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Thread: Ligotti recommendations

  1. #16
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    Unfortunately, not yet, but not because I'm not eager (I did buy a nice desktop e-reader for them though). Just hectic days already involving a lot of other reading. But I'm hoping by the weekend I can get into a short story or maybe start Conspiracy. I'll let you know. Curious too to see how he lines up, or doesn't, with the SR/OOO people who've made so much of HPL.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Ligotti
    “Why,” Zapffe asked, “has mankind not long ago gone extinct during great epidemics of madness? Why do only a fairly minor number of individuals perish because they fail to endure the strain of living—because cognition gives them more than they can carry?” Zapffe’s answer: “Most people learn to save themselves by artificially limiting the content of consciousness.”
    http://wiki.lspace.org/mediawiki/index.php/Knurd
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  3. #18
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    superb response about Ligotti from 4chan. It wasn't me. I'm too old to be on $ch4n.


    "just got an interest in him after rediscovering the Current 93 album. How come everything this guy touches is expensive as hell, i can't find a copy of songs of a dead dreamer for less than 200 bones anywhere. Also is that where I should start? and if not what's a cheaper alternative?


    >> Anonymous 2013-02-05 23:51:40 No.3438888
    because he's a fat nigger who looks like a lesbian and homos want to jack off on his face"

  4. #19
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    Good to see the 4chan massive aren't letting standards slide!
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  5. #20
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    Asked Laird Barron a couple of questions about Ligotti on Reddit last night: http://www.reddit.com/r/horrorlit/co...ort=confidence

  6. #21
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    I just read My Work is not yet done. In the first story I enjoyed the descriptions of office politics, but found the conspicuously unhinged narrator a bit corny. The second i enjoyed, but didn't really find much I couldn't get from Ballard, the third suffered from this too but was a bit dull.

    This said, I think I'd like to try some of his more straight up horror stuff cos I did think it was well written, I just wasn't that taken with the ideas in this collection.

  7. #22
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    Two great words I came across in the same sentence in Conspiracy last night:

    'unpleasantries' - opposite of pleasantries, I guess
    'abashment' - the dire state of not being able to listen to bashment when you really want to
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  8. #23
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    Ligotti I find better rememberer/imagined than read.

    He is possibly one of the most infuriating writers - he will describe some for a page then, repeat (as narrator) to the reader everything they have JUST READ. Lovecraft does this too to some extent, may be a 'genre' thing.

    I only really like him as a (the?) writer who really gets sickness

  9. #24
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    An amusing irony I've noticed in Ligotti: while he may be a philosophical pessimist in the strict sense of (or so he claims) sincerely believing it's better never to have been born than to be alive and conscious, he also seems to think life is getting materially easier and more comfortable for the majority of people and is likely to continue doing so for at least the foreseeable future. Which sounds quite insanely optimistic to me, I mean the environmental considerations alone are horrific.
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  10. #25

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    I read his new one, The Spectral Link, it's really good. I was disappointed at how small it is, like 90 pages.

  11. #26
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    Bumping this thread, as Ligotti has cropped up in the Lovecraft thread recently.

    Something that's occurred to me while reading Ligotti is: has he effectively invented a new genre, or at least subgenre, of horror? I mean, gothic horror, cosmic horror, body horror and erotic horror are all pretty well established, but did corporate horror exist prior to Ligotti? Consider stories like 'My Work Is Not Yet Done', 'I Have A Special Plan For This World' and 'Our Temporary Supervisor'; not only are they among his most effective stories, I think, but they seem very different in flavour from any other writer I've encountered (while at the same time retaining a touch of Lovecraft's cosmic namelessness, although he very much makes it his own).
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  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    Bumping this thread, as Ligotti has cropped up in the Lovecraft thread recently.

    Something that's occurred to me while reading Ligotti is: has he effectively invented a new genre, or at least subgenre, of horror? I mean, gothic horror, cosmic horror, body horror and erotic horror are all pretty well established, but did corporate horror exist prior to Ligotti? Consider stories like 'My Work Is Not Yet Done', 'I Have A Special Plan For This World' and 'Our Temporary Supervisor'; not only are they among his most effective stories, I think, but they seem very different in flavour from any other writer I've encountered (while at the same time retaining a touch of Lovecraft's cosmic namelessness, although he very much makes it his own).
    Not to be facetious, but what do you mean by corporate horror Tea? I see where you're coming from, but aren't those stories more the horror of bureaucracy? To me they owe a lot to Kafka, things like The Castle. So, as much as I like Ligotti, I wouldn't say he invented a genre (though he certainly has his own voice and style, quite distinctively). Perhaps we could argue that Ligotti stands in a continuum of Bureauhorror perhaps? (as an aside, it is this domestic, mundane, sub-urban proledom angle in Ligotti that I love far more than anything involving boats or blizzards or macho endeavours.)

    I want to ask, what is the distinction between faceless bureaucracy and the icy impersonality of the corporation?

  13. #28
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    It's not just bureaucracy - and yes, of course that goes back to Kafka, at the very least - but specifically the horror of the workplace, and not just any workplace, but that of the corporation, the firm, the private sector. The Blaine Company's stated mission to become a leading player in the global marketplace.

    Not sure I can answer your question succinctly, but maybe it has to do with the requirement to erase or subsume part of one's personhood to become a cell within the larger body of the company. That's what 'corporation' literally means, doesn't it? Like the Leviathan:



    but with private capital gradually edging out the role of the conventional empire or nation-state.

    You can probably answer it better than me, I mean you've written stories on this theme yourself. It's surely connected to the way psychopaths can be so successful in the corporate world, too.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 07-10-2016 at 12:23 PM.
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  14. #29

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    picking up again... I suppose that bureau-horror is a natural progression for horror narratives. I'll try to explain. A good question for a writer is: what can my character overcome, or try to overcome. With things like Dracula or Frankenstein there was always a lot of physical challenges, or geographical challenges (as I recall). The Ritual by Nevill is a more contemporary example of a story that hinges on humans dealing with the harsh terrain - and this man against nature schtick serves the narrative purpose very well, they deal with all sorts of problems, wet boots etc. But, generally, unlike in Frankenstein or Dracula (a boat trip and a journey into the mountains to a massive castle) one's work* doesn't involve this challenge any more - granted, these are not, 'quest' style stories... but the challenge of geography is there nonetheless to augment the plot. But what challenges do we face in life now? Unless you go exploring or are intrepid then even holidays on the other side of the globe are easy. The worst thing that could happen is not communicating well with reception or missing a connecting flight. But geography has kinda fallen off the narrative roster and usurped by the Kafkian frustrations of administrative cul-de-sacs. In work too, when was the last time you encountered a strictly geographical or physical challenge? For most of us, opening a compressed file or seeking the correct person responsible for an administrative task is the worst of obstacles we could encounter. So isn't corpo-horror, or bureauhorror just a horror that works around more familiar challenges and obstacles? Of course, the darkly supernatural is always alluded to still. So Ligotti, rather than providing a story about icebergs (that I've never been impeded by) opts to describe the excruciating limbo of being 'on hold' or 'forever deferred' by the faceless bureaucratic depths...?

    *note that The Ritual is a holiday scenario - like most Hollywood slasher films
    note - sorry, missed that last comment. I was already writing. But the above might go somewhere in answering that...
    Last edited by you; 07-10-2016 at 12:40 PM. Reason: note

  15. #30
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    Excellent reply - navigating the terrain of the workplace instead of the Carpathians or the antarctic. Office manager as the wendigo.

    I must demur on one point, horreaucracy is clearly a better portmenatu than bureau-horror.

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