THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK
Go Back   THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK > Discussion & Interpretation > Ligotti Influences > Jorge Luis Borges
Home Forums Content Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Contagion Members Media Diversion Info Register
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes Translate
Old 05-10-2005   #1
ElHI's Avatar
ElHI
Mystic
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 206
Quotes: 1
Points: 26,147, Level: 100 Points: 26,147, Level: 100 Points: 26,147, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

I'm in the process of re-reading most of my collection of Jorge Luis Borges. I can imagine that Ligotti enjoys JLB, but its influence is less obvious to me than some other writers in this topic.

Borges is always very playful in his stories, and is more on the optimistic side of mankind than Ligotti will ever be (or am I totally mistaken in my recollections?).

Of course there is "The Library of Byzantium" that could be an echo to "The Library of Babel". But in its introduction to "Ficciones" (or at least the introduction to the French translation of it that I'm reading), JLB says that this particular story is not his in the first place, and has already been written many times before (although he does not state any reference).

"How he made them laugh... sometimes"
ElHI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2005   #2
Severini's Avatar
Severini
Mystic
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 133
Quotes: 0
Points: 11,808, Level: 75 Points: 11,808, Level: 75 Points: 11,808, Level: 75
Level up: 20% Level up: 20% Level up: 20%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Maybe I end up saying a lot of nonsense here but this is my opinion about Borgesī influence over Ligotti.
I think that anyone who tries to imitate Borges, to follow his path full of mirrors and doubles, surely misunderstood him.If you grasped, at least a particle (my case) of Borgesī words, you know you cannot imitate him.Even Borges being the most seductive writer Iīve ever read.Itīs very easy to be seducted by his wit, the beautiful and mindbending images and concepts he creates.But if you really get him, you donīt copy him.
Thatīs why I think is sometimes hard to see Borges' influece in a writer...most of what they do is some reference to a image from Borges or an allusion to some story...but not direct imitation like we see so commonly with many other writers. Between Ligotti and Borges, I see the influence, but only through contrast.
Borges tries to be soft, always.He is never heavy.Even when he writes about towers of blood, as in the short story "Tlon,Uqbar,Orbis Tertius", is very easy to skip that dreadful image of a "tower of blood".This is why when I see any reference to that story, no one talks about that particular image.
They tell about the languages in Tlon, the objects Tlon people find based in their spectations, the earth slowly becoming Tlon, everything but the tower of blood. Borges most macabre lines are easy to went unnoticed due to the lightness he writes about them The death and suicide in the story "The library of Babel" is rarely mentioned as well.
I am not, by any means, saying that Borges is shallow (how stupid this conclusion would be), I am saying that his work is most of the times is light.Borges himself said his stories are made to distract and to move.
And Ligotti, Ligotti is the oposite.You can see, you can feel the glacial heavyness in every sentence of his work.
There are so many examples...
Who else could tell us about a "killing sadness", about a "staring void", about the " nightmare of the organism",
"bodies heaped and unwhole, limbs projected without order", "the starless cities of insanity (and their slums)", the heavy pitched voice of Dr. Thoss, the Nethescurial manuscript (here I see a clear contrast-I think the Nethescurial manuscript is an evil version of Borges description of what he sees while he contemplates "the Aleph") and so on, and print these images on our minds so effectively?
But I agree, you have to have a certain tendency, a certain dark seed which Ligotti nourishes, and makes it grow and grow.This is why Matt Cardin is right when says so aptly that Ligotti can cause a mild depression and also that he is not for everyone.
One can talk about the invention and (sometimes) description of imaginary books is something Ligotti might have taken from Borges. But is clear that this aspect Ligotti taken from Lovecraft.One could talk about the similat ways that Borges and Ligotti use to create a story, thinking about them most as essays than stories.But this aspect Ligotti might have taken from Lovecraft or Poe.
This is how is see the influence.The evil in Borges work exists, but he misdirects us from them.This is understandable when you know he atested he is "uncapable of feeling hate".His perplexity upon the universe is easy to see but the evil in his words is not.And Thomas Ligotti shows us everything.

If you're a wizard, why do you wear glasses?
Severini is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanks From:
With Strength I Burn (02-18-2016)
Old 05-13-2005   #3
The Silent One's Avatar
The Silent One
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 827
Quotes: 1
Points: 27,484, Level: 100 Points: 27,484, Level: 100 Points: 27,484, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Quote Originally Posted by Severini";p=&quot View Post
Maybe I end up saying a lot of nonsense here but this is my opinion about Borgesī influence over Ligotti.
I think that anyone who tries to imitate Borges, to follow his path full of mirrors and doubles, surely misunderstood him.If you grasped, at least a particle (my case) of Borgesī words, you know you cannot imitate him.Even Borges being the most seductive writer Iīve ever read.Itīs very easy to be seducted by his wit, the beautiful and mindbending images and concepts he creates.But if you really get him, you donīt copy him.
Thatīs why I think is sometimes hard to see Borges' influece in a writer...most of what they do is some reference to a image from Borges or an allusion to some story...but not direct imitation like we see so commonly with many other writers. Between Ligotti and Borges, I see the influence, but only through contrast.
Borges tries to be soft, always.He is never heavy.Even when he writes about towers of blood, as in the short story "Tlon,Uqbar,Orbis Tertius", is very easy to skip that dreadful image of a "tower of blood".This is why when I see any reference to that story, no one talks about that particular image.
They tell about the languages in Tlon, the objects Tlon people find based in their spectations, the earth slowly becoming Tlon, everything but the tower of blood. Borges most macabre lines are easy to went unnoticed due to the lightness he writes about them The death and suicide in the story "The library of Babel" is rarely mentioned as well.
I am not, by any means, saying that Borges is shallow (how stupid this conclusion would be), I am saying that his work is most of the times is light.Borges himself said his stories are made to distract and to move.
And Ligotti, Ligotti is the oposite.You can see, you can feel the glacial heavyness in every sentence of his work.
There are so many examples...
Who else could tell us about a "killing sadness", about a "staring void", about the " nightmare of the organism",
"bodies heaped and unwhole, limbs projected without order", "the starless cities of insanity (and their slums)", the heavy pitched voice of Dr. Thoss, the Nethescurial manuscript (here I see a clear contrast-I think the Nethescurial manuscript is an evil version of Borges description of what he sees while he contemplates "the Aleph") and so on, and print these images on our minds so effectively?
But I agree, you have to have a certain tendency, a certain dark seed which Ligotti nourishes, and makes it grow and grow.This is why Matt Cardin is right when says so aptly that Ligotti can cause a mild depression and also that he is not for everyone.
One can talk about the invention and (sometimes) description of imaginary books is something Ligotti might have taken from Borges. But is clear that this aspect Ligotti taken from Lovecraft.One could talk about the similat ways that Borges and Ligotti use to create a story, thinking about them most as essays than stories.But this aspect Ligotti might have taken from Lovecraft or Poe.
This is how is see the influence.The evil in Borges work exists, but he misdirects us from them.This is understandable when you know he atested he is "uncapable of feeling hate".His perplexity upon the universe is easy to see but the evil in his words is not.And Thomas Ligotti shows us everything.
True are your words, but one can find a sense of extreme unease when reading "The Book of Sand", probably because he realised that the human mind can't grasp infinity, making the conept of Lovecraftian horror solid, but in an inanimate way. The Necronomicon of our friend Howard is less terrifying because not only do you see passages, but it has an end. The Book of Sand is utterly horrifying because no maker is known and it has no beginning or end. A philosopher's hell :twisted:.

"And into his dreams he fell...and forever."
The Silent One is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2005   #4
ElHI's Avatar
ElHI
Mystic
Threadstarter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 206
Quotes: 1
Points: 26,147, Level: 100 Points: 26,147, Level: 100 Points: 26,147, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Severini,

I think you've got it right! Thanks for clearing up my mind! And I sure wish my Spanish would be good enough to read Borges dans le texte.


As for "imitations" of Borges, some of them are quite well done. I've recently read "A New Universal History of Infamy" by Rhys Hughes and it is at once entertaining on its own and when compared to the original. A recommended book, even if Hughes is not in the least Ligottian!

"How he made them laugh... sometimes"
ElHI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2005   #5
Karnos's Avatar
Karnos
Chymist
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 418
Quotes: 0
Points: 16,560, Level: 88 Points: 16,560, Level: 88 Points: 16,560, Level: 88
Level up: 89% Level up: 89% Level up: 89%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Quote Originally Posted by ElHI";p=&quot View Post
But in its introduction to "Ficciones" (or at least the introduction to the French translation of it that I'm reading), JLB says that this particular story is not his in the first place, and has already been written many times before (although he does not state any reference).
Borges was a rather mystical man. I think that in referring to that story he is just playing with the metaphysics of the story itself; that all the texts that have been and will be written are all contained in there. Therefore, The Library of Babel and Ficciones itself are already contained in that library.

I like Borges, I love his fiction, despite its "lightness" when compared to the more somber landscapes I like in fiction and personally practice in my own writing. But he is an influence, nonetheless. Like Lovecraft, he crams up made up books and information with factual sources, giving you a sense of reality. His story "Deutsches Requiem" (My favorite Borges piece) has footnotes an whatnot to give a rather "essay" form to the story.

What I think Ligotti learned from Borges (the same way I learned it from both Borges and Ligotti) is the ability to tell the tale as if somehow detached from the events: The narrator is just telling the events around him; only rarely (as in Deutsches Requiem) does the author engage in actual emotional showings.

Also, there is a small detail that finds its way in both The Library of Babel (in Ficciones) and Deutsches Requiem (in El Aleph) the little paragraphs that reads "Que el Cielo exista, aunque nuestro lugar sea el Infierno"/May Heaven exist, even though our place is in Hell"

Anyway, people die...
-Current 93


I am simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
-Emil Cioran
Karnos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2005   #6
Karnos's Avatar
Karnos
Chymist
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 418
Quotes: 0
Points: 16,560, Level: 88 Points: 16,560, Level: 88 Points: 16,560, Level: 88
Level up: 89% Level up: 89% Level up: 89%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Quote Originally Posted by Severini";p=&quot View Post
Borges tries to be soft, always.He is never heavy.Even when he writes about towers of blood, as in the short story "Tlon,Uqbar,Orbis Tertius", is very easy to skip that dreadful image of a "tower of blood"..
Ah, that's another very good story by Borges, it actually reminds me of a true book, an encyclopedia, dreamt by the Italian graphic designer Luigi Seraphini. It is called "Codex Seraphinianus" and if you're lucky you'll find a used copy for as little as 500 euros!

I encountered this book after making some research on the Voynich Manuscript (A manuscript that would be of interest to any weird fiction aficionado, just make a quick google on it) while in Barcelona. Turns out the Codex Seraphinianus is an encyclopedia written in an imaginary language (that only Seraphini understands) with non existent letters and they talk about fauna, flora, architecture, customs and a plethora of other things that exist in a non existent world.

After finding out about this book, I couldn't help but think about Borges' own invention. I did my best to find myself a copy, and I actually did: I had to travel all the way to Leon, ten hours train drive from Barcelona, to a used bookstore to buy the book for 300 euros... by the time I arrived, they had sold it :evil:

I'm still looking for it, and I have word of a few copies that might be found in Buenos Aires or Mexico City... I might drop by one of these days to get it, that book has become one of my most powerful obsessions...

Anyway, people die...
-Current 93


I am simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
-Emil Cioran
Karnos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2005   #7
Severini's Avatar
Severini
Mystic
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 133
Quotes: 0
Points: 11,808, Level: 75 Points: 11,808, Level: 75 Points: 11,808, Level: 75
Level up: 20% Level up: 20% Level up: 20%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Hey karnos,

What a intriguing book!I got curious but even if it was avaible, I
couldnīt spend 300 euros in a book

Speaking about Borges' and Ligottiīs detachment,

It was a wise perception, but I donīt think this aspect,
the feel of "tell a tale" instead of "experience it" is often in
Ligotti.Scanning the nightmare factory I recall only
"The red tower", to be told by an "observer (or someone who heard it)" and not a witness...
"In a foreign town..." has this feeling too.

This happens more often in Borges, but besides "Deutches Requiem",
many of his late stories (The book of sand and Brodieīs report, for instance)
are more intimate, not detached, as Borgesī stories in Aleph or Fictions,
(I think this may be due to the fact that they are composed as
essays, observations, but the late Borges, opted for the "straight"
narrative-he attested to be imitating Kipling style).
There is an uncollected story in which he predicts the method and the day of his own suicide
(the story is called "august 25th, 1983").After the day passed,
a reporter asked Borges why didnīt he kill himself...he answerred that he didnīt do it
due to cowardice.

If you're a wizard, why do you wear glasses?
Severini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005   #8
Karnos's Avatar
Karnos
Chymist
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 418
Quotes: 0
Points: 16,560, Level: 88 Points: 16,560, Level: 88 Points: 16,560, Level: 88
Level up: 89% Level up: 89% Level up: 89%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Quote Originally Posted by Severini";p=&quot View Post
There is an uncollected story in which he predicts the method and the day of his own suicide
(the story is called "august 25th, 1983").After the day passed,
a reporter asked Borges why didnīt he kill himself...he answerred that he didnīt do it
due to cowardice.
Where did you read that story? Never heard of it... in some of those "Complete Works" that show up once in a while? You picked up my interest!

Anyway, people die...
-Current 93


I am simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
-Emil Cioran
Karnos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005   #9
Severini's Avatar
Severini
Mystic
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 133
Quotes: 0
Points: 11,808, Level: 75 Points: 11,808, Level: 75 Points: 11,808, Level: 75
Level up: 20% Level up: 20% Level up: 20%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

In the brazilian edition of Borges complete works 1975-1985 (3rd volume, Editora Globo) there is a section called " A memÃģria de Shakespeare" which contains 4 stories uncollected, released in 1983.They are (I will tell the titles in portuguese-it would be stupid translate a translation):

25 de agosto de 1983
Tigres azuis
A rosa de Paracelso
A memÃģria de Shakespeare

PS: I bought it real cheap in a Brazilian webstore (I mean REAL CHEAP - R$ 20, more or less 6 euros).But they donīt have it anymore.But is easy to find it (of course for a much more expensive price) in Brazil.

If you're a wizard, why do you wear glasses?
Severini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2005   #10
Karnos's Avatar
Karnos
Chymist
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 418
Quotes: 0
Points: 16,560, Level: 88 Points: 16,560, Level: 88 Points: 16,560, Level: 88
Level up: 89% Level up: 89% Level up: 89%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Is he an influence or just a (very) good read?

Quote Originally Posted by Severini";p=&quot View Post

25 de agosto de 1983
Tigres azuis
A rosa de Paracelso
A memÃģria de Shakespeare

.
Thanks a lot, Severini. I take it the original titles, therefore, ought to be:

-25 de Agosto de 1983 (Obviously )
-Tigres Azules (?)
-Una rosa de Paracelso (?)
-En Memoria de Shakespeare (Obviously too!)

Anyway, people die...
-Current 93


I am simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
-Emil Cioran
Karnos is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
good, influence, read

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lovecraft and Influence Murony_Pyre Ligotti Influences 6 06-25-2013 07:01 AM
Borges' influence on The Red Tower? Danny Mason Keener General Discussion 2 08-17-2012 10:09 PM
Influence of dreams? tehuti88 General Discussion 4 12-20-2010 11:48 AM
Authors Who Write 'Under The Influence' Julian Karswell Off Topic 14 11-01-2010 01:01 PM
Ligotti Influence or Influenced? reasony Personal 1 10-24-2008 09:12 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:50 PM.



Style Based on SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER as Published by Silver Scarab Press
Design and Artwork by Harry Morris
Emulated in Hell by Dr. Bantham
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Template-Modifications by TMS