Thank you very much for posting this. I haven't had time to really absorb all the information in Rusty's article but one thing that blew me away was:
"Our habit of complimenting our friends, and deprecating ourselves, is merely part of our code of courtesy; the compliments are sincere, but when we deprecate ourselves, it does not mean that we lack self-esteem. Under our politeness generally lurks a keen vanity, and a sometimes dangerous pride." (REH Selected Letters 1931-1936, #64, p. 25, to HPL, 9/22/32).
This explains so much about his statements such as his poetry is muck and praising TCS's poems. I looked this up in the Collected Letters (v2 pp 436-37) and found this additional information.
There is a vast difference between the old stock native Texan and people from more civilized sections. Though now it is the style in many parts of the state to ape Eastern ways and despise the mannerisms of their fathers. Eastern ways are good for the East, where they naturally developed. I am not so sure than an imitation of those ways is so good. But the old Texan: a great number of the people who have flooded this state in quest of climate, health or money, do not understand us, and make no effort to, being fortified with a feeling of their own superiority. Many evidently expect to be shot at the minute they get off the train or the boat, and finding us not particularly sanguinary, immediately swing to the other side, and despise us for lack of spirit. They seem to mistake our natural courtesy for servility. Our code of politeness does no doubt seem exaggerated to a stranger from parts where life moves at quicker tempo. Our habit of complimenting our friends, and deprecating ourselves, is merely part of our code of courtesy; the compliments are sincere, but when we deprecate ourselves, it does not mean that we lack self-esteem. Under our politeness generally lurks a keen vanity, and a sometimes dangerous pride. Beneath the veneer of our courtesy we are generally hot tempered and unforgiving. We remember our friends long, but we remember our enemies longer. Of course you know that these remarks can not apply to all Texans, now that the state is become thickly settled and complex. But it does apply to the people of the old original stock. Another thing, more cultured people are prone to sneer at a certain melodramatic tendency in people of the old stock. It is there; I would be the last to deny it. It crops out continually in my writing, occasionally in my speech, though never in my actions. (CL v2 pp 436-37)]
How much of this was written in exaggeration to HPL is difficult to know but it gave me additional insight into some of REH's statements and actions.
Again, Deuce, thanks.
There is so much good info about REH out there and I'm hoping it doesn't get lost at some point....Needless to say, I'm enjoying reading Rusty's article very much....