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Old 11-26-2014   #1
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Occult Detective Genre

Has Thomas Ligotti ever made a foray into the Occult Detective genre? I've only read Grimscribe, and a handful of other stories that appeared in various anthologies (The Last Feast of the Harlequin got me interested in his work, what a story!).

I'm curious because I'm a fan of the genre. Is there a Ligotti version of a Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin or Thomas Carnacki kicking around in any of his works?
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Old 11-26-2014   #2
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Re: Occult Detective Genre

Quote Originally Posted by Fenris Technique View Post
Has Thomas Ligotti ever made a foray into the Occult Detective genre? I've only read Grimscribe, and a handful of other stories that appeared in various anthologies (The Last Feast of the Harlequin got me interested in his work, what a story!).

I'm curious because I'm a fan of the genre. Is there a Ligotti version of a Le Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin or Thomas Carnacki kicking around in any of his works?
Fenris, you need to seek out Ligotti's collaboration with Brandon Trenz, a screenplay called CRAMPTON. It was originally penned as an X-FILES episode and appeared on TLO for the first time about 15 years ago. That'll give you the fix you crave. It's remarkable.

Other than that, I'd check out MY WORK IS NOT YET DONE, which does have some Occult Detective elements. There are even literally a couple of police detectives in MWINYD, but Ligotti didn’t keep them on stage very long—just long enough for them to advance the plot of the story. I think it's safe to say that Ligotti's not really interested in depicting detectives, cop or otherwise, "realistically."

It occurs to me that his "Purity" has a slight Occult Detective flavor as well. In fact, I'd add "The Bungalow House" and "Gas Station Carnivals" to the mix as well. At the very least, all the stories contain slowly unfolding mysteries. Hope this helps!

"...the uncanny is to me the defining trait of this strange and terrible world and our strange and terrible minds." --Thomas Ligotti
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Old 11-26-2014   #3
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Re: Occult Detective Genre

I was thinking “The Dreaming of Nortown”. Following somebody around to see what they do or where they go strikes me as quintessentially detectivesque. But it's really not a detective story.
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Old 11-26-2014   #4
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Re: Occult Detective Genre

"Nethescurial," of course, has an old school, Lovecraftian investigator/intellectual uncovering more than is good for him.

"...the uncanny is to me the defining trait of this strange and terrible world and our strange and terrible minds." --Thomas Ligotti
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Old 11-26-2014   #5
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Re: Occult Detective Genre

Oddly, "The Strange Design of Master Rignolo" also comes to mind.

"...the uncanny is to me the defining trait of this strange and terrible world and our strange and terrible minds." --Thomas Ligotti
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Old 11-26-2014   #6
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Re: Occult Detective Genre

Maybe “Teatro Grottesco”? The narrator trying to figure out what the Teatro is and how to approach them, and the other man who deliberately set out to find them. Could be argued there was some detective work involved (though, again, not a detective story.)

But yeah, there's always Crampton.
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Old 11-26-2014   #7
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Re: Occult Detective Genre

Quote Originally Posted by ramonoski View Post
Maybe “Teatro Grottesco”? The narrator trying to figure out what the Teatro is and how to approach them, and the other man who deliberately set out to find them. Could be argued there was some detective work involved (though, again, not a detective story.)

But yeah, there's always Crampton.
Yes, good catch.

"...the uncanny is to me the defining trait of this strange and terrible world and our strange and terrible minds." --Thomas Ligotti
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Old 11-26-2014   #8
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Re: Occult Detective Genre

Thanks for the suggestions, just checked out Crampton . . . WOW! I'm really impressed with that one, a shame it never made it to the screen. It reminds me vaguely of the creepiest X-Files episode I ever watched, one called Field Trip by Frank Spotnitz. Yet that story relied on hallucinogens to explain the creeping weirdness where Ligotti's piece lets madness reign without using some chemical-crutch explanation.

Really sorry the X-Files didn't pick that up. They missed out on a good story.
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Old 11-26-2014   #9
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Re: Occult Detective Genre

It's not quite a detective story, but the first-person narrator of "The Last Feast of Harlequin" is an anthropologist investigating the strange doings in the town of Mirocaw.
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Old 12-29-2014   #10
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Re: Occult Detective Genre

I really enjoyed Crampton.

If only someone would think to make a Ligotti style detective drama. It could be called Authentic Investigator and maybe star someone from Cheers and someone who has spent too long slumming in romcoms -- John Ratzenberger and Jennifer Aniston.

The Mask Behind the Face, Pendragon Press 2005
Shards of Dreams, Double Dragon eBooks 2004
Spare Parts, Rainfall Books 2003

Stuart Young\''s blog: http://stuartyoungwriter.blogspot.co.uk/
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