The stars are right again, and have crawled to point to August the 20th again: the birthday of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the writer of great acclaim, influence and style, and one of my gibbous and cresset-y idols.
I’ll repeat a quote from the man himself, first:
I certainly can’t see any sensible position to assume aside from that of complete scepticism tempered by a leaning towards that which existing evidence makes most probable. All I say is that I think that it is damned unlikely that anything like a central cosmic will, a spirit world, or an eternal survival of personality exist. They are the most preposterous and unjustified of all the guesses which can be made about the universe, and I am not enough of a hair-splitter to pretend that I don’t regard them as arrant and negligible moonshine. In theory I am an agnostic, but pending the appearance of rational evidence I must be classed, practically and provisionally, as an atheist. The chance’s of theism’s truth being to my mind so microscopically small, I would be a pedant and a hypocrite to call myself anything else.
(H. P. Lovecraft, Selected Letters, vol. 4, p. 57, quoted in introduction to The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, edited and commented by S. T. Joshi; the emphasis is mine)
And now, I’m off to do my three traditional Lovecraftian things — to read a bit of the man and listen to a HPLHS drama CD (I think I have an unopened one here, um, somewhere…), to curse my inability to acquire Joshi’s Lovecraft biography (and my confusion between trying more and waiting for the apparently forthcoming two-volume edition), and to teeter and tooter round and round in eldritch spirals of forgotten phrenzy to the looming whiteness of that indescribable, squamous monolith of horror which inholding unspeakable Things moodily squats in a desert of dust and grime —
Er, to go to the fridge. Where in the Antarctic, yellow-stained frost of the freeze-locker dead peas sleep, waiting.
Clear skies and night-gaunts, all. The moon is dark, the heavens bright, and the stars they’re a-right.