Rejected McSweeney’s Pitch: H.P. Lovecraft’s Fiancée Responds to His Love Letter


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The weird thing about HP Lovecraft is even when he smiled he never opened his mouth. There are photos of him laughing with his friends and wife Sonia and he’s still tight-lipped like he’s Woodrow Wilson or something.

The other weird thing is he was toxically racist. And that’s terrible. But so was Neko and her music is still beautiful. It’s always a weird question about when the art is so good you can make time for it even when you’re horrified by the artist’s beliefs. Anyway, here’s a thing I pitched to McSweeney’s about by all accounts a nice woman whose husband constantly said anti-Semitic stuff as if  he wasn’t married to a Jewish woman. People: they’re complex! And also very simple, in some of the wrong ways. She tried to raise his consciousness, but he wouldn’t have it.

McSweeney’s passed, as they have a Lovecraft piece coming up. Oh well. Here’s my short little ditty I pitched to them in which Sonia Greene doesn’t take any guff from her soon-to-be husband, be they real or imagined ugliness


Howard–

Am in receipt of your letter (Goodness! So many pages!) and the lovely necklace, thank you so much. No, its “strange ornate geometries,” as you put it, did not fill my soul with a dread I cannot name. How fanciful you are! It’s a perfectly wonderful gift, and in such an otherworldly color I cannot put a name to. 

Providence sounds lovely this time of year. I adore your idea that we might stroll along the Woonasquatucket River by moonlight, although I remain unsure why you feel this must be done during precise alignments of the celestial bodies and unusual meteorological patterns. Regardless, I’m sure it shall be a fine walk. 

That said, I find myself unable to determine your true feelings for me. You very sweetly speak of my eyes as “luminously starry, containing mysteries so far beyond all knowledge as to drive one mad.” But the very next sentence you write, “I shudder to think what other noumena lie in wait to pass through the world of men.” Are you accusing me of inconstancy?

I believe you meant to flatter me when you said you adore my “normal size and number of limbs, very much human, and how they wrap around me wholly unlike the flailing tentacles of eldritch things best undescribed.” If so, thank you. I think your limbs are very nice and humanlike too. 

And finally, on this matter — Howard, it is no compliment to a woman to hear her “graces are particularly striking in a female of a lesser race.” Honestly.

To your other point, we must agree to disagree. The marital act is not, to my mind, a “foul, dripping horror” and I do believe once you experience it you will no longer choke back a great cry of dread. 

Yrs truly, 

Sonia