Yes, it was a year ago today that the very first post went up on this blog! I had actually spent some time last June in designing and getting the blog ready but today is the actual birthday. In that year, there’s been lots that has happened in Hodgson studies and I’m glad to say that this blog has had a big hand in bringing much of it about. Since that first post, I’ve been able to reprint a lot of old, rare material both by and about Hodgson. Many blog readers have been very helpful in finding more items and information than we had before. For example, we now have copies of all of the adaptations of WHH materials on television which, a year ago, I would have thought were lost.
In setting up this blog, I had several goals. I wanted, first and foremost, to give Hodgson more attention which I’ve felt he has long deserved. But I also wanted to provide a place for others to share Hodgson information and their love for this unique writer. I think that I’ve accomplished these goals and look forward to more to come.
Going forward, I plan to finally finish my examination of the Carnacki stories as well as looking at the Captain Gault stories in depth. In addition, I hope to feature more guest posts and encourage people to submit some for future posts. I also hope to reprint some more older items including some contemporary reviews of Hodgson as well as some older pieces of criticism.
For now, I’d like to turn this post over to my good friend, S. T. Joshi, who has always been a source of constant encouragement to me in my Hodgsonian efforts. Without his assistance and advice, I’d never have done the work on Hodgson that I have and this blog would not exist.
I’d like to congratulate Sam Gafford for running his William Hope Hodgson blog for a full year. Sam has been at the forefront of Hodgson studies for many years, and this latest venture is only one more indication that Hodgson may finally be receiving the critical attention he so richly deserves.
Of all the great writers of the “golden age” of weird fiction—roughly spanning the years 1880–1940, and including such titans as Ambrose Bierce, Arthur Machen, Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood, M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft, Walter de la Mare, L. P. Hartley, and many others—Hodgson is far and away the least recognised, in terms of critical attention. Although Emily Alder wrote an outstanding Ph.D. dissertation on WHH in 2009, no full-length critical study or biography has been published. Sam himself is, I believe, at work on such a study, and it will no doubt significantly advance our understanding of WHH and his work.
Massimo Berruti has also been at work on a volume of critical essays by various authors, including original essays by Emily Alder, Mark Valentine, Andy Sawyer, Phillip A. Ellis, myself, and other scholars, will have several pieces by Sam Gafford as well as reprints of earlier criticism by H. P. Lovecraft, Ellery Queen, H. C. Koenig, Fritz Leiber, and others. This volume—which will also publish the exhaustive bibliography that Sam and I have been assembling for years—is entitled William Hope Hodgson: Voices from the Borderland, and we hope to have it ready for publication next year by Hippocampus Press.
All in all, things are looking up for Hodgson. He may finally be about to receive the recognition he deserves from both readers and critics. And when that happens, Sam Gafford say rightly say he has played a large part in that process.
(S.T. Joshi is, of course, an internationally known writer and critic. He has been at the forefront of Lovecraft studies as well as a leading figure in critical work on weird literature, Ambrose Bierce, H. L. Mencken and other writers. One of his recent publications was UNUTTERABLE HORRORS which was a two volume history and examination of weird literature. His web page is at: http://www.stjoshi.org/index.html)