“Diary of Alonzo Typer, The“


“Diary of Alonzo Typer, The“
   Short story (8,260 words); ghostwritten for William Lumley, October 1935. First published in WT (February 1938); first collected in BWS;corrected text in HM
   In a spectral house in upstate New York, strange forces were summoned by a Dutch family, the van der Heyls, that had resided there. Alonzo Typer, an occult explorer, attempts to fathom the mysteries of the place. He senses several strange presences in the house, especially in the cellar. He realizes that he will probably not be allowed to leave and that some great cataclysm is to occur around Walpurgisnacht (May Eve). At length he discovers that an “ancient forgotten One” is lurking beneath the house who will show Typer “the gateway I would enter, and give me the lost signs and words I shall need.” At the climactic moment, Typer realizes that he himself is related to the van der Heyls and that he has been called here for the fulfilling of some hideous purpose. Typer continues writing in his diary to the last: “Too late—cannot help self—black paws materialise—am dragged away toward the cellar….” The story was based upon a nearly illiterate draft produced by Lumley (published in CryptNo. 10 [1982]: 21–25). HPL, while preserving such as he could of the draft—including such of Lumley’s inventions as the Book of Forbidden Things,“the seven lost signs of terror,” the mysterious city YianHo, and the like—has at least made some coherent sense of the plot. The preposterous conclusion, however, is HPL’s own.
   HPL revised the story for no pay, thinking that it would encourage Lumley’s efforts at writing. Lumley promptly submitted the story to WT,where it was accepted in December 1935 for $70, but for some reason there was a long delay in its magazine publication.

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