Farnese, Harold S.

Farnese, Harold S.
   Musical composer and correspondent of HPL (1932–33). In July 1932, Farnese (assistant director of the Institute of Musical Art, Ltd. in Los Angeles) asked HPL’s permission to set to music two sonnets from Fungi from Yuggoth. HPL granted permission, and by September Farnese had written and performed music for “Mirage” and “The Elder Pharos.” HPL never heard or saw the pieces, and it was not until HPL died that Farnese had the sheet music printed and circulated (a page from “The Elder Pharos” is printed in SL4, facing p. 159). Farnese tried to enlist HPL’s help in writing a libretto for a planned opera entitled Yurregarth and Yannimaid(later Fen River), but HPL declined, suggesting Clark Ashton Smith as librettist. After HPL moved in 1933, the two fell out of touch. Farnese became the unwitting source of the spurious “Black Magic” quotation attributed by August Derleth to HPL, and thus generating a long misunderstanding of the nature of HPL’s work. See entry on Cthulhu Mythos for details.
   See Kenneth W.Faig, Jr., “A Note Regarding the Harold Farnese Musical Pieces,” Dark Brotherhood Journal1, No. 1 (June 1971): 12–14; David E. Schultz, “The Origin of Lovecraft’s ‘Black Magic’ Quote,” Crypt No. 48 (St. John’s Eve 1987): 9–13 (revised version in The Horror of It All,ed. Robert M. Price [Starmont House, 1990]).

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