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The author H P Lovecraft died in March 1937. Well within the age of audio recording and popular literary journalism.

Are any recordings of his voice known to exist, or are there any descriptions of his style of speaking contained within reviews or interviews in literary publications or the literary sections of newspapers published contemporaneously to his life?

For example, comments regarding his accent, alliteration, or phraseology. Or recordings in which he pronounces key words, names, titles, or phrases found in his writings. Which may be used to gain greater insight or familiarity with the world of Lovecraft as expressed by Lovecraft himself.

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  • 1
    Related questions on Reddit: one and two.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 20 at 12:48
  • Are any of these referenced in a more scholarly form? I can't cite a Redit thread. Mar 20 at 12:59
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    I don't know, hence why I posted a comment rather than an answer :-) Hopefully someone else can do more digging and get the information you need.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 20 at 13:33

1 Answer 1

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Jason C Eckhardt's essay "The Cosmic Yankee" contains (especially pp 87-90) some remarks on Lovecraft's speech and accent. He quotes Lovecraft:

My speech is simply the ordinary literate medium of Southern & Central (not Northern) New England outside Boston⁠—the daily speech of Providence, Hartford, New Haven, Springfield, Worcester, Salem, & so on. ... We don't sound any final r in words like car, far, &c. (phonetically, our common pronunciation is indistinguishable from caa, faa, &c.), but this is not a Bostonism or a Briticism at all, but merely the ordinary usage along the Atlantic seaboard (Selected Letters 3.420)

Eckhardt recommends listening to Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn, actors who were both taught diction with a New England accent, and also compares Lovecraft to upper-class Bostonian poet Robert Lowell as similar but not always the same.

  • Jason C. Eckhardt, "The Cosmic Yankee", in An Epicure in the Terrible: A Centennial Anthology of Essays in Honor of H.P. Lovecraft, ed David E Schultz and S T Joshi, Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1991. (Here is a Google Books link, which based on past experience may or may not work for different people.)

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