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Old 08-09-2016   #11
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

I have difficulty stomaching the proliferation of lesbian protagonists appearing in Nightmare and Lamplight magazine not because they're lesbian, but because their included lesbianism is so random and such an obvious attempt to garner complimentary reviews and praise from folks of a particular political bent. I sincerely believe that if it suddenly became trendy among the college crowd to champion pandas, 50% of the small press I read would start featuring panda protagonist in an effort to elicit kudos and likes from their respective echo chambers. That's how deeply publications, readers, and authors allow politics and personal philosophies to infect their experience. It's only human.

Yet . . . in spite of the fact that these publications often pander to political interests in ways I find remarkably juvenile, I support their efforts to keep weird fiction and horror alive. I would rather have publications I occasionally disagree with printing the sort of material I want to read and write, than to have no publications whatsoever. The smug satisfaction of never having to hear opposing viewpoints championed through genre literature does not offset the staggering loss of having *no* genre literature.

Per Hidden X/Mark Samuels, the same applies. It's better to have a talented author you may personally disagree with than it is to have a gaping hole where that author's contributions would have been.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, all that rot.
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Old 08-09-2016   #12
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Hidden X, your reasoning on Mark's attitude towards Ligotti is strange; the nuance seems to be that Mark isn't a "trve kvlt" weird fictionist because of this.

By this reasoning, TLO doesn't truly appreciate Lovecraft because we despise the commercial fetishism of a small part of Lovecraft's output.

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Old 08-09-2016   #13
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

I find it weirdly charming Mark is always critical of this forum and fanbase considering we all love him.

As somebody who thinks Catholicism is hateful ####, I'd like to read Mark's novel. He has possibly taken his weird fiction as far as he can, whilst this sounds like more of a personal venture akin to Machen's underrated last masterpiece The Secret Glory. I admire him for doing something so clearly non-commercial. He could easily have played the game and been one of those Cthulhu junk writers of the 'in crowd', but instead he has alienated himself and gone off to write about the Jesus. This is why Mark is trve kvlt.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 08-09-2016   #14
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Yeah, Mark's new novel sounds like it could be pretty interesting, and I hope he finds a publisher for it. As I commented on his blog way back when, the Catholic novel is something of a lost art form in these times: Huysmans was, of course, one of the masters of that particular milieu.

I do envy Mark his faith, in much the same manner that I envy Ligotti's lack of faith, if that makes sense. I do at times find his constant harping on modernity and secularism to be wearying, but at least it's elegantly expressed. I'm kind of curious if he's read Leon Bloy because that seems like a writer who would be right up his alley.

The Vox Day comparison makes no sense at all. It's been awhile since I corresponded with Mark but I can't recall any instance where he expressed views that could be considered racist/homophobic/misogynist (or what have you). Hell, iirc he even considers Baron Corvo one of his favorite writers. And while I'm sure he doesn't agree with a lot of the actions and stances of some of the more radical feminist/gay/race activists out there today, to be 100% honest I don't always agree with their actions myself, even if I feel their hearts are in the right place.

"The Outsider must find a direction and commit himself to it, not lie moping about the meaninglessness of the world."
-Colin Wilson, Religion and the Rebel
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Old 08-09-2016   #15
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by Hidden X View Post
I'm surprised that you people keep promoting this person's work, given his feelings about Ligotti and his fans... Just take a look at his blog, man is weird fiction's equivalent of Vox Day. Definitely not someone who should be given even more space and visibility.

BE AT PEACE, BEAST!

Lucian pigeon-holed the letter solemnly in the receptacle lettered 'Barbarians.' ~ The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen
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Old 08-09-2016   #16
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

I don't know Mark very well, but he has always struck me as a sort of old guard British conservative Christian in line with somebody like Peter Hitchens than a racial supremacist. That was an unfair insult. As a socialist/anarchist I don't agree with any of his views, and I think such ideas make the world a worse place, but they're not particularly shocking and certainly not worthy of harassment and censorship, which is what our new friend seems to be inciting.

I'm considered a far-left freak, but even I think there is a lot of bull#### fake political correctness in the weird fiction community right now used to feed narcissism rather than address any problems. For Mark's peace of mind, it's probably for the best he has moved away from it for the time being as I could easily imagine him being the subject of harassment campaigns for his views by the hypocritical Cthulhu junk crowd.

South Park recently nailed all this stuff:


'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 08-09-2016   #17
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

I take pride that the weird fiction community is incredibly diverse and inclusive, in spite of its largely reactionary roots. (In part, I suppose, because the "weird" moniker is pretty nebulous.)

James is correct, but I suspect that it is largely because weird literature is market-driven like all other popular literature; a tide of dull, uninspired crap drowns out what is actually interesting because it's safe and safe sells. It's always important to remember that sales tend to be indicative of comfort rather than challenge.

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Old 08-09-2016   #18
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

It's actively amusing seeing poseur hacks try and maintain some dark, mysterious neo-Lovecraft image as proponents of cosmic horror and indifference whilst balancing that with shallow inspirational feel good social activism. #NoLivesMatter

In times such as this, I rate the crazy ranting Christian outsider for at least having something to say. The Tower is a good example of this in Mark's fiction. It's an anti-socialism, anti-neoliberalism and anti-modernity polemic, and it's fantastic. He's somebody with more to say than how much he likes Lovecraft and comic books, even if we don't always (or often) agree with what he has to say.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 08-09-2016   #19
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

I stand behind my words. I find much of what I have read on his blog to be reprehensible. I tried to engage him more than once, but my comments were never once approved on his blog, so I gave up on that. I also find it impossible to hold any respect for a man that often, and with evident glee, attacks views of the person who is the sole reason for his "fame".

I'm done reading his work, and I am immensely sorry for every cent of mine that went to person that is capable of holding such views in this day and age.

That is all I have to say on this subject. I don't feel like arguing with a dozen or so old timers on a forum where I've just registered. Suffice it to say that I obviously misjudged some members whose posts I've read during the time I have spent lurking around here.
Have a nice day folks.
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Old 08-09-2016   #20
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

His views on Marx and socialism strike me as spectacularly ill-informed, but Robert Aickman had the same views. Doesn't stop Aickman being my favourite writer and Samuels probably being in my top ten modern (Ramsey Campbell onward) weird writers.

I suspect you're a troll or somebody's alt as it seems fairly unlikely a newbie would register and instantly carry on about some beef with an old regular who left.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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