- Merritt, A[braham]
- (1884–1943)American author and longtime editor of American Weekly(the magazine supplement to the Hearst papers). HPL considered the novelette “The Moon Pool” ( Argosy,June 22, 1918) one of the ten best weird tales in literature; he disliked the later novel version (The Moon Pool, 1919), and came to believe that Merritt sold himself out to the pulps when he could have been the equal of Machen and Blackwood as a weird writer. Some images in “The Moon Pool,” as well as the setting on Ponape, may have influenced “The Call of Cthulhu” (1926). The Dwellers in the Mirage (1932) may be a homage to HPL in its use of extra-dimensional octopus demon Khalk’ru (an analogue to Cthulhu?). Other novels: The Metal Monster (serialized 1920; book form 1946), The Ship of Ishtar (serialized 1924; book form 1926), Seven Footprints to Satan (serialized 1927; book form 1928), The Face in the Abyss (1931), Burn, Witch, Burn! (serialized 1932; book form 1933), Creep, Shadow! (1934). The Fox Woman (1949) is a short story collection. HPL met Merritt in New York on January 8, 1934, when Merritt took HPL to dinner at the Players Club in Gramercy Park. At that time HPL noted: “He knows all about my work, & praises it encouragingly” (HPL to Annie E.P.Gamwell, [January 8, 1934]; ms., JHL). They collaborated (with C.L. Moore, Robert E.Howard, and Frank Belknap Long) on “The Challenge from Beyond” ( Fantasy Magazine,September 1935).See T.G.L.Cockcroft, “Random Notes on Merritt and Lovecraft,” Telepath 1, No. 2 (October 1954): 2– 4; Sam Moskowitz, A. Merritt: Reflections in the Moon Pool: A Biography (Philadelphia: Oswald Train, 1985).
An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. S.T. Joshi, David E. Schultz.