O’Brien, Edward J[oseph Harrington]

   Anthologist and literary critic. HPL admired his annual series, The Best Short Stories…(1915f), believing it to be superior to another series, Blanche Colton Williams’s O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories (1919f), which HPL felt reflected commercial rather than literary values. O’Brien cited HPL in the volumes for 1924 (“The Picture in the House” [one star]), 1928 (“The Colour out of Space” [three stars]), and 1929 (“The Dunwich Horror” [three stars], “The Silver Key” [one star]); he published HPL’s “Biographical Notice” in the 1928 volume (it was not repeated in 1929, as such biographies were published only for first-time recipients of three-star ratings). HPL admired O’Brien’s The Dance of the Machines: The American Short Story and the Industrial Age (1929), which HPL deemed “a splendid expose of the vulgar shallowness, insincerity, and worthlessness of American commercial fiction under the false-standarded conditions of the present” ( SL4.91).

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .

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