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Old 01-12-2017   #101
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
I just thought I'd pose a question: If existence itself is broken, whence proceeds coherence?
To poorly paraphrase Camus might some measure of coherence come from:
1. Simply recognizing and acknowledging that existence is, in fact, broken.
2. Thereafter ceasing to expect any meaning or significance to somehow emerge from life, the universe, and everything.
3. Then creating one's own meaning or significance within each of our own pathetic spheres, whether said meaning is consuming gumdrops, collecting barbed wire, or reading weird fiction (while perhaps managing to tolerate whatever created meanings our fellow doomed creatures on this planet choose to manufacture).
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Old 01-12-2017   #102
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
Art is a gestalt, the whole being greater than the sum of the individual parts.
It's regrettable, Cormac McCarthy writes, but books depend on other books. The same, of course, is true in music where composers begin by imitating the work of the composers they admire.
But that's not a bad thing.
As long as skilled artists produce works that feel original there's no need to cast the word into the Outer Darkness.
Variations on a theme, for all practical purposes, are infinite. Happily.
Indeed.
A blend of personal originality and the pervading preternaturalism of literature.

MY WEBSITE: www.nemonymous.com
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Old 01-12-2017   #103
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by mongoose View Post
Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
I just thought I'd pose a question: If existence itself is broken, whence proceeds coherence?
To poorly paraphrase Camus might some measure of coherence come from:
1. Simply recognizing and acknowledging that existence is, in fact, broken.
2. Thereafter ceasing to expect any meaning or significance to somehow emerge from life, the universe, and everything.
3. Then creating one's own meaning or significance within each of our own pathetic spheres, whether said meaning is consuming gumdrops, collecting barbed wire, or reading weird fiction (while perhaps managing to tolerate whatever created meanings our fellow doomed creatures on this planet choose to manufacture).
I certainly recognise that we (are able to) experience existence as broken, but how are we able to do that?

Unless one goes into non-dualism, then 'existence' is fundamental. (If we do go into non-dualism, we certainly can't take the brokenness of existence for granted.) We are contingent upon the fundamentals. I don't see how something contingent upon what is broken would be able to (correctly) judge (by what external standard?) that it was broken.

I'm afraid that my view of things has forever (probably) been changed by a universal application of the liar's paradox in the form of the argument from reason. If we're able to reason correctly (use our reason to make true statements on universal matters), then reason cannot be broken. For reason to be applicable to existence, it must be part of it. If reason is not broken, neither is existence. If existence is broken, then so is reason and all of our judgements on existence.

That is the case I would put.

Anyway, obviously, at best, a side issue on this thread.

"人生夢幻耳" - 高井鴻山

Last edited by qcrisp; 01-12-2017 at 09:59 AM.. Reason: Spelling (contingent)
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Old 01-12-2017   #104
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

I have encountered this minor author in several anthologies, but I certainly won't pursue any of his individual collections. I don't care for his personal views and politics, but no author who treats his fans and colleagues in this way will ever be worthy of my money.
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Old 01-12-2017   #105
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Eh, "minor" in the sense that he isn't and probably never will be known as any sort of mainstream or bestselling author. But I don't think that he could at all be classified as a minor author within his own corner of speculative fiction ("Ligottian" weird fiction). He's certainly one of Ligotti's earliest fully accomplished disciples.
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Old 01-12-2017   #106
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post

Out of Nothing, comes Nothing.
Yes, but if we're taking it to that level, we might as well just expunge the word 'original' from the dictionary, or retain it only to refer to the act of the creation of the universe.
This is in fact the reason why i try never to describe my artistic endeavours in terms of 'creativity,' because i want to keep the idea of 'creation' uniquely associated with, well, The Creator, and with creation ex nihilo. 'For us, there's only the trying.' Or imaginative recombination, as Eliot so elegantly demonstrated with the opus i took that line from.

"What can a thing do with a thing, when it is a thing?"
-Shaykh Ibn Al 'Arabi
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Old 01-12-2017   #107
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
He's my idol, but most of the writers out there citing Aickman as an influence have no idea what made his fiction good and just think 'murk = depth' is a nice lazy cop out for their own linear, atheistic fiction. Seeing the White Dads describe their love of Aickman reminds me of Stewart Lee's comment that James Corden checking out his work was 'like a dog listening to classical music'.
Would you reccomend the Anthology Aickman's Heirs?
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Old 01-12-2017   #108
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
God has had plenty of opportunities to show that He cares, and He has failed each and every time.
If we hold to the description of God as an entity of unimaginable power & endless mercy the essence of whose Being is merely hinted at by our word 'being' & of whose nature human understanding must always fall short, who are we to offer Him opportunities of any kind? On what scale must we imagine these opportunities, and by what standard can we judge them unfulfilled? Can we weigh a single man's gratitude, or a single moment's beauty, against the vileness of society? Is this even our job?
Despair when confronted with these matters, & with the insignificance of personhood, this pessimism in short, is very closely tied to faith, in my experience- is almost a function of it.

Leonardo daVinci, as an advice to apprentices, said it is benificient for the artist to stare at moulded walls and the knots and grain of wood, to see the faces and landscapes in them. Of course, there are no faces and landscapes actually in the wood. Until the apprentice learns to paint what he has imagined & brings them into existence.
Perhaps Mercy works not very differently from this?

"What can a thing do with a thing, when it is a thing?"
-Shaykh Ibn Al 'Arabi
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Old 01-12-2017   #109
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by qcrisp View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
For the record, I love Samuels, but I still believe existence to be ontologically broken beyond repair. I also believe (gasp) it's morally questionable to bring others into existence. I respect the pessimistic aspect(s) of Christianity, but not its message of hope. God has had plenty of opportunities to show that He cares, and He has failed each and every time.

I have yet to come across a satisfactory theodicy. Philosophical pessimism, while it has not provided me with comfort, is at least coherent to me.
I wonder if this might be a suitable place for metaphysical discussion. I hope I'll be forgiven if this is off-topic.

I just thought I'd pose a question: If existence itself is broken, whence proceeds coherence?
I was using the term "coherence" loosely. I simply meant that philosophical pessimism makes sense of my own personal sufferings. I'm aware that that's not a very rigorous description.

You're right that there's a problem with reconciling normativity (making value judgments) with naturalism. Normativity implies a certain transcendence, so the only way to reconcile the two is to reconceptualize what we mean by "reason."

I wish I could say I possess a fully developed account of what I feel is true, but I don't. If my reason tells me to embrace pessimistic atheism, my emotions try to cling to religious belief. If my reason tells me to embrace religious belief, I try to cling to pessimistic atheism.

"I don't understand what I am doing. For I don't practice what I want to do, but instead do what I hate."

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 01-12-2017   #110
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Re: A Pilgrim Stranger

Quote Originally Posted by Ibrahim View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
God has had plenty of opportunities to show that He cares, and He has failed each and every time.
If we hold to the description of God as an entity of unimaginable power & endless mercy the essence of whose Being is merely hinted at by our word 'being' & of whose nature human understanding must always fall short, who are we to offer Him opportunities of any kind? On what scale must we imagine these opportunities, and by what standard can we judge them unfulfilled? Can we weigh a single man's gratitude, or a single moment's beauty, against the vileness of society? Is this even our job?
Despair when confronted with these matters, & with the insignificance of personhood, this pessimism in short, is very closely tied to faith, in my experience- is almost a function of it.

Leonardo daVinci, as an advice to apprentices, said it is benificient for the artist to stare at moulded walls and the knots and grain of wood, to see the faces and landscapes in them. Of course, there are no faces and landscapes actually in the wood. Until the apprentice learns to paint what he has imagined & brings them into existence.
Perhaps Mercy works not very differently from this?
I wrestle with the notion that I might very well have a very shallow conception of God. It's possible that I don't know who God really is due to spiritual sickness. I also genuinely worry that I'm perhaps a misotheist, not an atheist. If I am a misotheist, then I'm sure I'll learn to settle my differences with the Maker down the road - I hope.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"

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