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Old 01-10-2017   #51
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

A large chunk of his audience will be those whom he gained favour with for his Ligottian fiction and reputation as '...if you really liked reading Ligotti, you'll really like Samuels!'. It's a shame he so often throws Ligotti and the Ligotti fans who made his name under a bus instead of expressing gratitude and humility, but so be it.

Ligotti's quiet dignity is refreshing. No need to pick silly online fights to promote his work. Let the quality speak for itself.

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Old 01-10-2017   #52
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

That is arguably all of his fanbase. He is (was) an author of Ligottian fiction, and those same "Ligottians" whom he constantly attacks were those who read and supported him before.
And I doubt that he'll gain anyone's favor by attacking "Ligottians", as I doubt that his blog is read by hundreds of conservative christians with axes to grind. Those don't care about Ligotti anymore than they even know of Mark Samuels. "Ligottians" are those who know of him and who read him, probably 99% of his past readership.
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Old 01-10-2017   #53
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
Ligotti's quiet dignity is refreshing. No need to pick silly online fights to promote his work. Let the quality speak for itself.
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Old 01-10-2017   #54
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
I'm sympathetic enough to Mark's position as a man frustrated with modernity for modernity's sake and the ridicule/absence of spirituality or poetry in modern life to ignore him not knowing what socialism is yet ranting about it constantly, accusing Ligotti of faking his emotional state, etc. These things have been discussed at length often enough to be ignored.
For some reason I find it kind of funny that Samuels is always attacking Ligottians, who of course (I presume) make up a large bulk of his audience. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Obviously, though, I disagree with any statements he's made in regards to Ligotti "faking" it
(what exactly were those statements anyway? I can't even remember). The irony being that there have been people on here who accuse Mark of faking his own religious orientation.

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Old 01-10-2017   #55
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

To be fair, Samuels himself has lived through philosophical pessimism before, and, for whatever reason, found it to be intellectually as well as emotionally insufficient.

As far as his contempt for socialist ideology is concerned, I suspect he is conscious of its "leveling" effect(s). More specifically, he seems to believe that "neo"-Marxist thought is responsible for destroying the autonomy of the aesthetic realm, a view which I personally sympathize with. Moreover, I interpret his political language, not so much as simply referring to economics and/or political rights in general, but as ways of describing individuals. I could be way off the mark, but I can't help but think of Nietzsche's own contempt for "the Last Man," even though Samuels has chosen The Crucified over Dionysus.

Samuels is friends with many members of TLO, but he feels it's necessary to keep his distance due to philosophical differences, which is a bit heartbreaking to think about. He's obviously just as passionate about ideas as he is about weird fiction.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 01-11-2017   #56
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by Frater_Tsalal View Post
The irony being that there have been people on here who accuse Mark of faking his own religious orientation.
That's not how I view it, really. Same moment he accused TL of faking his views as a public stunt, he opened himself for that same accusation (not to mention that he already provided solid basis for those accusation). "Don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you" and all that.

Anyway, he apparently went and deleted his recent blog posts. They are still visible on goodreads though, if someone is interested in reasons behind the recent discussion in this thread.
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Old 01-11-2017   #57
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

I think he took the 'Ligotti-lite' accusation too hard, so he has tried to distance himself from Ligotti significantly, despite him being seemingly Samuels' greatest literary influence and the main reason he has a fanbase. It's hard not to see the obvious contradictions (not long ago he was the most prolific poster on Thomas Ligotti Online), but I'm hoping one day he'll chill out and come back here rather than try to prove something that just doesn't make sense and yelling at his fans for no reason.

It can be tiresome shelling out what little spare money I have for one of his books and then seeing on here that he has once again declared socialists evil and Ligotti fans deluded. I mean, I'll still buy books I like even if the author murders my family, but I don't see why much of this behaviour is necessary.

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Old 01-11-2017   #58
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
distance himself from Ligotti significantly, despite him being seemingly Samuels' greatest literary influence and the main reason he has a fanbase.
Really, though?

Going to pull a douche move and quote myself (from here):

Quote Originally Posted by Jbon
Mark[itty]’s writing is often compared to that of Thomas Ligotti, who’s an admitted influence, but when looked at closely, they don’t actually have that much in common—Ligotti’s stories are much more consistently unreal and vague about the details of place, for example, whereas Mark always seems to be coming to grips with London as it decays.
I’d argue that Markitty is more of a classicist than Ligotti, or in fact more in line with Ligotti’s stated influences than Ligotti is himself (with a few exceptions such as “The Last Feast of Harlequin”). Something like “The White Hands” seems in a direct descent from Poe, and could have come out at any point from about 1890-2000. I’d almost accuse Mark of being a classicist to a fault, whereas Ligotti has certain antecedents but gets pretty off the map (not really seeing how you’d get to “The Medusa” or “Sideshow” from Lovecraft or anyone else). Not saying either one is better or worse, but they hardly seem anything like father and son, at least in literary terms. Mark Samuels is downbeat cosmic horror, whereas Ligotti seems more like absurdist irrealism/nihilism. The Mark Samuels universe is frequently depressing, but it doesn’t seem MALEVOLENT in the way Ligotti’s does.

I tend to think Mark being so active on this site has cemented the association far more than the similarities in their actual writing.
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Old 01-11-2017   #59
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

I think The White Hands was also closely influenced by Vernon Lee's forgotten classic Amour Dure. She is even name checked at the beginning of the story.

Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
I’d argue that Markitty is more of a classicist than Ligotti, or in fact more in line with Ligotti’s stated influences than Ligotti is himself (with a few exceptions such as “The Last Feast of Harlequin”).
I agree completely with this, but it doesn't affect my view that Ligotti is a huge backbone model for his fiction.

Quote Originally Posted by Justin 'The Body' Isis
The Mark Samuels universe is frequently depressing, but it doesn’t seem MALEVOLENT in the way Ligotti’s does.
Not even in The Black Mould or Mannequins in Aspects of Terror – stories that are not only Ligottian in philosophy but written in his style? Samuels' stories bear many traditional influences, but I don't think I'm far off calling Ligotti one of his top four or five influences along with Poe, Lovecraft, Borges and Machen.

It seems Samuels is pioneering the 'Ligotti flip' as an inversion of White Dad behaviour.

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― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 01-11-2017   #60
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
Not even in The Black Mould or Mannequins in Aspects of Terror – stories that are not only Ligottian in philosophy but written in his style? Samuels' stories bear many traditional influences, but I don't think I'm far off calling Ligotti one of his top four or five influences along with Poe, Lovecraft, Borges and Machen.
Black Mould seems more sad than malevolent (the mould is confused as to what it is, and expands more from fear than ill will). Mannequins sure, but in a lot of his other stories the emphasis is fairly different, and closer yeah to Machen, Lovecraft, Poe, etc. I suspect the trend will continue now that he seems to want to consciously distance himself from Ligotti (and writing a novel about being Catholic would seem like a pretty decisive way of doing that).

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
It seems Samuels is pioneering the 'Ligotti flip' as an inversion of White Dad behaviour.
Harold Bloom would have a field day with all this weird fiction flipping going on. I’m expecting Aickman to get thrown over the bridge any day now (“An early influence, sure. But he was rather parochial, wasn’t he? And the attitudes towards gender, not exactly…well, you know. Not to mention the Britishness, and unseemly interest in public waterways. I think we’ve all moved on, haven’t we?”).
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