“Confession of Unfaith, A“

   Essay (2,170 words); probably written in late 1921. First published in the Liberal(February 1922); rpt. MW
   One of HPL’s most significant personal and philosophical essays, tracing the development of his rejection of orthodox Christianity from boyhood (when, under the influence of classical mythology, he actually thought he saw dryads and satyrs in the woods near his home) to maturity. HPL copied much of the essay in his autobiographical letter to Edwin Baird, February 3, 1924 ( SL1.299–302). Conover, Willis (1920–1996).
   Weird fiction fan who corresponded with HPL (1936–37). Conover wished to start a fan magazine, the Science-Fantasy Correspondent,and asked HPL to contribute; HPL sent him “Homecoming” (a sonnet from Fungi from Yuggoth), which appeared in the first issue (November-December 1936). The poem “In a Sequestered Providence Churchyard Where Once Poe Walked” appeared in the March-April 1937 issue. Late in 1936 Conover expressed his intention to resume the serialization of “Supernatural Horror in Literature” from the point at which it had ceased in the Fantasy Fan;accordingly, HPL prepared a synopsis of the earlier segments (Conover later published this as a booklet, Supernatural Horror in Literature as Revised in 1936[Carrollton-Clark, 1974]). But Conover never ran “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” nor the celebrated portrait of HPL as an eighteenth-century gentleman, which he commissioned Virgil Finlay to draw; the latter appeared on the cover of the April 1937 issue of Amateur Correspondent,Corwin F.Stickney’s successor to Science-Fantasy Correspondent . In part as a result of HPL’s death, Conover lost his interest in weird fiction for many years. For much of his career he worked with the Voice of America. In 1975 he published his exquisitely printed memoir, Lovecraft at Last(Carrollton-Clark), containing extracts of his letters from HPL and much other interesting matter. He recommenced the Science-Fantasy Correspondent,but only for one issue (1975); that issue did, however, contain Kenneth Sterling’s fine memoir, “Caverns Measureless to Man,” along with additional letters by HPL.
   See obituary, New York Times,May 19, 1996, Sec. I, p. 35.

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .

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