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Old 09-11-2015   #1
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"Past and Future: Esoteric and Exoteric Philosophy in Weird Fiction"

My latest Nameless Digest article comparing the philosophies of weird fictionists HP Lovecraft and Thomas Ligotti is now available online. Please give it a read, see what you think, comment, like it, share it around, etc. -- thank you! ARTICLE:
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Old 09-11-2015   #2
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Re: "Past and Future: Esoteric and Exoteric Philosophy in Weird Fiction"

Good and informative read! thanks!

"I myself have never seen the Red Tower - no one ever has, and possibly no one ever will. And yet wherever I go people are talking about it. In one way or another they are talking about the nightmarish novelty items or about the mysterious and revolting hyper-organisms, as well as babbling endlessly about the subterranean system of tunnels and the secluded graveyard whose headstones display no names and no dates designating either birth or death"

Thomas Ligotti-The Red Tower
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Old 09-11-2015   #3
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Re: "Past and Future: Esoteric and Exoteric Philosophy in Weird Fiction"

I appreciate your willingness to share.

The Matt Cardin article you reference is also available here at:

The Masters' Eyes Shining with Secrets - THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK
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Old 09-11-2015   #4
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Re: "Past and Future: Esoteric and Exoteric Philosophy in Weird Fiction"

Thanks -- and thanks for linking the Matt Cardin article too, it's an excellent piece.
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Old 09-11-2015   #5
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Re: "Past and Future: Esoteric and Exoteric Philosophy in Weird Fiction"

Thanks for a very enjoyable article, Aaron. It's a thoughtful perspective on the two writers. I agree with your conclusions. I've often thought that Ligotti has created a whole new genre of fiction. One that is innately philosophical, pessimistic, and grimly oneiric. It starts with the dream/nightmare that reflects much of life in the post-postmodern world, while Lovecraft's starts with reality and the indifferent nature of reality. I'm not sure the term "weird fiction" adequately captures the effect of Ligotti's writing.

I found it interesting that Joshi believes Lovecraft did not have a good understanding of what he read in philosophers like Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Clearly, Ligotti does. He captures the Nietzschean rejection of both religious and scientific claims to truth perfectly in his stories. I hope to see writers like Ligotti and others following in his footsteps continue to explore esoterically the horrors of our current reality .

"What lay behind me was no longer any normal, familiar life, that everyday life out of which the impulse to pray raises us, with still at the back of our minds that whensoever we wish we can return. A void was behind me. And in front a wall, a wall of darkness." Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest

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Old 09-12-2015   #6
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Re: "Past and Future: Esoteric and Exoteric Philosophy in Weird Fiction"

Great article, however the link to Joshi's Decline of the West brings one to the wiki page for the work by Oswald Spengler.
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Old 09-12-2015   #7
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Re: "Past and Future: Esoteric and Exoteric Philosophy in Weird Fiction"

Thanks, everyone, for reading and commenting on the article, some very interesting observations and remarks here.

It's very interesting to note the possibility that human beings might become disenchanted with science as they once became disenchanted with religion. Indeed, where does one go from there? I believe further into the "self." And within the self, the darkness and anxiety only grows and grows. So I agree, that could be why Ligotti's writing seems so pertinent to many people at this time.

Also, it does feel as if Ligotti reckons with the philosophers he reads more comprehensibly that HPL; or at least, that he more fully and accurately embodies their concepts in his fiction.

I'll tell Jason about the mixed-up link too, thanks for pointing it out.

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