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Old 08-04-2015   #1
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Ligotti-related Article, "Art as Horror," on The R'lyeh Tribune

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Now and then The R’lyeh Tribune takes a break from its survey of early twentieth century horror, science fiction and fantasy to look at more contemporary work. It was a delight to learn recently that our local university English Department will be hosting a discussion next week of Thomas Ligotti’s Teatro Grottesco (2006) at its Fantasy and Science Fiction/Theory Reading Group. Teatro Grottesco is a collection of Ligotti’s short stories, some of which have appeared in previous collections, and includes revisions of earlier work. Several of these are thematically related, comprising a cycle of nightmares involving artists who are also lost souls.

I was not able to find the book locally, which is not surprising, given that his readership is small, though devoted. Like the echo of a typical Ligotti story, I discovered that staff in the book stores had heard of Teatro Grottesco, believed that they had seen it recently, but were currently out of stock. However, someone else had been in the store just a day or two earlier asking for the same book. None of their suppliers had the book; it would need to be special ordered, and would takes weeks to obtain. Recalling another master of understated horror from a century ago, I thought also of asking “Have you found the Yellow sign?”

Like Lovecraft and Poe, Ligotti can be a subtle writer, exhibiting considerable restraint and a leisurely pace. His work needs additional time and attention to savor the imagery and psychological effect of his disturbing fiction. He is one of those writers that is rewarding to read a second, even a third time. There is little graphic violence or suspense in his work, or decisive action—only a growing discomfort and anxiety. This culminates in a lingering dis-ease about the nature of reality and our ultimate fate, a chill not easily shaken. Avoid reading Ligotti in November or December if you are prone to seasonal affective disorder.
Go here for the whole article, which talks about Ligotti's work generally and homes in specifically on the writer's thoughts about "The Bungalow House."

"Art as Horror"

It's definitely worth your while.

"...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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