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ON THE HOOF
ON THE HOOF
DF Lewis
Published by Nemonymous
05-28-2007
Topic Nominated ON THE HOOF

Below is my on-the-hoof review during my first reading of The Conspiracy Against The Human Race (CATHR): a major 'non-fiction' work by Thomas Ligotti that has just been kindly presented HERE prior to book publication. Started as John Dos Passos headlines, finished as a sincere attempt at appraisal. The only way to review such a tantalising book. A tour de force.

-------------------------------------------
I have just returned from a short holiday with my wife ... 'distraction'?

And got on straightway with reading The Conspiracy Against the Human Race at the first opportunity. Thanks to TL and Dr B for making it available here.

I thought I would make some brief passing comments in media res - and I have reached the text up to Footnote 8 on page 7 (including the reading of footnotes). I don't want my passing thoughts to shade off into hindsight as I read on, so this is why I want to comment periodically as I read it (not guaranteed how quickly).

I have enjoyed this TL's 'sublimation' by means of the text so far ... more 'distraction' by means of such 'enjoyment' on my part?

Sublimation is indeed how I read it .... so far.

I wrote a line of poetry in 1965: "It is futile to call life futile as it is."

Not sure how this will pan out. Enjoyed it and been instructed. Instructive that such thoughts could be thought at all .... and made current in the context of one of my favourite 'fiction' writers ever ('anchoring'?). (I've put fiction in quotes as a safeguard pending my own further thoughts.... if any there be).

I feel as if I am swimming. But I can't swim, have never been able to swim, despite having been brought up in a seaside resort as a child!

======================

I've now reached reading to the end of 'Thinking Horror' and I see I shall have to re-read the whole magnificent tour de force one day, but, meanwhile, to comment as I promised: piecemeal ...
I'm currently unsure whether we are being made to imagine the most selfless numinous (nemonymous) self (in connection with the Proustian selves described in this section of CATHR) or to affirm one's identity so that one can doff it with grander effect!
For example, by wearing identity one becomes even more identitiless when one does become identitiless after having an identity once (a single self not doffed in favour of separate selves within the same headlease (if powerless) self but in favour of the non-technological 'singularity' of an unself) ... and writing fiction is thus the identity (or job) one shall later doff in this way??

Is the fiction writer the potentially suicidal God?

PS: Meanwhile, I hang my head (with its self snailed within it) in confused dismay for having been a 'breeder' during my lifetime.

===============================

"You live a day a day to put life in" is another line of my poetry from the sixties.

I have just read 'Enlightenment' in 'Facing Horror', and I somehow thought of the word 'Zencore' (a word I chose to be the title of an anthology of Horror (nihilist?) fiction (at the printers as I speak)), as well as Zencore already being the name of a herbal 'medicine' with the advertised effects that 'viagra' has on male 'performance'. Seems somehow appropriate! Or misappropriate in an appropriate way!

I think literature is a religion in itself. And TL's CATHR (so far) is an (advertised) non-fiction (a Short Life of Horror) description of the nullities of ego, life's futility etc. and layered descriptions of thinking of the nullity of ego etc. (and then thinking of that thinking...), and all the ramifications that thinking has for death wishes, spiritual seeking ...
TL's non-fiction, so-called, in this essay, is also literature, I feel ... highly honed, professionally couched, fascinating, fulfilling, satisfying, basically 'true' (so far) to my own unarticulated thinking, and thus making my life more worthwhile (intrinsically worthwhile?), and presumably TL's life, too, by having written such a life-changing tour de force.

Just a mid-term brainstorming. More later. I don't want to give birth prematurely ... if at all.

No place for smileys here.

=====================

I have now reached the end of 'Intolerance' in 'Facing Horror'.

This rings loud bells with me for my relationship with blood relations and even chosen friends vis a vis conflicts of religious temperament. I am not even on the same map of (non)-belief as most people I know. It is a hard cross to bear. Pretentious, too.

I see CATHR is subtitled 'A Short Life of Horror'. This is reflective, I feel, of Peter Ackroyd's history of London entitled LONDON: A BIOGRAPHY. This is the essence of it (so far): we are talking about someone's life, a biography, an overview by the life itself of itself. An eternal philosophical dilemma of a mind examining itself with unknown and unknowable filters between. This is how the author of CATHR is so clever in bringing puppetry into the equation. But as yet I fail to see how he will eventually solve this conundrum. He may have of course even cleverer prestidigitations up his sleeve as I read on.

I think 'potentially suicidal gods' (the thread title given by Dr B to my original post) sums it up neatly .... but will they remain for ever 'potential' suicides as most reckonable suicides are, because they are not suicides ... yet? And to 'reckon' a true suicide one would indeed need to be a God to come back and tell us about a true 'happened' suicide. (All other sucides are just hearsay). And without a 'true' God in the equation, the whole CATHR falls apart. But it also falls apart with a God in it, of course.


addendum: here: http://weirdmonger.livejournal.com/2007/03/27/ are my own gauche thoughts that were published in 'Roadworks ' (1999) under the title 'Beyond Death' as gathered and trimmed by exegesis from my earlier wildly immature thoughts in several 'Tentacles Across The Atlantic' columns in 'Deathrealm' during the mid-nineties.

=====================

Iíve been thinking more about the title of this thread: What is Natural is Futile.

Having now read to the end of the ĎFacing Horrorí section, I feel unhappy because nothing further naturally flows to my mind to say publicly at this stage about my reading of CATHR. ďKeep quiet then, till you have!Ē I hear shouted. But this very thought has made me question whether my earlier posting of comments actually made me feel happy Ė when I (in fits and starts) ostensibly had something natural, instinctive, organically-subsequent-to-what-went-before, to say. In contrast, it is dreadfully downbeat to have to say something, i.e. to force yourself to concoct something to say, rather than depending on the natural flow of thought in lifeís discourse-of-least-resistance.

But expressed thoughts-at-length are generally not natural, not auditable except, possibly, in rare moments of genius or inspiration that only Ďmagic non-fictioní such as CATHR can produce Ė and this is probably why and how its author does not break down into tears of despair (as one would otherwise expect with any author) during the polished treatments of blinding futility, cynicism, pessimism, visions of frightening nothingness, cultured barrenness etc. that he is managing to articulate so manfully, so meticulously, so learnedly, so downright calmly for us to absorb. Because it is a natural flow, not concocted, and this makes him (arguably) happy.

No natural flow in this thread, however, unless someone else enters it with his or her own flow of thought to channel me away from false concoctions.

=======================

My first readng of CATHR has now reached the end of 'Fictions' in 'Consuming Horror', with some disconnnected notes ....

I am beginning to wonder if the nemophile and nemophobe are the same person.

Did you know that on the Titanic there was a musical band that continued to play in the lounge right up to the very moment of the ship's final sinking?

Is there such a thing as a gratuitous act?

And if one takes the thrust of CATHR (so far) to its own rational conclusions, would a mass killing (or mass suicide pact) in the ultimate (if hopeless) hope that universal cleansing would then ensue - even within the constraints of an ostensibly logicalised philosophy - be untouchable by laws that were intended to prevent such events? This may be something that any publisher of this work would have to be wary of. But, of course, anyone studying CATHR should finish it before making any such judgement of speculation.

The Suicide of a God by writing philosophy about its Godhood?

======================

I have now reached reading to the end of 'Supernaturalism' in 'Consuming Horror'.

I like the concept of the sense of the supernatural, as opposed to the supernatural itself.

What is SuperNatural is not Futile (to coin a new thread title)?

Mention of Joseph Conrad makes me think that 'Chance' is the plaster that our dire wounds (described in various ways in CATHR) need, ie. wounds inflicted upon us from simply having life - plus bandage-layers of narrators or of ego/id/nemo viewpoints that we can scatter around like placebos or decoy-puppets or shadows.

Aren't shadows on the wall sometimes more revelatory than seeing the people that cast them? CHANCE is a novel by Joseph Conrad. Here, the characters and particularly the heroine are drained of any motive or sympathy because of the layering of narrative: we hear a spoken voice telling an inscrutable narrator of someone elseís view of someone elseís view of certain events, mix and match between. But it does not seem to lessen oneís interest in the book: it is character-driven and sympathy is allowed to take a backseat in preference to exploring oneís own motives for assigning certain motives to certain types of people just on the basis of hearsay and chance. Conrad writes in introduction to CHANCE: ďAnd it is only for their intentions that men can be held responsibleĒ and this novel seeks to show, I think, that any intentions are essentially unknowable. I propose that even one's own intentions are unknowable: being shadows, too. The heart of darkness.

=============================

Overnight I've wondered if the title - Conspiracy Against The Human Race - is double-edged (whether intentional or not, multiple bluff or not), inasmuch as CATHR itself is to become a conspiracy against the human race and/or, even, the author's own conspiracy against himself.
I intend to have a short break from reading CATHR today as it is, I feel, the sort of work from which the reader needs respite - a respite from its headiness of texture and its cocktail of shadows. However, I may be tempted back into its enticing maw sooner rather than later.


What is SuperNatural is not Futile (to coin a new thread title)?

Maybe this is an echo of my earlier thought: 'magical non-fiction'.
Magic Fiction turns fiction into reality (non-fiction) -- please see separate thread on Magic Fiction and Magic Realism -- whilst Magic Non-Fiction is vice versa. The only way, perhaps, for CATHR to counter any charges of incitement towards despair etc. is for it to call itself Magic Non-Fiction rather than a plain 'non-fiction' as it calls itself at the moment.

Style outdoing the subject-matter by means of being outdone by the subject-matter (as tendered on the 'Potentially Suicidal Gods' thread re Lovecraft)?

I shall later try to rationalise some new thoughts of mine regarding 'word clones' or 'word clowns'.

=============================

Well, I couldn't keep away for long from this unique reading experience that is CATHR. It is both deeply serious and laced with a deep cynical humour (I sense), a humour which does not relieve the dark seriousness but alters it like a pungent spice would make a stew a curry.

I have now reached reading to the end of 'Consuming Horror' - 'Style'.
Lovecraft is not a writer, I feel, but a phenomenon that is his writing. If you read his letters to Kleiner, you might not wonder how he needed his future reputation as a person to be blotted out by cosmic horror! His prose style is also blotted out by the same cosmic horror; so his style autonomously creates the cosmic horror with blatant over-dramatic coagulants of semantics, graphology, phonetics and syntax ... indescribable reams of adjectival feasts ... a lurking fear that outdoes its style by, paradoxically, being outdone by it! And this paradox relates to the cocktail of shadows that is CATHR. It is more than its parts. And I genuinely believe (and I repeat) (with the sole current reservation that I have not yet finished my first reading of CATHR) that we have a God here who is destroying Himself by writing a cogent work of Philosophy to prove His own non-existence*. As Lovecraft needed to do, whether intended or not.

*And this is the prestidigitation I predicted earlier, perhaps, whereby the author of CATHR is solving the conundrum of a mind examining its own mind...

==========================

'Something unforeseen must have happened. You know, even grown-up people cannot always do what they want most.'

'Oh! Then why grow up?'

From Part 3 (1) of 'The House in Paris' (1935) by Elizabeth Bowen
----------

Is that not a better question than "Oh! Then why be born"?
Something to be said for being childlike (not childish).

I have now reached the end of the 'Living Horror' section in my first reading of CATHR. My ambiant self continues to be attuned to these (self-confessed?) self-righteous articulations of morbidity and futility and cynicism. I am glad I have been able to live long enough to read this genuine masterpiece. I have (always?) believed - but not articulated - that I was born simply to make bowel movements, assuaged by my (only) drugs of alcohol, art and family-building.


I shall make more comments when I've finished 'Creating Horror'. The greatest despair of all has not yet been articulated within CATHR, the despair of Namelessness. Perhaps that's why Lovecraft did not major on the Unnameable but on Azathoth.
To doff one's name, to remove it from the authorship of CATHR for example, would be the way to bring a Death-before-Death as trenchant as one could hope, a meaning to meaninglessness so meaningless it would no longer seem important to reach it. One's Name is the last God to write out of existence.

I call it Nemonymity. I, for one, have failed to reach this Heaven.

Addendum: For Easter (a short novelistic take on death): http://weirdmonger.blogspot.com/2006/04/for-easter.html

============================

I have now completed my first reading of CATHR up to the end of 'Sickness' in 'Living Horror'.

Maybe I can be forgiven being a 'breeder' during my lifetime, by having named my daughter after a Poe story in 1974. :-)

Under this thread title, I think it appropriate to quote this extract from Stefan Grabinski:

"Wrzesmian wasn't too popular. The works of this strange man, saturated with rampant fantasy and imbued with strong individualism, gave a most unfavourable impression by inverting accepted aesthetic-literary theories and by mocking established pseudo-truths. His output was eventually acknowledged as the product of a sick imagination, the bizarre work of an eccentric, maybe even a madman. Wrzesmian was an inconvenience for a variety of reasons and he disturbed unnecessarily, stirring peaceful waters. Thus his premature eclipse was received with a secret sigh of relief." FROM "THE AREA" BY STEFAN GRABINSKI.


Re Nabokov and metaphor, is it a metaphor that what I consider to be his greatest novel is entitled ADA but pronounced ARDOR?

============================

The fiction and the non-fiction of Thomas Ligotti are symbiotic. But which is which?

In view of its philosophy of despair and the need to remove all gods (even names) and its potentially 'dangerous' articulations formally here labelled 'non-fiction', is CATHR going to need to be anonymous in its printed form, i.e. when all traces are removed from this site? Authorship will then be a rumour ... like death.

============================

I have now finished my first reading of CATHR. I can't tell if I am a changed man as a result of reading it other than, perhaps, by having the foresight to record my initial thoughts piecemeal during the reading! Is this a new way to review books - a whole review spread in time split between two electronic threads, i.e. this thread (Potentially Suicidal Gods?) and the other thread (What is Natural is Futile), both of which badly need other posters than me to complete the Jungian circle, the universal review in time and electronic space. But these spaces (infinitely wide threads?) have remained mostly fallow...so far.

I am enormously impressed by CATHR as a whole. It is original and thought-provoking, encouraging the readers to become even more original in their reactions. It is a template for us. The author of CATHR calls us you in the long seemingly heart-felt Shakespearean soliloquy at the end of 'Plot' which is about losing the plot. You to us to them. How do we know we are the only creatures on Earth who are aware of our future death?

Death is Natural. But we are Supernatural, immune within our body-car, till it crashes...

If there is the sense of the Supernatural which is tantamount to the Supernatural itself, why can not there also be a sense of our immortality, where we learn all the mistakes of life and become essentially happy forever? A sense of fiction. A sense that is magically stronger than reality. A regaining of the lost plot. A regaining of Proustian lost time. A casacade of selves that is us.

I am, however, ominous:

How can CATHR infer a mind that writes CATHR as well as being the same mind examined within CATHR? Perhaps by disassociation created by word clones and word clowns. Puppet strings tied to the letters before the post-performance letters become indelible insects squashed to the page in deceptively neat ranks ... and by brilliantly 'anchoring' (to recoin that word) the thoughts in CATHR to a learned array of references elsewhere in the literature of morbidity.

Would this also solve the danger of CATHR - in some hands - becoming its own Bible of multi-destruction?

Is CATHR a conspiracy against the world, rather than a description of that conspiracy.

Is it ontologial suicide?

des

=======
Addendum:

Something I wrote some years ago below. It's a bit dated. Now I'm gone neo-ominous!

---------------------
The Ominous Imagination

My greatest love in fiction is the 'Horror/Dark Fantasy' core that I find in most sorts of literature, old and new, literary and otherwise.

For me, this core should be and is being expanded by the current vogue in fiction genre-crossing and genre-betweening (Interstitiality), i.e. acting like a magnet, and making other fiction traditions conducive to the 'Horror' spirit or, as I would like it to be called, 'The Ominous Imagination'. Indeed, I believe, most good fiction is (and has always been) imbued with and steeped in this type of imaginative spirit, in any event.

Those who publish genre-specific outlets in the Horror fiction field, for example, perhaps allow the hard-fought beach-heads of 'Horror/Dark Fantasy' to crumble and separate out, thus allowing these particles of fiction already gathered for the 'Horror/Dark Fantasy' core to escape from that core because such genre-narrowing outlets tend to crystallise that core AS a core rather than as a magnet.

===

I hope Thomas Ligotti will accept being the high priest of the magnet, not of the core.

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  #1  
By Nemonymous on 06-12-2007
Re: ON THE HOOF

"You live a day a day to put life in" is another line of my poetry from the sixties.

I have sought out this old poem of mine and although I have not the temerity to republish the little 'nonsense' in full (a sonnet), that above is the first line and the second line is: "Beg, beg, begging that death cannot hurt you."

It is indeed futile to call life futile because it is.

I have been advertising the presence of CATHR on this site. It will eventually be considered as the Horror Book of the 21st century, I believe.

I have not re-read it yet. I shall leave that till I read it as a proper book. (I have not downloaded it as a pdf). Then I shall issue my second and definitive review, for what it will be worth, to replace the above cloppety-clop puppet version (Muffin The Mule?)
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  #2  
By Kevin on 06-12-2007
Re: ON THE HOOF

Good lord!

I enjoyed the first part of your thoughts. You're obviously far smarter than I am. I'll be back for more.

*Edit* I overlooked the numbered review system. If all 5s is the best, then you get all 5s as far as I'm concerned.
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  #3  
By Nemonymous on 06-14-2007
Re: ON THE HOOF

Thanks, Kevin. I don't feel smart!
I actually feel as if I am feeling my way, both in life and in my reaction to CATHR.
CATHR - as I've already read it on this site (not the pdf) - I don't know if it's being changed gradually as a result of suggestions, comments etc on this site (or not) - as I have not checked ... my comments above (and here) are purely on the disintentioned, immutable 'sculpture' of a 'non-fiction' book that I've already read, about which my comments, your comments, anybody's comments (including the author's comments) are only of equal value to that original 'sculpture', i.e. in that context no comments are more or less important than others. This is a basic tenet of 'The Intentional Fallacy' theory of thinking, which, in itself, is relevant, I feel, to the CATHR 'sculpture' as I've so far seen it. Once any new version (new sculpture) is posited in the audience arena by the author, then a new circle of reaction would begin about a new and distinct 'sculpture'. And so on. This new circle of reaction cannot affect the current circle of reaction about the original sculpture posited on this site.

I am intrigued for example, by the author's dialogue with 'turnip' on the 'notes' thread. However, I feel it is important to insulate the existing CATHR 'sculpture' from these thoughts, in fact to try to divorce them (however interesting and enlightening they may seem in themselves) unless and until one is considering a new 'sculpture' which may or may not incorporate these new thoughts.

I repeat that I feel this attitude is very much in the spirit of CATHR itself and should be welcomed in that spirit. But, of course, it is not an easy path.

PS: These comments on this specific comments post should likewise not affect the original sculpture of 'On The Hoof' posted above on 28th May 2007. But of course the then self that was me may have disagreed with this my later self in this regard.
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  #4  
By Nemonymous on 06-15-2007
Re: ON THE HOOF

Well, I must have been in a strange mood yesterday morning judging by the above. This morning seems different, less pure somehow.
Someone now saying this: "...because it is quite clear that is not what Ligotti 'had in mind'" on another thread has however somewhat returned me towards unwelcome strictures of thought... I really must get a life!

In any event, I note that 'Terminus' (a story in ZENCORE: SCRIPTUS INNOMINATUS) actually begins with these words:
"You asked me about my assertions that life is a condition, like a terminal illness, of which there is not so much a cure as a protracted but always provisory series of allayments, mere distractions for the brain to keep it occupied and far away from the dangerous questions of human existence."
This story was written goodness knows when, but I first read it several months ago during my editorial reading for the book, i.e. long before knowing anything about CATHR.
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  #5  
By YellowJester on 06-19-2007
Re: ON THE HOOF

This is test.
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  #6  
By YellowJester on 06-19-2007
Re: ON THE HOOF

This is another test(one that doesnít read as if English is my second language). Note: the ratings in the last test do not reflect my evaluation of On the Hoof, nor that of my employees, family, and few friends.
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  #7  
By YellowJester on 06-19-2007
Re: ON THE HOOF

des,

Please excuse the long-belatedness of my reply to your comments on CATHR. The truth is that--aside from the explicitly favorable words you have directed my way about CATHR, for which I thank you greatly--Iíve had a difficult time tuning into your intellectual wavelength. Iím fairly sure that I still havenít done so. Nevertheless. . .

Perhaps I should first state that Iíve never been drawn to the New Criticism/"Death of the Author" perspective on literature. I donít question the legitimacy or the interest of this approach to reading and criticism; it just isnít how I look at an authorís work. The literary works to which Iíve always been attracted have displayed the outward form of a generic expressionism. This is obviously the case with Lovecraft: the voice of his stories and that of his letters sound to me like the same voice, which is the voice of Lovecraft expressing his thoughts, attitudes, sensations, etc. I realize that the works in which these voices sound may be viewed as objects and not as a sort of empathetic avenue into an authorís inner world, which is not less remote in its true nature as is the physical world around us. This is the admittedly unsophisticated--no false modesty--basis for my moving either toward an authorís work or away from it. To some degree, I must identify with what I perceive to be the authorís intellectual and emotional orientation or that author will not attract me. Iím not really sure if the way of reading I have described above is totally at odds with yours, but Iím making that assumption. Iím also assuming that, according to your principles of the inaccessibility or irrelevancy of a writerís intention, that I cannot make such an assumption about what you have written on CATHR.

About your hanging your head "in confused dismay for having been a Ďbreederí" during your lifetime, this is a facetious statement on your part, and rightly so. I hope that Iíve been clear in CATHR that no parent should expect me to expect them to feel any true dismay about taking on this role. While the attitude Iíve expressed about reproduction in CATHR is negative, often snidely so, I wouldnít want anyone to forego this action out of guilt but out of a viewpoint, true or not, that human life is so problematic that one would best be spared from enduring it. This is an ancient sentiment, but I feel it cannot be repeated too strenuously or too often, however futile it may be to do so. Lost causes are not the worst pursuits a human being can engage in, since they are invariably harmless if carried out in full consciousness that they are futile enterprises compelled by oneís private imperatives. (No tyrant has ever believed himself to be engaged in a lost cause. No one who has tried to end world suffering has thought himself engaged in anything but a lost cause.) To reiterate what should be eminently clear in CATHR, I unequivocally believe that to be alive and conscious is to be doomed to an undeserved condition. There are reasons that I continue in the vertical state, but they have nothing to do with any appeal that life has for me. That this attitude may be unwarranted or pathological is something that each of us must decide for himself. My function--and indeed my pleasure--has been to present reasons why this attitude is neither unwarranted nor pathological. In this endeavor, I know that I will fail. But like the desire to be a parent, I cannot resist it. You are quite right in saying that composing CATHR has on the whole given me the sense of my life being "more worthwhile." At the same time, this delusion faded several times while I was working on the book, and I expect it will dim and flicker out entirely should I live many more years. However, the fact that I completed this project, as with other projects in my life, will remain a satisfaction to me, if only in those moments when I feel satisfied with anything Iíve done.

Iím unsure why you have characterized your "religious temperament," which deviates from many of those around you, as "pretentious." Perhaps your religious temperament may actually take a pretentious form. Iím not sufficiently informed as to its specifics and practice to say whether it does or doesnít. But your reason for self-effacement isnít clear. It just seems strange to me that one would stigmatize his religious temperament as pretentious and still hold to its principles. In a big way, this is admirable. I canít think of a single instance of an individualís religious temperament, or anti-religious temperament, as anything but an unwitting display of pretension to the point of impudence. I donít think there is any other way for someone to declare his religious temperament, or any other type of temperament, save with a complete lack of awareness of his pretentiousness and monstrous impudence. Otherwise, those with an opposing temperament would destroy your intellectual and emotional sovereignty, or the illusion of it, just as the Church did to so many during the Dark Ages. Perhaps your ability to look at literary works as objects would account for your ability to look at yourself in this way.

You hit the nail on the head when you said that I could not have written CATHR except in an "inspired" state. I placed quotes around "inspired" because I would like to make the qualification that I consider my inspiration during the writing of CATHR to be a chemical and neurological phenomenon. Many times when I sat down to work on the book I was in a state of extreme agitation, which is the state in which Iím writing at this moment. If I didnít start out agitated on a given day, my agitation would soon begin and increase until I couldnít bear it any longer. Then I would quit for the day. But agitation is a great stimulant, and when one is stimulated one is also inspired. So mine would be a case of the ability to recollect "blinding futility, cynicism, pessimism, visions of frightening nothingness, cultured barrenness" in agitation rather than tranquility.


Iím very glad that you, and others, have commented on the humor in CATHR. Humor can indeed make the blackness blacker still. So many works that seem to have the most tortured spirits behind them are piss-in-your-pants funny. William Burroughs would be exhibit one. By contrast, works written while their authorsí were situated on a bedrock of complacency are entirely without humor, or their humor is of the sort that absolutely makes oneís skin crawl. I believe it was Mark Twain, a tortured spirit if there ever was one, who said that there is no laughter in heaven.


I canít thank you enough for the following sentence: "The author of CATHR calls you in the long seemingly heart-felt Shakespearean
soliloquy at the end of ĎPlotí, which is about losing the plot." This section is longer in the final version of CATHR. I had hoped that the book was finished when it went on TLO, but Iíve continued working on it. I should say, however, that the final version does not in any way deviate in substance from the one on TLO.

Okay, Iíve reached the point at which I can no longer bear my agitation. A final remark. The last sentence of OFF THE HOOF: "Is CATHR ontological suicide?" I only wish.

TL
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  #8  
By Nemonymous on 06-19-2007
Re: ON THE HOOF

TL, I am very grateful that you should comment on 'On The Hoof'. I did not at all expect comments from you when I wrote it so I had not noticed any 'belatedness'.

I shall keep my reaction to a minimum - as I have all my life been persuaded by the last argument that I have faced... which may explain a mystery you pose about my stance on my own 'religion'. Your comments have remoulded my 'On The Hoof'. It seems electronic 'threads' were made for people like me, as if pieces of my mind are pieced together by other consciousnesses beyond my control. I mean this sincerely, although I can't explain it properly.

The only real comment I will make is about 'The Intentional Fallacy'. I don't like the expressions New Criticism or Death-of-the-author (I think they are something different). I merely thought if one took CATHR to a logical conclusion, one would have to be more sympathetic to the 'Intentional Fallacy' approach. I respect your described approach to authors and their work, of course. And that's the way I will now approach your own work (of which I have been an enormous enjoyer since 1988).

Although my own reaction to your reaction is stunted - (awestruck?) - I hope others will be able to comment on your comments above on this 'my' thread.
des
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  #9  
By Mr Can on 08-22-2007
Re: ON THE HOOF

Mr des said:
It seems electronic 'threads' were made for people like me, as if pieces of my mind are pieced together by other consciousnesses beyond my control.

I hope my stepping upon the magic stairs here are not too much of a sea change to the thread or to your 'consciousness', Mr des!
I came late to the CATHR threads. There is now no CATHR available here, it seems, to check against what you said. This seems to be a very dangerous situation ... certainly for you. You are left in limbo with a thought such as

The Suicide of a God by writing philosophy about its Godhood?

However, you may be calmed by another statement of your own on this thread:

No natural flow in this thread, however, unless someone else enters it with his or her own flow of thought to channel me away from false concoctions.


You are indeed not alone. I shall be back.
Mr Can
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