Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Joshi, S T

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(1958-    ) US critic, scholar and bibliographer who has concentrated for much of his career on the works and life of H P Lovecraft. The corrected editions of Lovecraft's works published in the 1980s by Arkham House were edited/corrected by STJ. Books on Lovecraft by STJ include H.P. Lovecraft (1982 chap), H.P. Lovecraft and Lovecraft Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography (1981) and the ambitious H.P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West (1990), which attempts to argue a significant connection between 20th-century currents of thought in the Western world, Lovecraft's own ideas (he was a materialist, an atheist, and often accused of antisemitism) and the fiction. A book of this sort must almost certainly constitute an advocacy of its subject's opinions; STJ is sometimes overemphatic in this respect. Further titles include An Index to the Selected Letters of H.P. Lovecraft (1980 chap; rev 1991 chap), Lovecraft's Library: A Catalogue (1980 chap) with Marc A Michaud, and An Index to the Fiction and Poetry of H.P. Lovecraft (1992 chap). Books about Lovecraft edited by STJ include Lovecraft: Four Decades of Criticism (anth 1980), Selected Papers on Lovecraft (anth 1989), The H.P. Lovecraft Centennial Conference Proceedings (anth 1991 chap), An Epicure in the Terrible: A Centennial Anthology of Essays in Honor of H.P. Lovecraft (anth 1991) with David E Schultz, and Caverns Measureless to Man: 18 Memoirs of H.P. Lovecraft (anth 1996). He has in addition edited both the journal Lovecraft Studies and the more general Studies in Weird Fiction (1986-current), from their inception; both are published by Necronomicon Press, which specializes in Lovecraftiana. Lovecraft collections ed STJ include H.P. Lovecraft: Autobiographical Writings (coll 1992), H.P. Lovecraft: Letters to Robert Bloch (coll 1993 chap), H.P. Lovecraft in the Argosy: Collected Correspondence from the Munsey Magazines (coll 1994 chap), The H.P. Lovecraft Dream Book (1994 chap) with David E Schultz and Will Murray, H.P. Lovecraft: Letters to Samuel Loveman & Vincent Starrett (coll 1994 chap) with Schultz and Miscellaneous Writings by H.P. Lovecraft (coll 1995).

STJ has more recently focused on two other writers, Lord Dunsany and Ramsey Campbell. Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography (1993) with Darrell Schweitzer is competent and thorough. Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination (1995) represents almost the first serious attempt to put the life and prolific career of Dunsany into a perspective by which it may be possible to begin to understand his early fame and subsequent oblivion. The Count of Thirty: A Tribute to Ramsey Campbell (anth 1993 chap) and The Core of Ramsey Campbell: A Bibliography & Reader's Guide (1995 chap) with Campbell and Stefan Dziemianowicz are extremely useful.

In a theoretical study, The Weird Tale (1990), STJ attempts to describe the work of several writers – including Ambrose Bierce, Algernon Blackwood, Dunsany, M R James and Arthur Machen – as precursors of Lovecraft; the individual studies, though, are acute. [JC]

Sunand Tryambak Joshi


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.