Manage episode 374781332 series 3313614
Horace Smith is emeritus professor of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University. He has a BA degree from Wesleyan University and a PhD in astronomy from Yale. Horace is author or coauthor of seven books and numerous scientific papers. He began to read the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft around 1970, and became intrigued by the role of astronomy in the development of Lovecraft's thinking.
WHEN THE STARS ARE RIGHT: H. P. LOVECRAFT AND ASTRONOMY is the brand new book from Dr. Guimont and Professor Smith. In it they probe the astronomical interests of one of horror/sci-fi's most influential authors, H. P. Lovecraft.
More about the book here: https://www.hippocampuspress.com/other-authors/nonfiction/when-the-stars-are-right-h.-p.-lovecraft-and-astronomy
"Lovecraft was a devotee of astronomy from the age of eleven, when he first discovered the 'myriad suns and worlds of infinite space.' He immediately began reading astronomy books, going to Brown University’s Ladd Observatory to gaze at the stars, and doing his own astronomical observations from a 3″ telescope that his mother purchased for him. Soon he was writing astronomy columns for local newspapers.
Lovecraft’s passion for astronomy is a major component of his life, thought, and literary work, but until now it has never been extensively examined. This important topic has now been treated in an exhaustive treatise written by two authorities on the subject, Edward Guimont and Horace A. Smith.
The authors probe the origin and development of Lovecraft’s astronomical interests, his studies of the moon, Venus, Mars, and other objects in the solar system, his fascination with a 'trans-Neptunian planet' (discovered in 1930 and named Pluto), and his conjectures as to what might lie in the farthest gulfs of the cosmos. Along the way they examine such crucial texts as 'The Colour out of Space,' 'In the Walls of Eryx,' and the handwritten astronomy journals and pamphlets that Lovecraft wrote as a boy. They make emphatically clear that astronomy was a central element in Lovecraft’s life and a vital component of his weird fiction."
Dr. Guimont and Prof. Smith (a good friend and previous guest of the show) visit with Talking Weird to chat about previously unexplored connections between Lovecraft's work and his love of astronomy.
This is going to be a fascinating episode that you do not want to miss!
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