Things Found in Richard Pickman's Basement and Things Left There


Mary Berman, "Things Found in Richard Pickman's Basement and Things Left There" in Weird Horror, Issue 2, Spring 2021, Undertow Publications.

In H.P. Lovecraft's "Pickman's Model," little did we know that while Thurber told his frightening story to Eliot, someone else, Mrs. Eliot, stood in the darkened doorway as secret witness to Thurber's terrifying tale of his discoveries at Pickman's house in North End. In "Things Found in Richard Pickman's Basement and Things Left There," we find out how Mrs. Eliot uses that information to horrifying ends and that she is, in fact, to be feared more than Richard Upton Pickman. 

Like Lovecraft's "Pickman's Model," Mary Berman's tale is told from the perspective of hearing one side of a conversation, but the tables are turned. There is a new story to tell and it is Thurber who must listen to Eliot, though this time, it is Mrs. Eliot with voice.

This story has deep themes of the invisibility of women in the patriarchy, being blind to the truth, the underestimation of power, and the sheer stupidity of Lovecraft's male characters. I really like this one! It is time to read some more of Mary Berman's work.

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