ashnistrike: (lightning)
[personal profile] ashnistrike
1) Lovecraft wrote quite a lot about Miskatonic University, and many of his stories featured professors from the school.  Am I missing a story in which he actually describes the school, or shows classes, or includes academic interactions between professors and students?  Or does it just sit there as an invisible background while people read scary letters from elsewhere?  (And yes, I know that Mount Holyoke gets used in the Whisperer in Darkness film.  I'm trying to figure out if there's anything in the original mythos I need to worry about.)(I'll probably end up using Mount Holyoke too, since Hampshire would be clearly inappropriate. Also since the library is awesome.)

2) Miskatonic is the next thing to an Ivy League.  Given the time period, and also given Lovecraft, it was obviously men-only for quite some time.  Has anyone ever speculated as to its sister school?

Date: 2014-05-21 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rushthatspeaks.livejournal.com
In 'The Shadow Out of Time', the protagonist is a professor at Miskatonic who is literally in the middle of giving a lecture when his brain is taken over by aliens. I don't remember how much description there is of the school, but we get some of his lecture.

Walter Gilman, from 'The Dreams in the Witch House', is enrolled at Miskatonic and we get both some physical description of it and some vague stuff about his classes, teachers, and friends.

Asenath and Edward, from 'The Thing on the Doorstep', hang out socially with a bohemian crowd at Miskatonic. Edward met hir while auditing courses at which ze was a student, meaning that Miskatonic admitted women in the late nineteen-teens/early twenties. There is probably some university description surrounding them and Asenath's backstory might mention when the university started admitting women, though I don't recall off the top of my head.

There is a physical description of the Miskatonic library and environs in the sequence in 'The Dunwich Horror' in which Wilbur Whateley is trying to acquire a copy of the Necronomicon; he breaks in. We also get a sense of their security measures.

Date: 2014-05-21 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashnistrike.livejournal.com
Thank you! That is exactly the sort of list I needed.

I don't remember much description in 'The Shadow Out of Time,' but I may have been distracted by shouting "This is the best library ever OMG why are you whining about it???" I will check.

Oh dear, I do need to reread 'The Thing on the Doorstep.' That is not my favorite. But Wikipedia thinks that Asenath was "the only female student," and I really do need to figure out whether that was the case.

Date: 2014-05-22 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rushthatspeaks.livejournal.com
I never got the sense that Asenath was the only female student-- part of the way ze was blending in was not doing anything really exceptional or noteworthy, as I recall. But I also can't remember whether the story says specifically either way.

Date: 2014-05-22 12:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashnistrike.livejournal.com
Huh. I just reread it, and she's not a full student at Miskatonic at all--she's taking a "special class" there, and hangs out with the "Bohemian set" at the college, but doesn't appear to have been a regular student since she left her prep school.

Date: 2014-05-22 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashnistrike.livejournal.com
Okay, no description in "Shadow Out of Time." Lord, the Yith are assholes. Assholes who preserve whole cloth the history of the world, and who have the best library, but assholes nevertheless.

Date: 2014-05-22 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashnistrike.livejournal.com
The Dreams in the Witch House has detailed description of an alien city, but remains vague on the college itself. It does, at least, list a few buildings and several departments, along with giving some actual geography for Arkham. So that's a start.

Date: 2014-05-22 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashnistrike.livejournal.com
And you're right--some actual description of the library in The Dunwich Horror. Also protagonists who actually do things, an Evil Albino, and some particularly awful dialect.

Thank you for the recommendations--that was tremendously useful, and now I feel comfortable making up the bits he didn't describe and screwing around with the ones he did.

Date: 2014-06-11 02:24 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
You could try Herbert West: Reanimator, that deals extensively with Arkham and the University in the majority of the story and may have some of the details you are looking for.

I enjoyed Litany of Earth by the way, I hope you will do more within its universe in the future.

Date: 2014-06-11 02:36 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Miskatonic's "Radcliffe"...that's a pretty useful concept.

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