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Saturday, April 22, 2017
The Disinterment of Venus: then and now
In 2007, I think, Ryan Harvey wrote this:
“The Disinterment of Venus”
This is interesting to me, a decade later, having just read the Nightshade Press edition, by Scott Connors and Ron Hilger [ed. 1:40 PM, the fourth volume, of five]. Because in there is lusty, erotic satire galore; I cannot see where Smith missed any opportunity to tweak (his straw-monk of) Christian mores.
Nightshade has also given us endnotes; Harvey's instincts, it seems, were correct. The edition which Weird Tales published was bowdlerised. According to Connors and Hilger, Smith had plotted out the original in 1931 and finished it in July 1932. It took four revisions before the magazine would finally run it. Weird Tales may as well not have bothered.
In Smith's original typescript, I rate "Venus" as solid. It is not as good as "Colossus"; but few stories are, even Conan stories. It is better than "The Holiness of Azédarac". I set it with "Gargoyles" and "Beast". A commenter Jim Rockhill observed it was
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