut lived there. His daughter and her husband have drastically remodeled the place.

A friend I used to work with in my company rented that house years ago. Living there changed his ways of thinking a lot, because of knowing whose house it used to be, and coming to know more about that man.

This blog entry is all over the place, innit? :) It is just that I have so many thoughts that it is difficult to rein them in and tie them together succinctly. Prolly I will need to post lots more on this subject before we all get the gist of my diverse thoughts.

Here is one thing you can do, tho, if you want to know a bit more. You could read one of Lovecraft's stories. This is a favorite of mine - and the second favorite of Lovecraft himself. And it's fairly short. It's entitled, "The Music of Erich Zann." I read this story to my family one night, by candlelight, at the dining room table, when our power had been blown out by the remnants of a hurricane. You can read it in its entirety right here: https://www.hplovecra...iction/mez.aspx

Sweet dreams, friends. ;)
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