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What writers and thinkers have most influenced Ligotti's work, how, and why?
Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Vladimir Nabokov, and Bruno Shulz. Ligotti: [these writers] have been masters of depicting warped realities or warping the usual picture of the world that realistic fiction provides. If your focus is more on a private sense of experience than on the collective version of the world transmitted to us in our everyday life, then your renditions of reality are bound to seem strange and unnatural. The challenge for such writers as I've named is to make tangible their distorted, or merely intensified, experience. This task quite commonly becomes an issue in itself, especially for horror writers like Lovecraft who are conspicuously striving beyond the proprieties of realism to deliver up their personal sensations. A morbid hyper-attentiveness to the most inward imaginings and feelings is evident in this type of writer. How many times has someone recounted to you the most fantastic events of a dream and completely failed to impress you with their strangeness and horror? Unless you've had the same, or a very similar, dream the facts alone won't serve to transmit how it felt to be in that dream. And once feeling becomes the principle determinant of expression, all kinds of warping, or what appears to be warping, will occur in the structure, style, and content of a narrative. (Thomas Ligotti with Stefan R. Dziemianowicz, The Tom Ligotti Interview in Tekeli-li! no. 4, Winter/Spring 1992.) Other writers whom have influenced his work are Giacomo Leopardi, E.M. Cioran, Samuel Beckett, and Thomas Bernhard, though Ligotti himself notes that, All pessimists with an intense or intensely subjective literary style are welcome (Tekeli-li! 124).

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