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Old 12-07-2009   #11
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Re: Define Ligottian/Ligottiesque

Transendental absurdity is a great phrase. There's also a the magical way that Mr. Ligotti focuses on the things that we usually don't observe which those things on which we usually focus are slightly off-centered and vague. I'm sure that someone can come up with a better term but right now I'm using metaphysical parallaxism. One more thing to consider is that even when a story takes place during daylight hours everything seems to take place in the dark. Only a very few things in any story appear to be in the light and that is often only in comparison to the dark background. It's something akin to theatrical lighting but I can't come up with an accurate term. Can anyone think of a good phrase for this central concern?

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Old 12-07-2009   #12
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Re: Define Ligottian/Ligottiesque

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. D. View Post
Transendental absurdity is a great phrase.
Thanks.

Quote
There's also a the magical way that Mr. Ligotti focuses on the things that we usually don't observe which those things on which we usually focus are slightly off-centered and vague.
Kentucky windage?
Squinting between the floaters?
Oblique re-focussing?
Reading beteen the lines rephrased as 'focussing between the realities'?
Re-sighting the blind spot?
interstitialising?

Quote
It's something akin to theatrical lighting but I can't come up with an accurate term. Can anyone think of a good phrase for this central concern?
bleakon of light?

================================================== =

EDIT: re-siting (as opposed to re-sighting) the blind spot - suitable for all aspects above??

eg: In his works, Ligotti, by transcendental absurdity, re-sites the blind spots of literature and philosophy.
EDIT: Or In his works, Ligotti, by transcendental absurdity, re-sights the blind spots of literature and philosophy.

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Last edited by Nemonymous; 12-07-2009 at 05:19 PM..
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Old 12-07-2009   #13
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Re: Define Ligottian/Ligottiesque

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. D. View Post
One more thing to consider is that even when a story takes place during daylight hours everything seems to take place in the dark. Only a very few things in any story appear to be in the light and that is often only in comparison to the dark background. It's something akin to theatrical lighting but I can't come up with an accurate term. Can anyone think of a good phrase for this central concern?
The portentious penumbra?

"Like a dog!" he said; it was as if the shame of it must outlive him. - Franz Kafka, The Trial
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Old 04-12-2011   #14
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Re: Define Ligottian/Ligottiesque

I recently added a fanzine to my very modest Ligotti collection. Fantasy & Terror presents TWELVE GHOSTS & twelve others (copyright 1984 by Jessica Amanda Salmonson). This booklet published two of Ligotti's shorter pieces: "Order of Illusion" and "Transcendental Horror". I am pretty sure they were also published in the pb edition of Noctuary, but it has been a long time since I read them. When I read "Order of Ilusion" I noticed that TL strung together a series of words that might fit into a definition of Ligottian.

" These consisted of anything he could find which had a divine aura of disuse, of unfulfillment, hopelessness, disintegration, of grotesque imbecility and senselessness."
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Old 04-12-2011   #15
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Re: Define Ligottian/Ligottiesque

I think it will take more time for a more cohesive definition of what's truly "Ligottian" to emerge. Just like the time needed for a sense of the Lovecraftian to materialize. Actually, there appears to be two popular definitions of Lovecraftian, and I can see happening to Ligottian as well. Here's where it seems to stand now. Ligottian is:

1. Horror which reflects the grim, surreal, and truly frightful nature of the human condition. Elegant literary Trojan horses carrying armies of pessimists. This philosophical component is much like the "cosmic horror" in Lovecraftian.

2. Horror relating to puppets, masks, corporations, gas station carnivals, or other familiar players and places in Tom's stories. Not unlike the way Mythos names, ominous tomes, and tentacles have come to be called "Lovecraftian" in horror.

Perhaps my vision is clouded too much by the Lovecraftian when considering what Ligottian means, but it seems almost inevitable to compare the two.

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Old 04-13-2011   #16
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Re: Define Ligottian/Ligottiesque

I've described Ligottian as being Lovecraftian minus the tentacle-monster window dressing. Things are not bleak because of some ancient space-monster manipulating people for generations, but because that is simply the natural state of things and the presence or absence of monsters, cults, atavistic humans, old spellbooks, etc makes no real difference on the final outcome. Should you find yourself trapped in a Lovecraft story, you can always get out okay by remaining ignorant. In a Ligotti story, ignorance will not save you.
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Old 04-16-2011   #17
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Re: Define Ligottian/Ligottiesque

Quote Originally Posted by starrysothoth View Post
Ligotti's unreality is one that doesn't lead his monsters and men to "question everything," as certain political and philosophical ideas might when they latch onto unreality. Instead, this unreality tends to be a total unraveling of sanity, self, and purpose in the ultimate existential whirlpool. At least this is what I've felt comes through the pages over the years when I'm taking in a Ligotti tale.
I've been rereading this thread and your statement here is something I completely agree with. I even used a similar analogy to your "existential whirpool" in another post some years ago. Thanks to Brian's "Search This Site" feature I was able to find it. I used the line " a deconstructive maelstrom that leaves no survivors" (maelstrom, a tip of the hat to Poe, of course)

And speaking of Poe, for some reason I have always felt that Ligotti's work is closer to Poe than Lovecraft. Poe always unsettled me, HPL not so much - with a few notable exceptions, like these lines from his poem Nemesis:

I have seen the dark universe yawning
Where the black planets roll without aim,
Where they roll in their horror unheeded, without knowledge or lustre or name.

Truth be told, Ligotti gets to me even more than Poe. I'm not ready put TL over Poe as a prose stylist just yet, but he is, for me, one of the three best, the other being Aickman. And Ligotti's work has meant more to me than both of them. His only rival being Kafka, and maybe Nietzsche in my early twenties.
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Old 04-16-2011   #18
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Re: Define Ligottian/Ligottiesque

Having pored over Painted Devils and Cold Hand in Mine this winter, I conclude that Ligotti is, at the core, more indebted to Aickman than he is to Lovecraft.

ETA this a wee non sequitur. Reading a bit of TL and RA of late crystallized what had been an unfocused impression of their similarities of style.
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Old 04-16-2011   #19
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Re: Define Ligottian/Ligottiesque

I would tend to agree, but I don't think Mr Ligotti would share the sentiment.

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Old 04-16-2011   #20
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Re: Define Ligottian/Ligottiesque

Ha. I try to correct people who compare me to Ligotti, but they don't listen. Once the work is out there it belongs to the public, etc., etc.Debt may be the wrong word, although I'd be stunned if Ligotti isn't somewhat familiar with RA. The obliqueness, bitterness, quirkiness, nebulousness seems synonymous of their styles in many respects, outside looking in.
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