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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
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Re: Horror or Weird Fiction

The RHYS says: “then our realization that we are cosmically insignificant is also cosmically insignificant, and the only recourse left to us at this stage is irony, self-irony and outwardly directed irony.”

Genius!

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
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Re: Horror or Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
I believe that writing fiction, especially anything related to the supernatural or weird, is an unnatural act. It's as if the writer is one who has a way to defy his or her biological programming.
Humans are the only real "writing beings" we can observe, apart from a few uninspiring attempts to conscript Koko the gorilla. If there is a "human state" that does not contain writing, certainly no one here has ever observed it. It therefore makes sense to think of writing as "natural" to whatever extent the term has meaning. Spiders spit out silk and humans spit out language.

A spider's silk and the web it builds with it are both its weapon and its home. Language is the same for humans. Our webs of words and concepts allow us to create laws, names, scientific formulations and everything else we use to reorder the world to our liking. All of this begins with a substance we spit out of our bodies (language).

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
I'm curious to know if the Pleasant makes any accommodations for the sublime, i.e., the feeling of being confronted by something (usually terrible) which is capable of revealing how insignificant the one who experiences it is.
The Pleasant can be thought of as a reaction to cosmicism in the same way cosmicism can be thought of as a reaction to the ontological underpinnings of earlier forms of writing. The idea of super-correlationism implies that since humans are the only thing we know of that can generate or be aware of anything like "meaning," the entire universe is therefore focused on humans (hyper-anthropocentrism). Therefore, everything that ever happens to everyone is absolutely "significant" - since it is part of the order of the only things that can be significant. The only things that are insignificant, by definition, are those that humans are currently unaware of (once we become aware of them they'll become significant, since their existence will then be connected to us, the manufacturers of meaning and significance).

In this framework, random Facebook status updates become more important than the sum total of "events" in, say, the Andromeda Galaxy. Faced with this overwhelming significance, the only thing to do is relax and try to note some of it down. Too much is already happening for "conflict" to be allowed - how could it be permissible to manufacture some kind of dispute between "characters" when they could simply order coffee or go for a walk?

So in short there can no longer be a sublime - it died back in the 20th century.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
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Re: Horror or Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by Nemonymous View Post
The RHYS says: “then our realization that we are cosmically insignificant is also cosmically insignificant, and the only recourse left to us at this stage is irony, self-irony and outwardly directed irony.”

Genius!
I generally don't enjoy post-modern ironic distance in this sort of fiction. I would prefer less irony and more sincerity, though I appear to be alone in this. I would like a return to Romanticism and other such unfortunately outdated ideas.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
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Re: Horror or Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Nemonymous View Post
The RHYS says: “then our realization that we are cosmically insignificant is also cosmically insignificant, and the only recourse left to us at this stage is irony, self-irony and outwardly directed irony.”

Genius!
I generally don't enjoy post-modern ironic distance in this sort of fiction. I would prefer less irony and more sincerity, though I appear to be alone in this.
Yes, irony and sincerity are part of our human and literary gestalt.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
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Re: Horror or Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
In this framework, random Facebook status updates become more important than the sum total of "events" in, say, the Andromeda Galaxy.
Surely, generating digital Likes must be far more important than whatever happens on hundreds of billions of stars and surrounding planets in the Andromeda Galaxy?!!

My *post-modern ironic distance*.

I can well understand Lovecraft's intellectual hatred for the human herd. He had looked through telescopes, and that automatically made him an outsider.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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Re: Horror or Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by Knygathin View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
In this framework, random Facebook status updates become more important than the sum total of "events" in, say, the Andromeda Galaxy.
Surely, generating digital Likes must be far more important than whatever happens on hundreds of billions of stars and surrounding planets in the Andromeda Galaxy?!!

My *post-modern ironic distance*.

I can well understand Lovecraft's intellectual hatred for the human herd. He had looked through telescopes, and that automatically made him an outsider.
This reminds me of something Richey Manic once said in a song:



"Intellectual hatred" is not so different from "passionate love." In other words, human meaning. Lovecraft may have felt hatred, but whatever he was looking at through the telescope didn't.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
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Re: Horror or Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
"Intellectual hatred" is not so different from "passionate love." In other words, human meaning. Lovecraft may have felt hatred, but whatever he was looking at through the telescope didn't.
His cosmic perspective was emotionally tilted, with human meaning.
Aside from that he was extremely intelligent, in an obsessively objective way, ... and entertaining. I heartily recommend reading of his letters.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #28
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Re: Horror or Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post

I generally don't enjoy post-modern ironic distance in this sort of fiction. I would prefer less irony and more sincerity, though I appear to be alone in this. I would like a return to Romanticism and other such unfortunately outdated ideas.
If I get what you're saying, then I feel exactly the same way. I don't care for weird & horror fiction that is too self-aware or too clever for its own good. Too "meta," in other words.

Hell, I don't even like it when real weird/horror writers are mentioned by name in fictional works. Takes me out of it.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #29
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Re: Horror or Weird Fiction

I'm a huge defender of the 'camp' aesthetic, which I see as a natural companion of the grotesque, but such camp most be bolstered by sincerity. An atmosphere, preferably of an uncanny type of melancholy or dread, is what I'm in this for, so if a book seems too arch and self-aware or full of jokes then I'm left cold and stuck reading an unfunny joke book. A lot of the 'subversions' just seem like undergraduate humour hiding behind a fear of being earnest and meaningful.

Quote Originally Posted by Trau
Hell, I don't even like it when real weird/horror writers are mentioned by name in fictional works. Takes me out of it.
I feel that way sometimes. It's why Walter de la Mare's A Revanant, despite being a typically strong piece of writing from the genius artist, doesn't make the cut of my top ten Walter de la Mare ghost stories. For those who don't know, it's about a manifestation (spectral or psychological) of Edgar Allan Poe popping up to have words with a man giving a lecture on Poe. It's a good piece of work, but too arch and essay-like for me to count it among his best, which the critics often seem to.

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #30
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Re: Horror or Weird Fiction

Agree on all counts.

Name-dropping writers is bad enough for the suspension of disbelief, but including them as characters earns an absolute dismissal from me. There's so many books out nowadays with Lovecraft himself as a protagonist, and I just don't see the appeal.
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