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Old 11-01-2006   #1
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There Are No Masters Of These Scenes

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“ 'Say that my landscapes do not invite one's eyes to pass into them and wander, let alone linger for the briefest moment. Nevertheless, that is exactly their purpose, and as far as I am concerned they are quite adequate to it, meticulously efficient. I have spent extraordinary lengths of time within the borders of each canvass, both as maker and as casual inhabitant, until the borders no longer exist for me and neither does... that other thing. Understand that when I say inhabitant, I do not in any way mean that I take my clumsy feet tromping up and down staircases of color, or that I stand this stunted body of mine upon some lofty ledge where I can play the master of all I see. There are no masters of these scenes and no seers, because bodies and their organs cannot function there - no place for them to go, nothing to survey with ordinary eyes, no thoughts to think for the mighty brain. And my thoroughfares will not take you from the doorstep of one weariness to the backdoor of another, and they cannot crumble, because they are burdened with nothing to convey - their travelers are already there, continuously arriving at infinite sites of the perpetually astonishing. Yet these sites are also a homeland, and nothing there will ever threaten to become strange. What I mean to say is that to inhabit my landscapes one must, in no figurative sense, grow into them. At best they are a paradise for sleepwalkers, but only those sleepwalkers who never rise to their feet, who forget their destination, and who may thus never reach that ultimate darkness beyond dreams, but may loiter in perpetuity in these lands of mine, which neighbor on nothingness and stand next door to endlessness.' ”
  Thomas Ligotti - “The Strange Design of Master Rignolo”
Added by: G. S. Carnivals on 06-09-2007 #138

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 11-02-2006   #2
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Re: There Are No Masters Of These Scenes

Very curious is the word canvass in the excerpt. I initially assumed this to be a typographical error in the Robinson Noctuary. The "typo" lives on in The Nightmare Factory and The Shadow at the Bottom of the World. Either three instances of proofreaders are blind and daft - or the spelling is indeed correct, in which case Mr. Ligotti has blessed us with a clever and cruel pun. I prefer the latter explanation. Try substituting the word survey for canvass. It kind of makes sense if one thinks about it... Any thoughts?

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masters, scenes

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