Author Topic: Thomas Ligotti  (Read 1126 times)

Twit 2

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Thomas Ligotti
« on: May 15, 2018, 08:06:03 PM »
He’s great, isn’t he? I’m reading Songs for a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe at the moment. I haven’t read them all yet but ‘The Music of the Moon’ is a favourite: incredible stuff. Some of his sentences stand up among the most exquisitely crafted of any great writer’s and his sense of atmosphere is pretty much unparalleled in contemporary fiction.

The intro mentions Bruno Schulz as a similar writer; has anyone read The Street of Crocodiles? That’s been on my to-read list for a while.

Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 08:49:35 AM »
I've currently got Songs for a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe on the go, too (I say "on the go" because I'm simultaneously working through J.G. Ballard's short stories, although both are on the back-burner right now because I'm reading the new book about Can). Anyway, yes, I agree, he's a really quite remarkable writer, and yes, it is almost as if each individual sentence he writes has been exquisitely crafted. I must admit I sometimes haven't got a clue what's actually going on in some of the stories, but it never matters because I can always get lost in the beautiful yet utterly warped imagery of the stories.

BlodwynPig

  • R.I.P. The Waxwork René
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 09:03:09 AM »
His corporate horror stories are amazing and we’re my gateway. My Work is Not Yet Done.

Been trying to convince QDRPHNC about his greatness, so glad there are other fans on here.

BlodwynPig

  • R.I.P. The Waxwork René
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 09:06:54 AM »
Quote
.     The next morning I was awakened by some noise down in the street outside my window. It was the same delirious cacophony I had heard the day before when I first arrived in the northern border town and witnessed the passing of that unique parade. But when I got up from my bed and went to the window, I saw no sign of the uproarious procession. Then I noticed the house directly opposite the one in which I had spent the night. One of the highest windows of that house across the street was fully open, and slightly below the ledge of the window, lying against the gray facade of the house, was the body of a man hanging by his neck from a thick white rope. The cord was stretched taut and led back through the window and into the house. For some reason this sight did not seem in any way unexpected or out of place, even as the noisy thrumming of the unseen parade grew increasingly louder and even when I recognized the figure of the hanged man, who was extremely slight of build, almost like a child in physical stature. Many years older than when I had last seen him, his hair and beard now radiantly white, clearly this was the body of my old physician, Dr. Zirk.

Now I could see the parade approaching. From the far end of the gray, tunnel-like street the clown creature strolled in its loose white garments, its egg-shaped head scanning the high houses on either side. As the creature passed beneath my window it looked up at me for a moment with that same expression of bland malevolence, and then passed on. Following this figure was the formation of ragged men harnessed by ropes to a cage-like vehicle that rolled along on wooden wheels. Countless objects, many more than I saw the previous day, clattered against the bars of the cage. The grotesque inventory now included bottles of pills that rattled with the contents inside them, shining scalpels and instruments for cutting through bones, needles and syringes strung together and hung like ornaments on a Christmas tree, and a stethoscope that had been looped about the decapitated dog's head. The wooden stakes of the caged platform wobbled to the point of breaking with the additional weight of this cast-off clutter. Because there was no roof covering this cage, I could see down into it from my window. But there was nothing inside, at least for the moment. As the vehicle passed directly below, I looked across the street at the hanged man and the thick rope from which he dangled like a puppet. From the shadows inside the open window of the house, a hand appeared that was holding a polished steel straight razor. The fingers of that hand were thick and wore many gaudy rings. After the razor had worked at the cord for a few moments, the body of Dr. Zirk fell from the heights of the gray house and landed in the open vehicle just as it passed by. The procession which was so lethargic in its every aspect now seemed to disappear quickly from view, its muffled riot of sounds fading into the distance.

samadriel

  • De arimasu!
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 09:11:05 AM »
I didn't get very far into "The Conspiracy Against the Human Race", it just seemed like a sad-sack in a holding pattern insisting over and over and over that life sucks; not normally something you'd have trouble convincing me, but I really felt like it was going nowhere and couldn't break new ground.  I'm still curious about his fiction though.

edit: I liked that, Blodwyn, where does that come from?

BlodwynPig

  • R.I.P. The Waxwork René
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 09:22:40 AM »
In a Foreign Town, in a Foreign Land

samadriel

  • De arimasu!
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 09:25:45 AM »
Duly noted.

Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 02:44:06 PM »
Noctuary and Teatro Grottessco are my favourite collections, even though you're supposed to like Songs... and Grimscribe more.  I need to re-read, but I really feel like his work could fuck me up when I'm in a particularly sensitive/depressed mood. It feels POTENT like catching a whiff of depression-flavoured meths.

EDIT:  He's the only writer I have read that nails depression in the way I feel it, except for maybe Moravia's Boredom.  And like someone posted above, that 'sad-sack in a rut as cosmic viewpoint' feeling is  big part of it.  Not read the non-fiction though.

I miss acrow, wherever he's got to.  Not logged in for an age.

Twit 2

  • All impotence, no impetus
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 05:44:58 PM »
I didn't get very far into "The Conspiracy Against the Human Race", it just seemed like a sad-sack in a holding pattern insisting over and over and over that life sucks; not normally something you'd have trouble convincing me, but I really felt like it was going nowhere and couldn't break new ground.  I'm still curious about his fiction though.

CATHR is a bare-faced rip off of Cioran. He’s admitted to being a big fan of his, and obviously fancied having a go at copying him, minus a lot of the black humour that elevates Cioran way above ‘life sucks’ fare. I guess the problem is Ligotti suffers from anhedonia, if that’s even a thing, so can’t quite manage paradoxical joyfullness that makes Cioran such an endearing and enduring writer. That said, CATHR is very well written and good at what it sets out to do; but for me, it adds absolutely nothing to the table, which is why I am much more interested in his fiction.

BlodwynPig

  • R.I.P. The Waxwork René
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 10:56:33 AM »
CATHR is a bare-faced rip off of Cioran. He’s admitted to being a big fan of his, and obviously fancied having a go at copying him, minus a lot of the black humour that elevates Cioran way above ‘life sucks’ fare. I guess the problem is Ligotti suffers from anhedonia, if that’s even a thing, so can’t quite manage paradoxical joyfullness that makes Cioran such an endearing and enduring writer. That said, CATHR is very well written and good at what it sets out to do; but for me, it adds absolutely nothing to the table, which is why I am much more interested in his fiction.

spoilsport :(

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 07:30:14 PM »
In a Foreign Town, in a Foreign Land
Still my only Ligotti book, bought for the Current 93 album that soundtracks it, although it quickly became a favourite of mine. David Tibet is a huge fan of Ligotti's work and I've been meaning to delve deeper for about 15 years now. One of these days it will happen.

Howj Begg

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Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2018, 07:33:11 PM »
I'm going to read this fella. What's the best starting point?

Twit 2

  • All impotence, no impetus
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 10:12:13 PM »
Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe, I reckon.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
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Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2018, 05:11:05 PM »
CATHR is a bare-faced rip off of Cioran. He’s admitted to being a big fan of his, and obviously fancied having a go at copying him, minus a lot of the black humour that elevates Cioran way above ‘life sucks’ fare. I guess the problem is Ligotti suffers from anhedonia, if that’s even a thing, so can’t quite manage paradoxical joyfullness that makes Cioran such an endearing and enduring writer. That said, CATHR is very well written and good at what it sets out to do; but for me, it adds absolutely nothing to the table, which is why I am much more interested in his fiction.
Hopefully, he'll chop out the Nazi-supporting from Cioran's work too (I don't know, I've not read it).

Twit 2

  • All impotence, no impetus
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2018, 05:45:41 PM »
He was swept up in the fascist fervour along with many others. It was a very brief period after which he completely regretted and disavowed this stance.

Howj Begg

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Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2018, 09:56:09 PM »
Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe, I reckon.

Right yeah I see it's a Penguin classic. Thanks I'll get that.

Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2018, 05:57:40 PM »
I reckon Ligotti should take over the Goosebumps franchise. He likes evil puppets too!

Twit 2

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Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2018, 03:10:52 PM »
Right yeah I see it's a Penguin classic. Thanks I'll get that.

Howja getting on, Howj?

The Lost Art of Twilight is my current fave in the collection.

Howj Begg

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Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2018, 04:51:35 PM »
Howja getting on, Howj?

The Lost Art of Twilight is my current fave in the collection.

Ive read the first two stories, and I'm enjoying it, he's a wonderfully perverse bugger, and the flower/plant serial killer story (sorry at work, will look it up later) is a cracker. I'm hoping the standard of prose in that story is kept up, because the first story was a bit ordinary in that dept. But yeah, will get back to it once a few other books are out of the way lol

Twit 2

  • All impotence, no impetus
Re: Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2018, 11:35:02 PM »
The prose is definitely that quality or better. A genuinely brilliant writer.