The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised Men by Gabriel Blackwell

ISBN: 978-1937865146
194 pages
Release Date: October 28, 2013
Civil Coping Mechanisms
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What Gary Lutz has been doing at the level of sentences and words, Blackwell is doing at the level of stories, essays, and novels.
Green Mountains Review
Blackwell embodies this ambivalence in order to confuse the distinction between fiction and non-fiction, editor and author, sickness and inspiration.
Tarpaulin Sky

Though H. P. Lovecraft is famed mostly for the influential body of short fiction he left behind, he was also one of the most prolific correspondents of his time, the author of more than 100,000 letters. Undiscovered and unpublished until now, The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men is the last letter that Lovecraft wrote, finishing it just days before his death on March 15, 1937. This edition features extensive notes from the editor, Gabriel Blackwell.

“Gabriel Blackwell is a madman. He channels the eldritch paranoia of H.P. Lovecraft so well that this book practically shudders in your fingers. Come to read the ‘last letter’ of the Master from Providence, Rhode Island but stay for an introduction to Gabriel Blackwell, a master in the making. The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men is literary gamesmanship of the highest order and a damn good companion in the darkest hours of the night.”
-Victor LaValle, author of The Devil in Silver


“It’s difficult to know if Blackwell is a sharp editor, a stone-faced ventriloquist, someone possessed by the ghost of Lovecraft, or all three.  The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men is a startling investigation of the evanescence of the self.  It’s not so much that it will leave you changed as that it will leave you nameless and wandering.”
-Brian Evenson, author of Immobility


The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men is fiendishly clever, endlessly byzantine, and brilliantly tongue-in-cheek-in-cheek.  In this book, Blackwell has essentially invented a new genre, the inverted quest: having started at the Holy Grail, the seeker works his way backward into mental and spiritual derailment. Gabriel Blackwell tips his hat not only to Lovecraft, but also to Thomas Bernhard, Samuel Beckett, David Foster Wallace, and anyone who’s ever explored the dark horrors (and humor) in the suffocating inferno of the self’s banalities.”
-Amber Sparks, author of May We Shed These Human Bodies


The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men is a literary puzzle-box far more intelligent, transgressive, and compellingly creepy than many who dwell in Lovecraft’s shadow could ever have hoped of crafting, and comes as an easy recommendation to those daring to explore cosmic horrors eclipsing startling shapes and simple scares.”
-Ross E. Lockhart, editor of The Book of Cthulhu I & II and Tales of Jack the Ripper

 is the author of The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men: The Last Letter of H. P. Lovecraft (CCM, 2013), Critique of Pure Reason (Noemi, 2013), and Shadow Man: A Biography of Lewis Miles Archer (CCM, 2012).