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Old 08-08-2016   #1
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A Pilgrim Stranger

Posted on Mark's blog recently.

A Pilgrim Stranger | Mark Samuels


"Word up. The first revision of my full length novel, A Pilgrim Stranger, in the Trad-Catholic genre is almost complete. The thing is a searing fictional indictment of secularism and modernity. So, no surprises there.

I fear it’s a case of J.K.Huysmans meets Evelyn Waugh.

Raise a glass in its honour. Or not."


I wonder if this novel is weird fiction. " J.K.Huysmans meets Evelyn Waugh." It could have been worse. At least he didn't mention C.S. Lewis.

I find Mark's descent into superstition fascinating. I think he recounted that his psychotic break from reality happened in his late 20s. I am a fan of his fiction. Not so much of what he considers non-fiction. But I might read it.

Last edited by bendk; 08-08-2016 at 07:27 PM..
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Old 08-09-2016   #2
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

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.
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Old 08-09-2016   #3
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by Hidden X View Post
Definitely not someone who should be given even more ...visibility.
Indeed where will this dangerous tolerance of dissenting views lead...


On the opposing argument (you appreciate dialectics I’m sure) an invisible Mark might challenge any headman at Belbury (referenced or otherwise) or beyond, roaming the interstitial byways able to describe the locale of a chateau at Lourps and distinguish it from Fontenay-aux-roses–and would do so with a nod to whoever in the occasional tale, not unlike a Chestertonian flying inn – one suspects he’s best kept visible (the Stokers would be safer).

Last edited by Acutely decayed; 08-09-2016 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 08-09-2016   #4
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

He's not even close to Vox Day, or the Catholic John C Wright. Not even David A Riley comes close to Day's extreme conservatism.

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Old 08-09-2016   #5
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
He's not even close to Vox Day, or the Catholic John C Wright. Not even David A Riley comes close to Day's extreme conservatism.
Vox Day is by his own admission decidedly not a conservative, he's a a racial Nationalist Libertarian with overtly eugenicist views (God, sometimes I just wish I could throttle the men who wrote The Bell Curve) coupled with some kind of bullying pickup artist Game Theory bit of his own creation.

Wright is a more accurate picture of a hardline Catholic conservative. I used to enjoy his blog entries for the non-materialist, space positivist stance on modern sci fi but after he posted an entry attacking the notion of rape laws within marriage even I found him too queasy. His continued passive endorsement of Day is odd too - that eugenics, IQ, sexual success view of persons that latter put forward strikes me as far closer to scientific materialism.
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Old 01-29-2017   #6
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Still cracking up over the idea that Weird Fiction kids are not supposed to use obscure words. Everyone's favorites HP Sauce and Clark Bar Smith used more ridiculous words than anyone.
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Old 01-29-2017   #7
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

M. P. Shiel is the undisputed weird fiction master of insanely florid and obscure language. His Shapes in the Fire collection is essential for seekers of bizarre and baroque prose.

Most people (including Lovecraft) prefer the revised versions of his stories with normal prose. These people are deplorably wrong.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
Still cracking up over the idea that Weird Fiction kids are not supposed to use obscure words. Everyone's favorites HP Sauce and Clark Bar Smith used more ridiculous words than anyone.
I'll be honest, some of Frater_Tsalal's review reads more like an exaggerated parody of Lovecraft and Clark's prose by making an effort to employ as many unusual (and unnecessary) adjectives or words as possible whenever the chance presents itself. I hope it was written with a bit of irony at least.

EDIT: To clarify, I'm not trying to be harsh. I found the review entertaining in a way. I appreciate any output the community gives on fiction - but some of those word choices seemed superfluous to me even in the context of a weird fiction review! I can understand why that other poster found it a bit hard to take seriously, even if he may have been slightly hostile for little reason.

Last edited by nihilsum; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:44 PM..
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by nihilsum View Post
I'll be honest, some of Frater_Tsalal's review reads more like an exaggerated parody of Lovecraft and Clark's prose by making an effort to employ as many unusual (and unnecessary) adjectives or words as possible whenever the chance presents itself. I hope it was written with a bit of irony at least.

EDIT: To clarify, I'm not trying to be harsh. I found the review entertaining in a way. I appreciate any output the community gives on fiction - but some of those word choices seemed superfluous to me even in the context of a weird fiction review! I can understand why that other poster found it a bit hard to take seriously, even if he may have been slightly hostile for little reason.
Oh man, if you think that the vocabulary for that review was over the top, I'd advise you to steer clear of my own fiction! I've never denied that I have a hardcore fetish for purple prose and obscure/archaic words, which I suppose is natural when one counts among their favorite writers Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, J.K. Huysmans (actually, a lot of the French Decadent writers suffered from this "flaw"), certain occultists such as Kenneth Grant and Michael Bertiaux, and Stephen R. Donaldson (in fact, I believe I mentioned earlier in this thread how I was reading a Stephen R. Donaldson novel around the same time as I was reading Mark's book). I know that some people find this irritating but to each their own. When I review a book written by a friend on Goodreads I tend to throw out all restraint and try to achieve a bombastic/operatic effect that I hope will interest other readers of a particular ilk (and really, so many Goodreads reviews are very bland).

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Old 08-09-2016   #10
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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.
The internet is very much a place where we see through a glass darkly. I have tended to refrain from attempting to correct this sort of misconception because I'm not sure how much it's my business and it is, I think, bound to be an eternal product of the internet. However, I think the above assessment betrays a pronounced tone-deafness to ethos. The comparison with Vox Day, in particular, strikes me as about as accurate as comparing an antelope to an earwig because neither of them are a jellyfish.

As for his feelings about Ligotti, whenever I've been in his company, he's always spoken most respectfully of Ligotti whilst disagreeing strongly with his philosophy. I am not sure I know anyone who takes weird fiction as seriously as Mark does and he has a very thorough understanding and appreciation of Ligotti's importance in the field.

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