It went well, I thought. It was at Treadwell’s in Covent Garden, and was preceded by dinner with friends I hadn’t seen in ages. It was great to catch up with them after far too long. The bookstore itself was not at all what I was expecting — I must have walked past it a hundred times (well, maybe more like a dozen. I don’t get to go to London as frequently as I’d like), and it’s a fascinating place — this long narrow space with all kinds of books, ranging from the flaky to the very serious (“An Introduction to Classical Tibetan” was my favourite), as well as comfy couches and chairs. The talk was in the basement, a little room they managed to cram about forty people into. The schedule of other subjects looked interesting, too — I must see what’s on for when I’m down in November.
A recording of the talk itself is online here. Listening to it again makes me cringe in places, but you might enjoy it. I’m sorry I sounded flippant about Dark Ages Cthulhu, which everyone assures me is good but which I have never actually read. I promise if I ever get some money I’ll buy it. Thanks to Steve for the recording! Also, James Bridle posted a detailed summary with lots of links to further discussion of the subjects in the talk, which is incredibly useful. He even found a lot of the same photographs I used and sourced some of my offhand quotes. I don’t have any written summary nearly that nice.
Naturally, this would come about a week before I got S.T. Joshi’s The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos for my birthday, but honestly I don’t think it would have made a huge difference. This is mainly just Joshi critiquing post-Lovecraft (and Lovecraft-contemporary) “Mythos” fiction and by extension, the very concept of the Mythos. Which is fair enough …
… but I always feel like I’m looking for some kind of examination of the Cthulhu Mythos as a cultural phenomenon, and it never seems to be forthcoming. Lovecraft in Popular Culture by Don Smith was really no more than an overview. Have I missed some vital work?
Anyway, it was a good talk, and I might get to do another one in a couple of months.
I wonder if they would like my discussion of archaeology and pseudo-archaeology in hip-hop?