THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK
Go Back   THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK > Miscellanea > Off Topic
Home Forums Content Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Contagion Members Media Diversion Info Register
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes Translate
Old 03-13-2005   #1
bendk's Avatar
bendk
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,626
Quotes: 1
Points: 192,363, Level: 100 Points: 192,363, Level: 100 Points: 192,363, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Other Books

I enjoy reading book recommendations, so I thought I would toss a few out there and hopefully get a few back. These are books I have read that I think Ligotti fans might enjoy.

The Secret Life of Puppets by Victoria Nelson
A philosophical look at puppets.This was endorsed by a few people from the Ligotti/yahoo group. I can't remember who, but thanks.

The Philosophy of Disenchantment by Edgar Saltus
An older book written in the late 19th Century. Deals mainly with Schopenhauer, but aslo touches on others like Leopardi and Eduard von Hartmann.

Religion and its Monsters by Timothy Beal
Entertaining survey of monsters born of religion and their intrusion into culture, from biblical chaos monsters to the winged monkeys of OZ. A nice section on Lovecraft too.

Last edited by bendk; 07-20-2014 at 06:43 PM..
bendk is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanks From:
cynothoglys (10-04-2013)
Old 03-13-2005   #2
matt cardin's Avatar
matt cardin
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 654
Quotes: 0
Points: 34,597, Level: 100 Points: 34,597, Level: 100 Points: 34,597, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 14% Activity: 14% Activity: 14%
Re: Other Books

I think I was one of the ones who recommended THE SECRET LIFE OF PUPPETS in the past. Based on its title alone I probably wouldn't have read it, but when an acquaintance recommended it to me, and when I read some descriptions and reviews and found that the book represents a sustained exploration of the Platonic/mystical spiritual impulse that has been submerged in post-Enlightenment Western culture beneath the dominant Aristotelian/objective-scientific ethos, I became interested. Then the actual book, when I bought it, turned out to be a joy, not least because it examines and marshalls evidence from a host of writers associated with the Ligottian unvierse -- Kleist, Lovecraft, Schulz, and many more. So I heartily second the recommendation of this one.

Ditto for RELIGION AND ITS MONSTERS, which I read and used in the writing of one of my final papers/projects for my religious studies M.A. Beal presents some interesting thoughts and information abut the place of the monstrous and horrific in world religion.

As for additional recommendations, a couple of years ago I read RATIONAL MYSTICISM: DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER BETWEEN SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY (I think I got that subtitle right) by science writer John Horgan, and found it quite entertaining. Horgan is the same prominent science journalist who wrote THE END OF SCIENCE, in which he argued that the Enlightenment scientific project of obtaining as much objective knowledge as possible about the natural world has reached or is approaching its imminent end, since at present science has pretty much comprehensively explored everything that is not categorically excluded from being known by its methods. In RATIONAL MYSTICISM, he sets his sights on the contemporary nondual spiritual scene and traipses around the U.S. interviewing prominent philosophers, scientists, and scholars. It turns out that Horgan himself has had a lifelong personal interest in this kind of thing, having studied Zen and several other disciplines briefly, and his background is evident in the nature of his interaction with his interview subjects. Of particular interest to Ligotti fans is that Horgan interviews at least a couple of people whose books and research have influence Ligotti, including Michael Persinger, who invented the "God machine" and thereby serves as one of the pioneers of the still-in-its-infancy field of neurotheology, and Stephen Batchelor, the famous "Buddhist agnostic" whose book BUDDHISM WITHOUT BELIEFS was read and enjoyed by Tom. Regarding Persinger, you can find his God machine, which is a helmet that emits magnetic waves that has caused its wearers to sense invisible presences around them, echoed in the machine found in Tom's story "Purity," and also in his contribution to the round-robin story "Sailing into Night," published in John B. Ford's collection of collaborations, THE EVIL ENTWINES.

matt cardin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005   #3
matt cardin's Avatar
matt cardin
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 654
Quotes: 0
Points: 34,597, Level: 100 Points: 34,597, Level: 100 Points: 34,597, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 14% Activity: 14% Activity: 14%
Re: Other Books

Additionally, what I failed to mention above is the single quality that I loved about RATIONAL MYSTICISM more than anything else: The author undertakes his quest across America, and conducts all those interviews, with the intention of finding solace, help, validation, confirmation, or some such thing that will help him deal with a horrific metaphysical epiphany that he received while under the influence of a hallucinogen many years ago. He talks about the experience in detail, describing how after various preliminary phases of the trip, he arrived at a point where he perceived that he had retreated into the uttermost inner recesses of reality and subjectivity, arriving at the point of the Ultimate Ground, God, the Godhead, etc. And what he discovered was that he/God was a solitary, isolated, savagely unhappy Being which, in desperation at its state, had exploded outward into creation, becoming the "ten thousand things" of the phenomenal world in an attempt to escape its horrific changelessness and solitude. But then he (Horgan) also realized the implications of this idea: that the universe, including us humans, is condemned to suffer in perpetual darkness and despair, because even if we penetrate through to the source of our secret self, if we achieve "enlightenment," we discover the greatest horror of all. And the very loneliness, isolation, horror, and unhappiness that we experience as our limited individual identities is just a mere echo or shadow of that limitless unpleasantness from which we have proceeded.

This sounded like an amazingly Ligottian/Lovecraftian idea to me as I read it. Horgan is serious about the troubles his dark revelation has caused him. He directly mentions it to several of his interview subjects, including Ken Wilber and Michael Persinger, in order to get their reactions. Persinger responds with a fascinating and tantalizing little tidbit when he says his now-deceased colleague -- I hope I'm remembering this correctly -- a man named D'Aquili, once spoke of an Eastern philosophical/spiritual sect that had devoted itself to cultivating the ultimate horrific vision, the dark side of spiritual enlightenment that would show them the Ultimate's demonic face. But Persinger said D'Aquili died before naming this sect or offering any further explanation.

So this is the thematic arc that endeared Horgan's book to me more than anything else. It's truly an unhappy book at heart, and it ends on a rather bleak, unconfirmatory note.

matt cardin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005   #4
bendk's Avatar
bendk
Grimscribe
Threadstarter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,626
Quotes: 1
Points: 192,363, Level: 100 Points: 192,363, Level: 100 Points: 192,363, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Other Books

Matt said
"....a man named D'Aquili, once spoke of an Eastern philosophical/spiritual sect that had devoted itself to cultivating the ultimate horrific vision, the dark side of spiritual enlightenment that would show them the Ultimate's demonic face. But Persinger said D'Aquili died before naming this sect or offering any further explanation. "

That does sound fascinating. I will definitely give this book a look. It reminds me of the Dan Simmons novel The Song Of Kali, which I enjoyed very much. I usually shy away from books with the word "mysticism" in the title, probably due to some unprofitable time spent reading Rudolf Steiner, Madame Blavatsky, and Theosophy some years ago, but this sounds very interesting. I have read some work by Michael Persinger on the internet. His work, and neurotheology in general, is intriguing.

Thanks for recommending The Secret Life of Puppets. I also enjoyed the many references to other authors, especially Bruno Schultz. I just finished the book The Complete Fiction of Bruno Schulz which I loved. If I can find the time, I will try to contribute something to the forum on authors.

Timothy Beal has a new book coming out this May called Roadside Religion. From the description at Amazon.com it sounds like it could be an entertaining read. He and his family get in their motor home and go in search of "the sacred, the strange, and the substance of faith." They visit roadside religious attractions like The World's Largest Ten Commandments and Golgotha Fun Park. It sounds like a hoot.

Last edited by bendk; 07-20-2014 at 06:45 PM..
bendk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005   #5
unknown's Avatar
unknown
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 563
Quotes: 0
Points: 21,427, Level: 100 Points: 21,427, Level: 100 Points: 21,427, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Send a message via AIM to unknown
Re: Other Books

May I suggest "I-O" by Simon Logan. It's fiction like you've never read before. He describes it as "fetishcore" and "industrial fiction". I believe the latter description is more accurate (the first one only applies to one story). His ideas are incredibly original. Definitely a young author worth checking out.

there is no stronger drug than reality

yog-sothoth
unknown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005   #6
matt cardin's Avatar
matt cardin
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 654
Quotes: 0
Points: 34,597, Level: 100 Points: 34,597, Level: 100 Points: 34,597, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 14% Activity: 14% Activity: 14%
Re: Other Books

Bendk -- I remember your mentioning awhile back that you were reading Schulz's complete fiction. Sounds like quite a daunting task (because of the sheer density of Schulz's prose and themes), and also a deeply rewarding one. I'll be quite interested to hear what you have to say if/when you get the time to collect your thoughts and share them here.

Also, thanks for the heads up on Beal's forthcoming new book. "Hoot" definitely sounds like the correct word to describe this one. I'll look it up.

Unknown -- I couldn't agree more about Simon Logan's I-O, and I'm glad you've mentioned it here. Simon asked me if I'd be willing to review the book a couple of years ago, and I agreed to do so even though I had doubts, for reasons I honestly can't recall now, that I would enjoy it. Maybe they had something to do with the fact that I don't read a lot of science fiction anymore, and so the book's advertised hybridizing of dystopian sci-fi with horror themes just didn't appeal to me. Anyway, for whatever reason, this small collection of "industrial fiction" ended up catching me entirely off guard. I loved it, and I mean really. I-O endeared itself to me in a way that very few contemporary books manage to do. My positive review ended up finding publication online at Strange Horizons. It's still there if you want to check it out and see whether my reactions mirror yours. I already know they do at least in part, since you mentioned the incredible originality of Simon's ideas, and this raw visionary power is one of the very things I focused on in my review.

matt cardin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005   #7
unknown's Avatar
unknown
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 563
Quotes: 0
Points: 21,427, Level: 100 Points: 21,427, Level: 100 Points: 21,427, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Send a message via AIM to unknown
Re: Other Books

if you're curious, he has some new stories being published in anthologies and full novel coming out soon. He also some stories (previously unavailable) on his website www.coldandalone.com

I chat with him on AIM every now and then. Nicest guy.

Another recommendation I MUST make is "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman. This novel reads like a movie. Don't be intimidated by it's size. I finished it within 3 days. It is that good. Involves ex convicts, the dead, Gods, talking ravens and leprechauns. One of my favorite novels ever.

there is no stronger drug than reality

yog-sothoth
unknown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2005   #8
Stu's Avatar
Stu
Grimscribe
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 518
Quotes: 0
Points: 23,132, Level: 100 Points: 23,132, Level: 100 Points: 23,132, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Other Books

I definitely second Matt's recommendation of Rational Mysticism. Excellent book. Horgan's The End of Science and The Undiscovered Mind are also well worth reading.

Unknown, I'm glad you enjoyed American Gods but personally I couldn't get on with it. It just felt like Gaiman was rehashing a load of his old Sandman ideas but without any of the enthusiasm or panache.

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/
Stu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2005   #9
unknown's Avatar
unknown
Grimscribe
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 563
Quotes: 0
Points: 21,427, Level: 100 Points: 21,427, Level: 100 Points: 21,427, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
Send a message via AIM to unknown
Re: Other Books

Quote
It just felt like Gaiman was rehashing a load of his old Sandman ideas but without any of the enthusiasm or panache.

I definitely understand what you mean by that

there is no stronger drug than reality

yog-sothoth
unknown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2005   #10
Stu's Avatar
Stu
Grimscribe
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 518
Quotes: 0
Points: 23,132, Level: 100 Points: 23,132, Level: 100 Points: 23,132, Level: 100
Level up: 0% Level up: 0% Level up: 0%
Activity: 7% Activity: 7% Activity: 7%
Re: Other Books

A comic series that I enjoyed was Grant Morrison's The Invisibles. Anarchist chaos magician freedom fighters battling against a fascist Establishment ruled by extra-dimensional overlords. Imagine Robert Anton Wilson, Michael Moorcock and Philip K Dick rewriting The Matrix as a comic. Unfortunately, like The Matrix, the narrative veers between being a highly energised flow of mindblowing but clearly stated ideas and being complete gibberish. Also, there wasn't a regular artist on the book so the quality of the art varies quite considerably.

Still, if anyone happens to see one of the graphic novels maybe they'd like to take a quick flick through, see if they like the look of it.

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/
Stu is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
books

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

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 Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
All Nine Nemonymous Books Nemonymous D. F. Lewis 2 01-27-2015 07:03 PM
Rocks as Books Nemonymous General Discussion 0 09-14-2013 03:03 PM
a few books Russell Nash Items Available 0 10-29-2012 02:03 PM
Books To Get Rid Of tonalized Limited Edition Listings 1 10-26-2011 09:13 AM
The Smell of Books rhysaurus Other News 10 03-29-2010 10:31 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:36 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 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Template-Modifications by TMS