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Old 05-20-2016   #1
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Ligotti Entering the Mainstream

It has been slow, but it will be inevitable.
"Last Feast" being featured in the Mag of F&SF, the Current 93 collabs, "Vasterian" being featured in Penguin's American Supernatural Tales, True Detective, CATHR outselling Ayn Rand for a few weeks, the Penguin Classics edition... indeed, Ligotti is on the verge of becoming an enigma of the popular imagination as Poe and Lovecraft before him.

What course do you think the popularization of Ligotti will take? How will readings of Ligotti and perceptions of Ligotti as a person evolve? How will it affect attitudes towards horror from the lay public and literary critics alike?

Discuss!
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Old 05-20-2016   #2
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Re: Ligotti Entering the Mainstream

Arguably, Ligotti is already in the main stream. He even has a TV trope page!
I think he will ride the wave of a Dark Technology movement coming soon due to debates about bio-engineering, environmental crisis, etc...He may become a controversial figure due to his antinatalist book-which the Evangelical Right will be too happy to ban-and maybe those anti-abortion, pro-life folks will even protest in front of his house. The extreme Right is on the rise (with or without Trump) everywhere and they will exploit the gaping incompetence of the Left and the frigidity of Establishment. They will misquote Ligotti to slam the horror young-people-read these days, and get on a podium to display their moral righteousness. Will a public figure dare to defend him then? Probably not.

On the other hand, fascism may just ignore him. They have other things to smooth out, such as...immigrants.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 05-20-2016   #3
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Re: Ligotti Entering the Mainstream

The image of Evangelical dinguses protesting Ligotti on his own lawn is hilarious.
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Old 05-20-2016   #4
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Re: Ligotti Entering the Mainstream

@ToALonelyPeace,

Two words for you there: Nick Land

Quote Originally Posted by ToALonelyPeace View Post
. They will misquote Ligotti to slam the horror young-people-read these days, and get on a podium to display their moral righteousness.
I'm sorry but the 'horror young-people-read these days' bit makes it sound as if it's a polemic on the way Horror has changed. I can just imagine a group of the old Guy N Smith/James Herbert/Ramsey Campbell crowd thundering 'Oh no, it wasn't like this in our day; no, not all. Back then we kept to subjects decent people actually wanted to read about - giant animal invasions, Satanic rape and ghostly paedophiles threatening young families in terraced housing. Now it’s all ‘conceptual’ and ‘abstract’: ‘Horror’ is all’ *air quotes* *air quotes* ‘the true background of humanity’s existence, instead of something that bursts from the grave, burns down an orphanage and rapes your sweet, innocent daughter. But people won’t stand for it we, no, no they most certainly won’t’
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Old 05-20-2016   #5
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Re: Ligotti Entering the Mainstream

I do not think he will be fully accepted by the mainstream, or at least not for years. In my view, the mainstream (if it can be considered as an entity) will regard him with contempt and categorize him as a crazy antinatalist nihilist and move on to the next superhero movie, and try to convince everybody how great, adult and revolutionary R-rated Deadpool is.

For me, the mainstream tends to be optimistic and shiny, and Ligotti seems to be the anthithesis of all that. He is the dark cloud, the shadow that will obscure it, so they will try to keep him reduced to a niche market until his views are considered harmless, if that ever happens, which I don't see as a possibility.

Your fall should be like the fall of mountains. But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning, and shall be forever. The first and the last. The world come full circle. I am not the wheel. I am the hand that turns the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. I was the wind and the stars before this. Before planets. Before heaven and hell. And when all is done, I will be wind again, to blow this world as dust back into endless space. To me the coming and going of Man is as nothing.
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Old 05-20-2016   #6
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Re: Ligotti Entering the Mainstream

I think Ligotti is still far off from becoming mainstream. The examples cited are all cult, which I think is where he'll always skirt. It's hard to imagine him reaching Rowling or Meyer levels of success. Surreal horror isn't something I could see escaping niche appeal any time soon. He'll be as popular as something like Eraserhead is unless society become a lot more open minded very soon.

I can't see his world view being accepted by the mainstream. There are times when it doesn't even feel accepted on here.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 05-20-2016   #7
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Re: Ligotti Entering the Mainstream

@Evans: I was talking about The Conspiracy Against the Human Race and the antinatalist message it carries. Imagine if the title is printed on T-shirt and suddenly everyone wears one (without knowing what it means). Like what happens with In The Dust of This Planet



By then, CATHR becomes a brand. People will wear the brand without knowing what it means. The Evangelical Right may not care whether people really read this stuff or not, so long as they have a scapegoat.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 05-20-2016   #8
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Re: Ligotti Entering the Mainstream

Quote Originally Posted by Evans View Post
Quote Originally Posted by ToALonelyPeace View Post
. They will misquote Ligotti to slam the horror young-people-read these days, and get on a podium to display their moral righteousness.
I'm sorry but the 'horror young-people-read these days' bit makes it sound as if it's a polemic on the way Horror has changed. I can just imagine a group of the old Guy N Smith/James Herbert/Ramsey Campbell crowd thundering 'Oh no, it wasn't like this in our day; no, not all. Back then we kept to subjects decent people actually wanted to read about - giant animal invasions, Satanic rape and ghostly paedophiles threatening young families in terraced housing. Now it’s all ‘conceptual’ and ‘abstract’: ‘Horror’ is all’ *air quotes* *air quotes* ‘the true background of humanity’s existence, instead of something that bursts from the grave, burns down an orphanage and rapes your sweet, innocent daughter. But people won’t stand for it we, no, no they most certainly won’t’
I think Ramsey Campbell and his fans are close enough to Ligotti. I've certainly seen reviews complaining about his work in such a way.

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Old 05-20-2016   #9
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Re: Ligotti Entering the Mainstream

Quote Originally Posted by Prince James Zaleski View Post
I think Ligotti is still far off from becoming mainstream. The examples cited are all cult, which I think is where he'll always skirt. It's hard to imagine him reaching Rowling or Meyer levels of success. Surreal horror isn't something I could see escaping niche appeal any time soon. He'll be as popular as something like Eraserhead is unless society become a lot more open minded very soon.

I can't see his world view being accepted by the mainstream. There are times when it doesn't even feel accepted on here.
What you say here, and what Miguel says right above you, is pretty much what I told the interviewer for last October's Wall Street Journal piece. (Actually, I said a great deal more than that to the interviewer, Michael Calia, but only the part about the unlikelihood of Tom's attaining true mainstream popularity was quoted.) For what it's worth, Jeff Vandermeer passionately disagreed. I think it's fruitful to think through both positions -- even though I think I'm right that Tom will mostly remain a cult author, for a variety of reasons.

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Old 05-20-2016   #10
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Re: Ligotti Entering the Mainstream

I see Ligotti pulling a Lovecraft or Poe. Many decades from now he will be at that level of "canon" but I'm not sure if mainstream can be equivalent with canon. I personally feel he is Canon right at this moment but widespread canon I think he will follow the Lovecraft and Poe path.
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