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Old 05-10-2005   #1
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The Nightmare Network

The first thing that came to my mind when I read The Nightmare Network from My Work Is Not Yet Done could was that this story could have been written by WSB.

I don't know if it was a conscious homage by Ligotti to one of his favourite writers, but the structure of the story is definitely WSB, and I think it would make a great text to expand by using cut-ups (as many TL's stories would in fact).

Oh, and by the way, the pseudonym I use (ElHI) is strongly WSB-related. Anyone guess in what way?

"How he made them laugh... sometimes"
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Old 05-10-2005   #2
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I can definitely see the link between WSB and TNN

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Old 05-10-2005   #3
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Re: The Nightmare Network

Quote Originally Posted by ElHI";p=&quot View Post
I don't know if it was a conscious homage by Ligotti to one of his favourite writers, but the structure of the story is definitely WSB, and I think it would make a great text to expand by using cut-ups (as many TL's stories would in fact).
Good eye. From the "Triangulating the Daemon" interview in Esoterra (http://www.ligotti.net/integramod/kb...de=article&k=2):

I've always been a shameless imitator of other writers' styles, and the "Teatro Grottesco" stories are my Bernhard stories. In fact, I'm doing Bernhard to some degree in this interview, just as "Drink to Me Only With Labyrinthine Eyes" is my Stanley Elkin story; "The Nightmare Network" is my William S. Burroughs story; "The Medusa" is my E.M. Cioran story; "Mrs. Rinaldi's Angel" and several others are my Bruno Shulz stories; and most of the stories in the first two sections of Songs of a Dead Dreamer are my Vladimir Nabokov stories.

Quote
Oh, and by the way, the pseudonym I use (ElHI) is strongly WSB-related. Anyone guess in what way?
I'm ashamed to say that I've never read WSB, but I'd love to know where to begin...

"...the uncanny is to me the defining trait of this strange and terrible world and our strange and terrible minds." --Thomas Ligotti
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Old 05-10-2005   #4
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Re: The Nightmare Network

Hey Doc...

I think the best way to start Burroughs is reading his self biographical
novels:
Junky, The yage letters and Queer.
I can only comment about the first two,
They are very readable and great memories of addiction...

Specially "Junky"..It relates WSB beggining of his addiction, and what he did to get his morphine, cocaine, marijuana...and the strange addicted fellows he meets...It´s a deliciously compulsive read.I couldn´t stop reading that one until its end...To me it is the second best novel about addiction.The first one is Thomas de Quincey´s "Confessions of an opium eater".

"The Yage letters" is his quest in South America for a Drug called Yage, which he mentions at the end of Junky
It is composed by letters he and Allen Ginsberg shared in the search for the drug
I have mixed feelings about that one.WSB letters looks like a man much more intersted in cheap sex with poor 3rd world boys than the Yage itself...but Allen Ginsberg letters are great...and worth the read.

I confess I didn´t enjoy completely his "fantastic" novels.I tried with Naked Lunch.
WSB has a VERY powerful imaginery, and the book is best read as a collection of bizarre quasi-self biographical
short-histories.
I tried also with "cities of the red night" and again I loved the man´s imaginery but I guess I would get the context reading the three novels of the red night trilogy but they´re not avaible over here.

Also you can always try "Word virus", sort of a bulk of all of his carreer, including samples of most of his novels,
also, there are very insighful essays by William Burroughs himself and James Grauerholz (William´s partner) and the book even inculdes a sample cd with some readings by WSB.The first track "Twilight´s last gleamings" is very funny.
I bought mine (book and cd) for US$ 2 in an ebay auction!

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Old 05-10-2005   #5
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Re: The Nightmare Network

Quote Originally Posted by ElHI";p=&quot View Post
Oh, and by the way, the pseudonym I use (ElHI) is strongly WSB-related. Anyone guess in what way?

El Hombre Invisible?

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Old 05-11-2005   #6
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I've only leafed through a few of Burroughs' books -- as opposed to actually reading them -- and have found that I'm mostly interested in his writings about writing. I mean his ideas regarding the creative process, the act of writing, the nature of language, and so on. For instance, I was mesmerized by his introduction to THE RETREAT DIARIES where he talked about his self-prescribed rules for paying attention to the visionary products of his own unconscious mind.

With his fiction, it's a different matter. I sort of enjoyed David Cronenberg's cinematic adaptation of NAKED LUNCH but have never been interested to read the novel, or any of his others, for that matter. I don't know why this should be so, since I've really enjoyed reading about Burroughs. This is a phenomenon I've encountered with a few other authors over the years. It simply happens that with some of them, I find accounts of their lives, writings, and ideas to be intensely interesting, but at the same time I feel absolutely no desire to read their actual work. With Burroughs it's a bit different, though; given that Tom is so powerfully influenced by him, I'll probably make a more concerted effort to read him some day.

ElHI -- Regarding your comment that "The Nightmare Network" and some of Tom's other stories would be great to expand via Burroughs' cut-up technique, you might find it interesting to know (if you don't already) that Tom really didn't enjoy that aspect of Burroughs' work. Offhand I can't remember the exact interview where the topic came up -- was it Neddal's FANTASTIC METROPOLIS interview? That sounds halfway likely -- but when he was asked whether he had ever used or considered using the cut-up approach, he answered, "No, and I wish Burroughs hadn't either."

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Old 05-11-2005   #7
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Re: The Nightmare Network

Im totally with you, Matt. I find it very interesting to read about Burroughs and about his approach to writing books. I especially liked the fact that he used the cut-up technique because it was the only way to get out of control of those insect-like aliens ( that aspect of Burrougs' universe is very Ligottian).
"Naked Lunch" by Cronenberg is very impressive. I don't know if it should be regarded as a cinematic adaptation, considering the fact that even Cronenberg stated it was much more about Burroughs' life and about the process through which the book has been written.
When I sat down to read the book it surprised me in a rather negative way. The style was very original and impressive but the gruesome, violent and sexual images didn't work for me.

"In my imagination, I have a small apartment in a small town where I live alone and gaze through a window at a wintry landscape." -- TL
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Old 05-12-2005   #8
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Re: The Nightmare Network

Severini,

You've got it quick! And I thought that it was smart-ass and pretty obscure...ops:

For those unfamiliar with WSB, El Hombre Invisible was the nickname given to him by "the boys" when he was living in Tanger. It is also the title of one of his biographies, written by Barry Miles.

"How he made them laugh... sometimes"
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Old 05-12-2005   #9
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Re: The Nightmare Network

To begin with WSB, I'd recommend Naked lunch (obviously) and Junky. I began with a French translation of The Soft Machine, so I still have a soft spot for his cut-up trilogy (The Soft Machine, The Ticket That Exploded, Nova Express). Well, in fact I still have to find a book by Burroughs that I would find just OK, and not very good, so I guess that any book would be a great introduction...

I'm a bit surprised that Ligotti doesn't like cut-ups. He said in an interview that repetition was one of the ingredients of a good writer, and cut-up is kind of the ultimate repetition of words, introducing a bit of random in it that can work great.

And I have to agree also with the comments on David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch: a truly fascinating movie (and a great score by Howard Shore). And probably the film that made me realise that Cronenberg was a great film-maker, and not only a great horror-film-maker.

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Old 05-12-2005   #10
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The Soft Machine was pretty hard for me to read (especially since it was my first intro to WSB), but I loved the cut up style and Burrough's visceral, caustic writing style. Anybody who hasn't checked him out, definitely should.

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