THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK
Go Back   THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK > Discussion & Interpretation > The Repository > Ligotti Interviews
Home Forums Content Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Contagion Members Media Diversion Info Register
Comment
 
Article Tools Search this Article Display Modes Translate
Ten Questions for Thomas Ligotti
Ten Questions for Thomas Ligotti
As Posed by David Wilbanks
Published by TLO
08-05-2007
Ten Questions for Thomas Ligotti

Thomas Ligotti as won the award for best author of horror/weird fiction from Small Press Writers and Artists Organization (SPWAO), 1982, for story "The Chymist"; Rhysling Award nomination from Science Fiction Poetry Association, 1986, for "One Thousand Painful Variations Performed Upon Divers Creatures Undergoing the Treatment of Dr. Moreau, Humanist"; World Fantasy Award nomination, 1990, for "The Last Feast of Harlequin," and 1992, for Grimscribe: His Lives and Works. World Fantasy Award Nomination, 1997, for The Nightmare Factory; Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement, novella, for "The Red Tower," 1997; Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement, story collection, for The Nightmare Factory, 1997; British Fantasy Award for best collection, The Nightmare Factory, 1997; International Horror Guild Award for Best Fiction, Long Form, for My Work Is Not Yet Done, 2002; Bram Stoker Award for Best Novella for My Work Is Not Yet Done, 2002. His story, "Purity," which appeared in the 80th anniversary issue of Weird Tales, will be reprinted in the next Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, edited by Teri Windling and Ellen Datlow.


10 Questions for Thomas Ligotti
- as posed by David Wilbanks


1. How has the horror genre affected your life?

TL: When I first read Lovecraft around 1971, and even more so when I began to read about his life, I immediately knew that I wanted to write horror stories. I had read Arthur Machen before I read Lovecraft, and I didnít have that reaction at all. It was what I sensed in Lovecraftís works and what I learned about his myth as the ďrecluse of ProvidenceĒ that made me think, ďThatís for me!Ē I already had a grim view of existence, so there was no problem there. I was and am agoraphobic, so being reclusive was a snap. The only challenge was whether or not I could actually write horror stories. So I studied fiction writing and wrote every day for years and years until I started to get my stories accepted by small press magazines. Iím not comparing myself to Lovecraft as a person or as a writer, but the rough outline of his life gave me something to aspire to. I donít know what would have become of me if I hadnít discovered Lovecraft.

2. Gene Wolfe wrote a book entitled THE FIFTH HEAD OF CERBERUS which contained three novellas that reflected different aspects of the same ďworld,Ē each one containing subtle hints relating to the others. It is one of my favorite books, and I thought it would be interesting if you attempted something like this. Does that idea appeal to you in any way?

TL: Not at all. It sounds like a lot of work. Iíve never had the excess of energy that it takes to pull off something like that. Furthermore, I donít particularly admire that kind of prodigality of talent. Iíve always loved writers who were underachievers, those who produced few works or never ďfully realizedĒ their abilities. Prolific writers and writers who produce ďbig booksĒ that are terribly ingenious bore me to death.

3. What do you do to pass time?

TL: I watch a lot a TV and sometimes rent videos. It wasnít always like that, but it is now.

4. I think itís time for another Ligotti collection. Anything in the works?

TL: I do have enough uncollected stories to put together a full collection. It should probably be published in the next couple years or so.

5. If someone wanted the clearest picture of how your mind worked, which of your stories would you point them toward and why?

TL: Thatís an excellent question. The story that immediately comes to mind is My Work Is Not Yet Done. The main character, Frank Dominio, has been described by the few people who reviewed the book as a dweeb and a psycho. I didnít exactly set out to do a self-portrait in this character, but he does reflect some major aspects of me, at least as I am in my own mind. Frank is kind of a parasite of a world that he doesnít much care for. At work, he wants to fit in only to the extent that is necessary to keep at bay the powers that rule over him. At home, he escapes into his melancholy universe of photographing ruined places in the city where he lives. Heís someone that most people would view as sick, unstable, and unsound. Not a model citizen but harmless.

Then he gets screwed over by his colleagues at work, and his sickness, instability, and unsoundness become directed outward toward his enemies. Heís intelligent enough and humane enough to know that his plan to slaughter his co-workers needs considerable justification, although he never manages to work this out to his satisfaction. Heís overcome by his passion for revenge, which in a sense makes him more of a normal person than heís ever been. Escapism was always Frankís style, not taking action. Thatís the style of the so-called real world. If Frank had been a writer, he would probably have written a story and that would have served as sufficient revenge. But thatís not an option for him. And neither is violence, really, although he prepares to do some real damage. Whether or not he would have gone through with it is unknown, because thereís a supernatural intervention by a power that screws him over even more than his co-workers and that represents them on a metaphysical plane. Iím not sure if this answers your question about how my mind works. Then again, I donít think of oneís mind in isolation from oneís emotions. As some wise guy once said, ďThe mind is the whore of oneís passions.Ē Iíd go along with that.

6. What are your activities during an average day?

TL: For the past few years Iíve worked at home as a freelance copyeditor. (Previously, I worked at an office job for 23 years.) People send me editorial projects either by mail or email. I wake up in the morning and within five minutes Iím sitting in front of my computer with a cup of coffee. Itís intense work and I canít do it for more than five six hours at a stretch. By then, Iím pretty burned out. I often take a long nap in the afternoon to recover. When I wake up there are usually emails to answer. That takes an hour or so. My mother and brother live within walking distance, and I usually have dinner with them and spend the rest of the evening watching TV with them. Then I go home and answer more emails. About once a week, my brother and I go to the local racetrack. We live in Florida, where they have jai-alai, so we bet on simulcast games from Miami or Dania. Itís a shame that this sport never caught on in this country. If you have a high-speed Internet connection, you can watch games most nights and some afternoons at http://www.dania-jai-alai.com. Itís far more interesting if youíre able to bet on the games. Thatís not how jai-alai was intended to be played, but thatís how it came to be adapted outside of Spain. You bet on it just like horse racing.

7. Have you read any good books lately?

TL: I donít read that much anymore. At the moment, Iím slowly making my way through a book called Landscapes of Fear by Yi-Fu Tuan, who is or was a professor of geography. Itís pretty much a basic history of fear in human life. I ordered it along with another book by the same author called Escapism, the premise of which is that everything that human beings do is based on our inability to face reality as it is. I canít argue with that, although Iím sure most other people in this stupid world would contest it vigorously.

8. Can you tell us your opinion on the future of horror literature?

TL: Horror literature has always moved along two tracks. Writers like Ann Radcliffe wrote popular Gothic thrillers and made a good living, while writers like Edgar Poe wrote unpopular short stories and starved. Thatís very much the way horror literature progressed and probably will continue. There havenít been too many writers of either type at any given time. Everyone else is somewhere in the middle.

9. What is your favorite piece of music?

TL: ďIn the Court of the Crimson KingĒ by King Crimson. Iím also a big fan of Stephen Sondheimís Sweeney Todd.

10. Itís a high honor to interview you. Any last comments youíd like to share with our readers?

TL: In the spirit of Frank Dominio, Iíd prefer not to do anything that Iím not forced or paid to do.
8 Thanks From:
G. S. Carnivals (02-06-2011), hopfrog (01-01-2009), Ilsa (02-07-2011), Jeff Matthews (05-03-2017), mongoose (04-05-2016), Scottelot (10-12-2014), Spotbowserfido2 (02-07-2011), T.E. Grau (04-08-2012)
  #1  
By SwansSoilMe/SwansSaveMe on 08-05-2007
Re: Ten Questions for Thomas Ligotti

When was this interview done or published?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
By Dr. Bantham on 08-05-2007
Re: Ten Questions for Thomas Ligotti

Quote Originally Posted by SwansSoilMe/SwansSaveMe View Post
When was this interview done or published?
Unfortunately, I am not certain of the exact date. When I was porting links to the new site structure I noticed that the one which held this interview was dead. The Wayback Machine revealed the first trace back in August 2004 and the interview references the publication of "Purity" within Weird Tales in the Spring of 2003. Therefore it leaves the time somewhere betwixt that and then.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
By barrywood on 08-09-2007
Re: Ten Questions for Thomas Ligotti

I like these ten questions. I also like the ten answers.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
By Wilbanks on 08-31-2007
Re: Ten Questions for Thomas Ligotti

Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bantham View Post
Quote Originally Posted by SwansSoilMe/SwansSaveMe View Post
When was this interview done or published?
Unfortunately, I am not certain of the exact date. When I was porting links to the new site structure I noticed that the one which held this interview was dead. The Wayback Machine revealed the first trace back in August 2004 and the interview references the publication of "Purity" within Weird Tales in the Spring of 2003. Therefore it leaves the time somewhere betwixt that and then.
August 2004 sounds about right. I first published this on my (now defunct) web page Page Horrific. Thanks for taking a look.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
By yellowish haze on 02-05-2011
Re: Ten Questions for Thomas Ligotti

Just noticed that the German Ligotti website "The Art of Grimscribe" dates this interview to February 2004.

The Art of GrimScribe - 1. deutsche Ligotti-Website
Reply With Quote
  #6  
By njhorror on 02-05-2011
Re: Ten Questions for Thomas Ligotti

I can't help but be reminded of Bartleby the Scrivener.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
By DoktorH on 02-05-2011
Re: Ten Questions for Thomas Ligotti

Quote
Iíd prefer not to do anything that Iím not forced or paid to do.
agreed! I need a few hours of doing nothing every day.
Reply With Quote
Comment

Bookmarks

Tags
ligotti, questions, ten, thomas

Article Tools Search this Article
Search this Article:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Article Article Starter Category Comments Last Post
The Ten Steps mark_samuels Ligottian Films 0 09-15-2013 03:21 PM
Ten Steps to Thin Mountain The Silent One Story Forum 5 08-16-2013 07:04 PM
Questions That Trouble Us Montag Prose 0 02-14-2011 01:40 AM
Tamar Yellin - 'Tales of the Ten Lost Tribes' Nemonymous Other Authors 0 02-02-2009 12:20 PM
Thomas Wiloch 1953-2008: A Personal Tribute by Thomas Ligotti YellowJester Selections by Thomas Ligotti 15 01-05-2009 08:58 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:43 PM.



Style Based on SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER as Published by Silver Scarab Press
Design and Artwork by Harry Morris
Emulated in Hell by Dr. Bantham
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Template-Modifications by TMS

Article powered by GARS 2.1.9 ©2005-2006