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Old 12-01-2016   #1
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PC trashing of Weird Fiction

Mark S was talking about this on his blog. Apparently, it's a leftist trashing of weird fiction that features an ad hominem on Ligotti. Haven't yet listened myself, but am interested to know if anyone else has.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b083qy59
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Old 12-01-2016   #2
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Re: PC trashing of Weird Fiction

Am in the process of listening to it now. So far no overt trashing, but already a massive error. The host claimed that Lovecraft intended Cthulhu to be the "embodiment of evil". A load of ####.

EDIT: Finished the segment on weird fiction.The discussion focused primarily on the aesthetic and social context of the New Weird movement. The worst thing they did was make blatant factual errors like the above and misabeling Ligotti as a nihilist.

I think Mark overreacted to this. They brought up Lovecraft's racism and xenophobia, but merely mentioning these facts about Lovecraft's character does not equate trashing weird literature.

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Old 12-01-2016   #3
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Re: PC trashing of Weird Fiction

I didn't think it was a PC attack on the genre, but it was still terrible. I thought the programme was diffuse, stilted and not at all informative, probably because 'weird fiction' is so broad a term as to be meaningless at this point. Once nihilism was conflated with xenophobia because of its 'negativity' I gave up.

Typical Derlethian fan culture bollocks about the Mythos and (this bothers me most) Lovecraft somehow pioneering horror fiction without happy endings. Doesn't even phase me any more. A bunch of robots repeating hoary cliches about a genre they don't understand. It didn't strike me as much different to a Lovecraft Ezine article, honestly.

I think that could have been an interesting discussion, but it was let down by such confused, unfocused moderation that If I were unfamiliar with weird fiction before listening, I would be far more baffled and uninterested now.

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Old 12-01-2016   #4
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Re: PC trashing of Weird Fiction

I don't think personal computers have anything against weird fiction.

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Old 12-01-2016   #5
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Re: PC trashing of Weird Fiction

For me weird fiction is about reconciling the material with the immaterial self and the finite with the infinite in a poetic process that has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It can't easily be summed up, so pop culture simplifies the narrative to being some racist bloke from the 30s who wrote about space aliens, and his subsequent fanbase's tributes to him. Sadly, this is how much of the weird fiction elite also view it.

I am rereading Blackwood's Descent Into Egypt to remind me why I'm even so fanatical about this literature.

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Old 12-01-2016   #6
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Re: PC trashing of Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
I don't think personal computers have anything against weird fiction.
The reverse, however, might be true, depending on who you ask.

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Old 12-01-2016   #7
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Re: PC trashing of Weird Fiction

Weird fiction of the Lovecraft/Ligotti vein, with stories that are almost completely pessimistic in tone with endings that are not good or ambiguous at best, and highlight the insignificance or powerlessness of humanity against other forces, contrasted with mainstream horror that usually provides some light at the end of tunnel no matter how gory the ride, is always going to be a fringe literature. So, its authors are going to be picked on if not totally ignored by the culture at large and, in Lovecraft's case, ripped to shreds by the PC.

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Old 12-01-2016   #8
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Re: PC trashing of Weird Fiction

Just two comments:

I have enjoyed this thread.

I have no intention of listening to this broadcast.
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Old 12-01-2016   #9
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Re: PC trashing of Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
A bunch of robots repeating hoary cliches about a genre they don't understand. It didn't strike me as much different to a Lovecraft Ezine article, honestly.
(Aside: I've read many excellent Lovecraft eZine articles.)

"...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 12-01-2016   #10
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Re: PC trashing of Weird Fiction

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
For me weird fiction is about reconciling the material with the immaterial self and the finite with the infinite in a poetic process that has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It can't easily be summed up, so pop culture simplifies the narrative to being some racist bloke from the 30s who wrote about space aliens, and his subsequent fanbase's tributes to him. Sadly, this is how much of the weird fiction elite also view it.

I am rereading Blackwood's Descent Into Egypt to remind me why I'm even so fanatical about this literature.
I like your "Hegelian" definition. I actually dislike the title "weird fiction." I'd prefer to call it something else, but I don't know what exactly what. The title "weird" automatically implies something like an obscure subgenre for maladaptive individuals (perhaps the latter part is somewhat true).

Although I'm incapable of coming up with a consistent definition of what constitutes "weird fiction," I believe it ought to produce a kind of resignation in the reader with respect to existence. I love Lovecraft and Ligotti for the simple reason that both produce in me a restful feeling of contempt for the cosmos. Whatever pain I've experienced in the past is partially negated by the knowledge that the universe, along with everything in it, was all for nothing. Whether one carries this feeling under the banner of "indifferentism" or the belief that the universe is inherently wicked is ultimately irrelevant. The point is that it enables us to see the human condition for what it is through an aesthetic frame or lens.

"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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