Joshi, S.T. 1958–
Joshi, S.T. 1958–
(Sunand Tryambak Joshi)
Born June 22, 1958, in Poona, Maharashtra, India; moved to United States, 1963; son of Tryambak Mahadeo (a professor) and Padmini (a professor) Joshi. Education: Brown University, A.B. (with honors), 1980, A.M., 1982; doctoral study at Princeton University, 1982-84. Politics: Liberal. Hobbies and other interests: "Music has been a great pursuit of mine; I have played the violin since the age of seven, conducted orchestras, chamber orchestras, and choirs, and composed and arranged music."
Office—Chelsea House Publishers, 2080 Cabot Blvd., Ste. 201, Langhorne, PA 19047.
Chelsea House Publishers, Langhorne, PA, associate editor, 1984-85, managing editor, literary criticism division, 1985-89, senior editor, literary criticism division, 1989—. Freelance writer and editor.
Best Nonfiction, International Horror Guild, 2005, for Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia, and 2006, for Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares.
An Index to the Selected Letters of H.P. Lovecraft, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1980.
(With Marc A. Michaud) Lovecraft's Library: A Catalogue, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1980.
H.P. Lovecraft and Lovecraft Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography, Kent State University Press (Kent, OH), 1981, supplement, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1985.
Reader's Guide to H.P. Lovecraft, Starmont House (Mercer Island, WA), 1982.
(Translator) Maurice Levy, Lovecraft: A Study in the Fantastic (monograph), Wayne State University Press (Detroit, MI), 1988.
Selected Papers on Lovecraft, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1989.
The Weird Tale, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1990.
H.P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West, Starmont House (Mercer Island, WA), 1990.
(With Darrell Schweitzer) Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1993.
Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1995.
A Subtler Magick: The Writings and Philosophy of H.P. Lovecraft, 2nd edition, Borgo Press (San Bernardino, CA), 1996.
H.P. Lovecraft: A Life, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1996.
Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction, Liverpool University Press (Liverpool, England), 2001.
Modern Weird Tale, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 2001.
(With David E. Schultz) An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2001.
Dreamer and a Visionary: H.P. Lovecraft in His Time, Liverpool University Press (Liverpool, England), 2001.
God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong—William James, G.K. Chesterton, T.S. Eliot, William F. Buckley, Jerry Fallwell, Annie Dillard, C.S. Lewis, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2003.
The Angry Right: Why Conservatives Keep Getting It Wrong, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2006.
Gore Vidal: A Comprehensive Bibliography, foreword by Jay Parini, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2007.
(With Marc A. Michaud) H.P. Lovecraft, Uncollected Prose and Poetry, three volumes, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1978-82.
(With Marc A. Michaud) H.P. Lovecraft in "The Eyrie," Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1979.
(With Scott Connors) H.P. Lovecraft, Science versus Charlatanry: Essays on Astrology, Strange Co., 1979.
H.P. Lovecraft: Four Decades of Criticism, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 1980.
H.P. Lovecraft, Saturnalia and Other Poems, Cryptic Publications (Mount Olive, NC), 1984.
H.P. Lovecraft, Juvenilia, 1897-1905, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1984.
H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror and Others, Arkham House (Sauk City, WI), 1984.
H.P. Lovecraft, In Defense of Dagon, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1985.
H.P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels, Arkham House (Sauk City, WI), 1985.
H.P. Lovecraft, Dagon and Other Macabre Tales, Arkham House (Sauk City, WI), 1986.
H.P. Lovecraft, Uncollected Letters, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1986.
Donald Wandrei, Collected Poems, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1988.
H.P. Lovecraft, The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions, Arkham House (Sauk City, WI), 1989.
H.P. Lovecraft, The Conservative, Necronomicon (West Warwick, RI), 1990.
(With Will Murray and David E. Schultz) H.P. Lovecraft, The H.P. Lovecraft Dreambook, Necronomicon Press (West Warwick, RI), 1994.
H.P. Lovecraft, Miscellaneous Writings, Arkham House (Sauk City, WI), 1995.
(With Richard Dalby and Stefan Dziemianowicz) Bram Stoker, Best Ghost and Horror Stories, Dover Publications (Mineola, NY), 1997.
The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, Dell (New York, NY), 1997.
(With David E. Schultz) Ambrose Bierce, A Sole Survivor: Bits of Autobiography, University of Tennessee Press (Nashville, TN), 1998.
H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 1999.
Documents of American Prejudice: An Anthology of Writings on Race from Thomas Jefferson to David Duke, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1999.
Sixty Years of Arkham House: A History and Bibliography, Arkham House (Sauk City, WI), 1999.
(With David E. Schultz) Ambrose Bierce: An Annotated Bibliography of Sources, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1999.
(With P.H. Cannon) More Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, Dell (New York, NY), 1999.
Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters, Ohio University Press (Athens, GA), 2000.
Atheism: A Reader, Prometheus Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Civil War Memories, Rutledge Hill Press (Nashville, TN), 2000.
The Collected Fables of Ambrose Bierce, Ohio State University Press (Columbus, OH), 2000.
(With David E. Schultz) The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 2000.
Ambrose Bierce, The Fall of the Republic and Other Political Satires, University of Tennessee Press (Knoxville, TN), 2000.
(Also author of introduction) H.P. Lovecraft, Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 2001.
H.P. Lovecraft, The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H.P. Lovecraft, Nightshade Books (San Francisco, CA), 2001.
(With David E. Schultz) H.P. Lovecraft, Shadow out of Time, Hippocampus Press (New York, NY), 2001.
From Baltimore to Bohemia: The Letters of H.L. Mencken and George Sterling, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Madison, NJ), 2001.
H.L. Mencken on Religion, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2002.
H.L. Mencken on American Literature, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 2002.
(Also author of introduction) Algernon Blackwood, Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Great Tales of Terror, Dover Publications (Mineola, NY), 2002.
Lord Dunsany, Pleasures of a Futuroscope, Hippocampus Press (New York, NY), 2003.
Mencken's America, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 2004.
(Also author of introduction) H.P. Lovecraft, Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 2004.
H.P. Lovecraft, Collected Essays, Hippocampus Press (New York, NY), 2004.
(Also author of introduction) Lord Dunsany, In the Land of Time, and Other Fantasy Tales, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 2004.
(Also author of introduction) M.R. James, Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories: The Complete Ghost Stories of M.R. James, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Clarence Darrow, Closing Arguments: Clarence Darrow on Religion, Law, and Society, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 2005.
(With Stefan Dziemianowicz) Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia, foreword by Ramsey Campbell, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2005.
In Her Place: A Documentary History of Prejudice against Women, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2006.
Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2006.
The Agnostic Reader, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2007.
(And introduction) American Supernatural Tales, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 2007.
(With David E. Schultz) H.P. Lovecraft, O Fortunate Floridian: H.P. Lovecraft's Letters to R.H. Barlow, University of Tampa Press (Tampa, FL), 2007.
(With David E. Schultz) Clark Ashton Smith, The Complete Poetry and Translations, Hippocampus Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Also coeditor, with David E. Schultz, of An Epicure in the Terrible: A Centennial Anthology in Honor of H.P. Lovecraft, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Contributor of articles, reviews, and short stories to periodicals, including Miskatonic, Nyctalops, Extrapolation, Romantist, Crypt of Cthulhu, and Science Fiction Studies. Founder and editor of Lovecraft Studies, 1979—, and Studies in Weird Fiction, 1986—.
S.T. Joshi's greatest interest lies in the work of H.P. Lovecraft, an American writer of supernatural fiction. A large portion of Joshi's published work is dedicated to collecting, editing, and annotating Lovecraft's work, or analyzing it. His interest in the writer began when Joshi was just thirteen years old, and by the time he was seventeen he was working on his earliest scholarly essays on Lovecraft, the first of which were published when Joshi was nineteen years old. Lovecraft has also exerted a considerable influence on Joshi's own forays into fiction writing. In addition, Joshi has done considerable research on the work of Ambrose Bierce, the American satirist who disappeared into Mexico in 1913 and was never heard from again, and has written and/or edited volumes on a number of other subjects, including politics and the works of H.L. Mencken.
In 1996, having compiled and edited a number of volumes on Lovecraft, Joshi wrote a straightforward biography, H.P. Lovecraft: A Life. He then, along with coauthor David E. Schultz, went on to create another portrait of the writer through Lovecraft's correspondence in Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters. "Lovecraft's fame rests on [his] small but distinctive body of work that ranges from dreamlike fantasies to supernatural tales in the science-fiction mode," advised a writer for Kirkus Reviews, "but most of his time and energy as a writer went into his correspondence." Joshi estimates that Lovecraft composed about 70,000 letters during his lifetime. The selections included in Lord of a Visible World illustrate his happy childhood, his short, failed marriage, and his struggle to survive as a writer in New York. The Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that the casual racism and anti-Semitism of his day are painfully evident in Lovecraft's letters, yet added that "for all his limitations, emotional and intellectual, Lovecraft will appear as an eloquent, playful, observant, companionable, generous, and, in the end, lovable man to most readers."
A Sole Survivor: Bits of Autobiography, which Joshi edited with David E. Schultz, provides readers with a collection of the autobiographical segments culled from the writings of Ambrose Bierce. The goal of the work is to clarify Bierce's image and to set to rest any misconceptions regarding his supposedly bitter personality. The writings begin with Bierce's Civil War experiences and track him to San Francisco and then on to England, chronicling the time he served working for various newspapers and periodicals owned by the Hearst family. The volume ends along with knowledge of Bierce's whereabouts, when he traveled into Mexico and effectively disappeared, leaving not a clue regarding what happened to him. Gary Scharnhorst, in a review for California History, commented on the way the book reveals Bierce's character, stating that "in these life-writings Bierce is a remarkably sympathetic figure, a military hero and an uncompromising enemy of sham and avarice who did not suffer sycophants gladly." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly praised the compilation, saying that "here we have Bierce as we've never had him before: writ large in his own words." Writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, James Boylan remarked: "It is all impeccably presented and documented, and is a gem of its kind."
In 2001, Joshi published Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction, branching out from Lovecraft but shedding light on some of the work that he has influenced. Campbell is a British author of horror novels and short fiction with his own quirky style, and Joshi offers readers an overview of his career and influences, including his childhood and the development of his writing. In order to immerse himself in Campbell's life, Joshi spent considerable time interviewing the author and devoting himself to a careful reading of the author's works. G. Warlock Vance, reviewing the biography for Extrapolation, opined that "the greatest advantage of this tome is that Campbell was given an opportunity to review Joshi's work before publication, and to refute or agree with what was said therein." He concluded that the work is "carefully written and magnificently detailed."
Joshi has served as editor for a number of volumes of H.L. Mencken's work, including H.L. Mencken on American Literature and H.L. Mencken on Religion. In the volume on literature, Joshi collects an assortment of Mencken's essays and reviews, many of which have not been collected previously, with the bulk of them having been written between 1910 and 1930. Benjamin Schwartz, in a review of the book for the Atlantic Monthly, noted that the focus of the work is to provide readers with a varied assortment of material, and as such it is perhaps not the best indication of Mencken's primary interests. He concluded, however, that "there are few better primers of American literature." Booklist contributor Gilbert Taylor remarked: "Mencken as a reviewer remains discriminating and entertaining." The volume on religion again collects an assortment of Mencken's writings, this time reflecting his harsh yet witty opinions regarding religion and critiquing the practice on various levels. Topics addressed range from Mencken's childhood experiences with organized religion to his thoughts on the Scopes trial and discussions of issues including Prohibition and the defense of science. Joshi's collection points out how little has changed socially in the nation in regards to religion, particularly related to fundamentalism and righteousness. Wendy Kaminer, in a review for the Wilson Quarterly, commented on the current relevance of Mencken's criticisms: "If we resurrected him today, he no doubt would be astonished by the miracle, but otherwise, I suspect, he would feel at home."
Joshi also served as editor for the Clarence Darrow work, Closing Arguments: Clarence Darrow on Religion, Law, and Society. A collection of Darrow's essays that Joshi gathered from a wide range of sources, including his debates and lectures, the volume serves to illustrate the scope of Darrow's interests and ambitions. They cover topics from religion to criminal psychology to capital punishment, and while many of the arguments stem from Darrow's legal background, he also provides a very human side to his works that Joshi helps to highlight. A contributor to the Harvard Law Review noted that the contents of the book appear "strikingly relevant to some of the most complicated issues of our time, such as religious fundamentalism and criminal punishment," despite having been written roughly three quarters of a century earlier.
With Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia, which Joshi coedited, he once again shows his love for horror and the paranormal. The book includes entries on the works of approximately six hundred writers, editors, publishers, and periodicals who are known for producing works of a supernatural nature. Joshi takes care to define what he considers to qualify as the supernatural, and also includes references to many writers normally considered to produce mainstream works of fiction, but whose writings have from time to time included supernatural aspects. Included in this latter group are such diverse names as Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Margaret Atwood, and Ian McEwan. Joseph Thomas, reviewing for Booklist, dubbed Joshi's effort "extensive and ambitious."
Joshi once told CA: "The great inspirational and educational force in my life has been H.P. Lovecraft, the American supernaturalist. While attending Brown University, I spent much time collating Lovecraft's texts with the manuscripts housed there and discovered that the published texts of his work were filled with thousands of printing and textual errors. I have now compiled a new edition of Lovecraft's fiction, which has been published in Japanese and Italian as well as English.
"My ultimate goal is to see Lovecraft recognized as a significant American author of this century. For too long has the tale of supernatural horror been stigmatized as sub-literary, in spite of the great work of Poe, Bierce, and others. Lovecraft falls into this very rich tradition, and there are many who claim him superior to Poe in this specific genre. Toward this end, I intend to write a large biography of Lovecraft, placing him in historical perspective and studying his life, work, and thought in the context of his times (1890-1937).
"I am fortunate to have received training in several disciplines besides literary criticism. I have received advanced degrees in classics; hence, I have a thorough grounding in Latin and Greek literature, ancient history, and ancient philosophy. I have done much work, as well, in modern philosophy, English history, and other fields. I am also a great reader of detective stories and am now beginning to write criticism in this field.
"My interest in Lovecraft has led me to explore other neglected writers of fantasy and horror, in particular Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, and Lord Dunsany. My bibliography of Lord Dunsany—the first ever done—will, I hope, lead to a revival of interest in this distinctive Irish writer.
"I have also derived great benefit from my work as managing editor of the literary criticism division of Chelsea House Publishers. In particular, I have worked closely with Harold Bloom in assembling many anthologies of literary criticism; I have accordingly gained a wide knowledge of world literature and criticism, which will help me place Lovecraft and other writers of weird fiction in their proper place in literary history.
"I do not intend to restrict my attention to criticism. I have already published some short stories in little magazines, and I hope some day to write full-length novels, perhaps historical novels set in ancient Rome.
"My opinions on life are perhaps not those of the majority. My readings in literature and philosophy (in particular Epicurus, Lucretius, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Oswald Spengler, Bertrand Russell, and George Santayana) have led me to regard religion as an encumbrance to clear thinking and a danger to civilized society. In politics, I believe that a moderate socialism will be forced upon this country in the course of time. A five-week trip to England in 1983 not only deepened my lifelong Anglophilia but made me realize that the lack of millennia of history has rendered the United States an essentially uncivilized country which is now exploiting its barbarism—in the form of its crude money-centered values—around the world. I do not believe that what we call western culture will last much longer; indeed, historians of the distant future may decide that a fundamentally new era—as different from western humanism as the latter is different from the Middle Ages or antiquity—began at World War I."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Reference Books Annual, 1994, review of Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography, p. 527.
Atlantic Monthly, June, 2002, Benjamin Schwarz, "Elegant Common Sense: H.L. Mencken's Perfect Marriage of Style and Substance," p. 110.
Booklist, January 15, 1995, Ray Olson, review of Miscellaneous Writings, p. 891; June 1, 1997, Ray Olson, review of The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, p. 1669; June 1, 2002, Gilbert Taylor, review of H.L. Mencken on American Literature, p. 1668; February 15, 2006, Joseph Thomas, review of Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia, p. 131.
California History, June 22, 2001, Gary Scharnhorst, review of A Sole Survivor: Bits of Autobiography, p. 147.
Choice, February, 1994, review of Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography, p. 916; November, 1995, review of Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination, p. 464.
Columbia Journalism Review, March, 1999, James Boylan, review of Ambrose Bierce: An Annotated Bibliography of Sources, p. 60.
English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, number 2, 1995, review of Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography, p. 273; number 2, 1996, review of Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination, p. 272.
Extrapolation, fall, 1997, reviews of H.P. Lovecraft: A Life and A Subtler Magick: The Writings and Philosophy of H.P. Lovecraft, second edition, p. 236; spring, 2002, G. Warlock Vance, review of Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction.
Harvard Law Review, April, 2006, review of Closing Arguments: Clarence Darrow on Religion, Law, and Society, p. 1947.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2000, review of Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters, p. 860.
Library Association Record, September, 1994, review of Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography, p. 501.
Library Journal, November 1, 1997, Michael Rogers, review of The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, p. 121.
Locus, April, 1993, "The Count of Thirty," p. 48; December, 1993, review of Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography, p. 54; October, 1994, review of The H.P. Lovecraft Dreambook, p. 53.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May, 1998, review of The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, p. 29.
Necrofile, fall, 1996, review of H.P. Lovecraft: A Life, p. 3; spring, 1997, review of H.P. Lovecraft: A Life, p. 3.
New Yorker, November 15, 1999, review of Documents of American Prejudice: An Anthology of Writings on Race from Thomas Jefferson to David Duke, p. 30.
New York Review of Books, October 31, 1996, review of H.P. Lovecraft: A Life, p. 46.
Publishers Weekly, January 23, 1995, review of Miscellaneous Writings, p. 57; August 3, 1998, review of A Sole Survivor, p. 62.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 1994, review of Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography, p. 50; September, 1995, review of Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination, p. 55.
Science Fiction Chronicle, August, 1992, p. 50; January, 1994, review of Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography, p. 34; May, 1999, review of Documents of American Prejudice, p. 47.
Science-Fiction Studies, March, 1995, p. 120; July, 1997, reviews of H.P. Lovecraft: A Life and A Subtler Magick, second edition, p. 339.
Wilson Quarterly, spring, 2003, Wendy Kaminer, review of H.L. Mencken on Religion.