Though H. P. Lovecraft is famed mostly for the influential body of short fiction he left behind, he was also one of the most prolific correspondents of his time, the author of more than 100,000 letters. Undiscovered and unpublished until now, The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men is the last letter that Lovecraft wrote, finishing it just days before his deathThough H. P. Lovecraft is famed mostly for the influential body of short fiction he left behind, he was also one of the most prolific correspondents of his time, the author of more than 100,000 letters. Undiscovered and unpublished until now, The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men is the last letter that Lovecraft wrote, finishing it just days before his death on March 15, 1937. This edition features extensive notes from the editor, Gabriel Blackwell."It's difficult to know if Blackwell is a sharp editor, a stone-faced ventriloquist, someone possessed by the ghost of Lovecraft, or all three. The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men is a startling investigation of the evanescence of the self. It's not so much that it will leave you changed as that it will leave you nameless and wandering."-Brian Evenson, author of Immobility...
|Title||:||The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised Men|
|Number of Pages||:||194 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised Men Reviews
When you figure out what's really going on, it will either blow your mind or drive you mad. Full review coming at HTMLGiant at some future date. This will probably be my last formal review of the year and am real glad it was such an incredibly complex and interesting book to review.http://tieryas.wordpress.com/2013/07/...
One of the great tropes of Lovecraftian horror is that of found manuscripts--letters, documents, and old, weird books that prove beyond the shadow of a doubt the existence of cosmic terrors past the periphery of human existence. Furthermore, Lovecraftian horror concerns monstrous alien god-beings, degenerate demi-human cults, and stranger things, the exposure of which threatens to send us careening into the far more comforting realms of madness, paranoia, sorrow, and darkness. When realized poorly, these tropes come across as--at best--a series of metafictional in-jokes, parodies playing off pastiches. With The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised Men: The Last Letter of H. P. Lovecraft, author Gabriel Blackwell has done something else entirely. Either Blackwell has genuinely discovered, transcribed, and lost the Old Man of Providence's final letter, written while in the grip of the grippe, a dying man's reconciliations with horrors both within and without. Or else Blackwell has conjured Lovecraft's shade from essential saltes and occult incantations, forcing Grandpa Theobald's specter to compose one final missive and set straight the record while sending a delicate shudder down the spines of twenty-first century readers. This is no mere approximation of Lovecraft's epistemological style, as Blackwell sets Lovecraft's letter against his own memoir chronicling a consuming period spent upon the bewitched streets and within the ghoul-haunted basements of fabled Providence, blurring the demarcations between cosmic and bodily horrors, the Lovecraftian and the Blackwellian. Regardless of its origins, The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised Men is a literary puzzle-box far more intelligent, transgressive, and compellingly creepy than many who dwell in Lovecraft's shadow could ever have hoped of crafting, and comes as an easy recommendation to those daring to explore cosmic horrors eclipsing startling shapes and simple scares.
The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men is fiendishly clever, endlessly byzantine, and brilliantly tongue-in-cheek-in-cheek. In this book and his equally clever Shadow Man: A Biography of Lewis Miles Archer, Blackwell has essentially invented a new genre, the inverted quest: having started at the Holy Grail, the seeker works his way backward into mental and spiritual derailment. Gabriel Blackwell tips his hat not only to Lovecraft, but also to Thomas Bernhard, Samuel Beckett, David Foster Wallace, and anyone who's ever explored the dark horrors (and humor) in the suffocating inferno of the self's banalities.
Thoroughly unsettling stuff: metafictional horror that works on about a half-dozen levels.
We lose and find ourselves in every great piece of fiction. Sometimes you want out; other times you wish you could remain lost in those words. Gabriel Blackwell's latest fits into the latter category.
It certainly didn't hurt that Lovecraft is wrapped up in this one, but that wasn't the only reason I ended up adoring this book. A falling apart version of a questing novel, the narratives buried in meta narratives compel reading of the text in the same way that the texts in the text pull in the narrators of those various intertwined narratives. It's undertow, powerful and sinister undertow. I mean, a character purported to be the author presenting what may or may not be a malevolent letter (in effect as opposed to tone) from Lovecraft to someone who shared a name with the character/author and who in turn had written a malevolent letter (in effect as opposed to tone) to Lovecraft from an asylum? How can you not get drawn into that? In any event, I did. I loved every minute.
This was a very enjoyable wrap-up to the GB first-year trilogy, I think sort of completing the arc traced in Shadow Man and referring explicitly to the speaker in this and SM as also being the author of Critique of Pure Reason. We sort of see, by the endnotes, the emergence from the academic crysalis of the GB persona as a "writer." Or maybe editor-critic, or something like that.I loved reading Lovecraft as a kid, though that was tempered with some irritation at his florid language, which I thought was overwrought. Blackwell here is a lot more readable, even when he writes as Lovecraft-- I don't know, maybe Lovecraft's letters are more readable than his fiction, but this too was pretty fun and relatively easy to get through, without losing the otherworldly spookiness. And I was excited in a way that made me laugh out loud when, around 110 pages into it, we finally got to my favorite Lovecraftian word, cyclopean. So, bravo for that.The storyline had genuine chills-- the sequence pairing our ink smeared narrator and the mold from outer space was awesome-- and the Lovecraft plot teased the power of language to transport us in a way that felt necessary without being cursory, if that makes sense. I enjoyed this a good deal, in other words, as a thriller and as a thinky meta thing.I don't know what function, exactly, was served by the opening notes, though. Or maybe I didn't need to full arc of the Providence adventure, since I was going to see it again later, in more detail. The new elements of that story were wonderful when we got them in footnotes to Lovecraft's letter-- but since the episode climaxed in a way we'd already seen in the intro, I felt a little let down. The cover to this book is great, one of the most appealingly designed covers I've seen in a way.
So very awesome. One of my favorite novels read this year, and though it's early in the year, I imagine I'll keep coming back to this statement. Reads beautifully and it winds in on itself and reflects itself. Does so many great things, and is in the tradition of both House of Leaves and Pale Fire, but also distinctly its own take on fake memoir/academic exploration.Interview to come.
Difficult to know quite what to say. Voice is the best HPL impersonation (proper) I've come across. Unsettling, unpleasant and disturbing. Quite possibly mad, like Schreber. Imagine if Lovecraft wrote 'House of Leaves' without leaving his head. What is happening to me?
"...the roaming of a dreaming brain without any of the snares set by the nerves, so that I felt as though I had no body, as though my vision had no connection to the eye."