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Old 01-27-2016   #1
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LA Review of Books article on Lovecraft and Ligotti

Loving the Alien: Thomas Ligotti and the Psychology of Cosmic Horror



Some notable quotes from this remarkable article:

"THE REPUBLICATION by Penguin Classics of Thomas Ligotti’s first two story collections marks the next stage of the ascendance of cosmic horror to the commanding heights of our literary culture."

"While the focus in Lovecraft is always on the alien reality below the appearances, Ligotti is fascinated by the simple capacity of changing appearances to suggest a different reality. He pursues the inhumanist psychology of the process in which appearances come loose from their anchor in the human world."

"Ligotti’s grasp of canonical modernism’s resources for cosmic horror helps explain the fact that his prose is the sharpest and most richly imaged of any in the genre."

"Lovecraft says: There are people who like this kind of thing. Ligotti says: And you are one of them. You who love cosmic horror are one of them, one of us."

"...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 01-27-2016   #2
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Re: LA Review of Books article on Lovecraft and Ligotti

Incredible review/essay on Ligotti's fiction. There is this which I've never considered before: "And in nearly every piece we can find lines that serve both as a description of the action, and of his own art...His stories are allegories of a style of writing that carries out guerilla warfare against the familiar world. "

Ligotti's fiction can be read at more than one level.

I have a similar view concerning the T.E.D. Kline's novella _Black Man With a Horn_. On one level, its Lovecraftian fiction. On another level, _Black Man With a Horn_ is a kind of reflection on Lovecraftian fiction.
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Old 01-28-2016   #3
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Re: LA Review of Books article on Lovecraft and Ligotti

I enjoyed thus review very much and appreciate the points that it brings up. However, I feel that this and other reviews and essays that I have read on both writers mist a very important part of Ligotti's and Lovecraft's art: humor. Lovecraft knew exactly what he was doing when he created all of those investigators who were too preoccupied or too straitlaced to see what was really going on around them. He must have chuckled to himself as he had them working towards their own destruction. And Ligotti is much funnier. How many stories show the truth to the old saying, "be careful what you wish for. You might just get it?" Humor is an important part of every story that I can think of. I can't name a reviewer who mentioned his humor. To me, they're missing the best part of Ligotti and an important part of Lovecraft.

"A Mad World, MY Masters"
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Old 01-28-2016   #4
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Re: LA Review of Books article on Lovecraft and Ligotti

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. D. View Post
I enjoyed thus review very much and appreciate the points that it brings up. However, I feel that this and other reviews and essays that I have read on both writers mist a very important part of Ligotti's and Lovecraft's art: humor. Lovecraft knew exactly what he was doing when he created all of those investigators who were too preoccupied or too straitlaced to see what was really going on around them. He must have chuckled to himself as he had them working towards their own destruction. And Ligotti is much funnier. How many stories show the truth to the old saying, "be careful what you wish for. You might just get it?" Humor is an important part of every story that I can think of. I can't name a reviewer who mentioned his humor. To me, they're missing the best part of Ligotti and an important part of Lovecraft.
Very true. I remember reading the first few pages of "My Work is Not Yet Done" and the chuckle burst out of me.

WORD MADE FLESH.— The relationship between thought and language is the relationship between a wound and its scar.

-Hans Abendroth
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