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the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 8 September, 2020 01:39PM
In my opinion there is a significant difference in the nature of fright, and hence "threat" (or maybe I should say this in reversed order) between the two named authors.

To me, for the most part, the nature of the threat in CAS is vicarious, but not direct. You, as the reader, may identify with the main POV--though I hasten to add that the identification is not necessarily positive--and while their fate may be just awful, you seldom feel that you, personally, might share in it.

But a good deal of HPL is truly existence threat: e.g., if Cthulu wakes up and has his way, *everyone* and *every thing* on Earth, as we know it, is in deep trouble.

So, in a way, CAS-type threat is an observed individual threat, while HPL's threat is observed but unversal. It's a matter of scope. If the typical story for each author was a popular film, CAS's stuff would be The Panic Room, while HPL's is Cloverfield.

Naturally, exceptions can be found (especially in HPL), but I'm now discussing their most characteristic and prominent work.

Your thoughts/observations?

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 8 Sep 20 | 01:40PM by Sawfish.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 8 September, 2020 02:19PM
I wrote a fairly long essay, "Lovecraft's Comfortable World," for Fadeaway a few years ago.

[efanzines.com]

It seems relevant tot his thread.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 8 September, 2020 04:10PM
OK, done, Dale.

I enjoyed your paper. This sort of mental exercise is something I've always enjoyed, and since retirement it's of much more value to me than at any previous time, if simply because I need something enjoyable to do.

Now there's a lot in the paper I'd take exception to, and in some cases strongly, but expansion and further discussion would be best done as either separate threads or private correspondence, either of which would be fine by me.

But I'd like to focus on one or two points you've made in the paper.

You make the point that Lovecraft is "comfortable" to read and to re-visit. I agree with this. You also mention the creation of anxiety in the reader by certain other author that are more effective in doing this. I recognize this as a valid statement as it relates to my own enjoyment of literature.

And in thinking about these aspects, it caused me to really--and I mean *really*--think about how I read escapist fiction. And to me, CAS, HPL, Le Fanu, James, Poe, etc., are most certainly escapist fiction, the way that I consume their works. They are, at their best (not all of the named authors will share this in the distinction I'm about to make), like Raymond Chandler, and a few other "period authors" for me.

I read certain authors repeatedly because it works for me much the way a vacation works for many other people.

Now, I'm far too cheap to take real vacations, the last one that could be considered a traditional vacation was in 2006, and in truth, I, myself, get more enjoyment out of spending a couple of days in 1940's LA, or in Hyperborea, than forking out a lot of money to be physically uncomfortable for much of the time I'm away.

What this means in my attachment to these kinds of books is that I'm NOT personally invested in them enough to actually feel anxiety, lasting or otherwise, or even anything approaching the simulation of fear, any more than standing in line to get on the Santa Cruz boardwalk roller-coaster.

What I'm looking for in terms of cheap thrills is to be momentarily and convincingly "creeped out". Cheap thrills, indeed... ;^)

So the closest to any lasting frightening impression that I've felt in CAS is more like the queasiness that I feel, when reconsidering the manner of the execution of Calaspa in The Chain of Aforgomon---"Wow. To be cooked-off in what amounts to a giant, robust lightbulb filament...YEOW!".

For HPL, it is the dénouement of The Statement of Randolph Carter...

"YOU FOOL, WARREN IS DEAD!”

Contrast this with my personal involvement in reading McCarthy's The Road. This book, I think, has its most profound effect on a parent, and this is because the POV is a parent, with all of the instinctual parental drives to optimize one's child chance for survival and to ensure their future success, but it's in a world completely devoid of any hope for the future. It becomes apparent to the POV that he'll die, leaving his child, aged about 8 or so, alone in this desolate and very threatening world.

The father's sole valued legacy to his son, after all this, is a revolver with one bullet left, and the knowledge of how and when to use it to end one's life, should reality become so horrible (and we are given every reason to think that it will) that death is a welcomed option.

This was impossible for me to detach from, either as I read it, or even now.

And a further contrast on reader involvement. I'm lumbering thru Caesar's Commentaries and should be done soon, and it's no vacation. But it is wryly amusing in that you realize that not only did Julius Caesar give himself all the best lines, but the volume appears to have been hagiographically (if there is such a word...) revisited by subsequent editors. But you also get to see that, as those Frenchmen like say to say, "the more things change, the more they remain the same"---you see where one of Caesar'a rivals hopes to gain voter approval by--get this--forgiving all debt, public and private.

Which is what we have occasionally heard from current politicians, so there's apparently nothing new under the sun.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 8 September, 2020 08:48PM
I guess HPL set out to terrify people? I don't really get the impression that was ever CAS's primary motive; he seemed chiefly interested in the exotic and the strange for their own sake. It's one reason why I prefer him to HPL.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 8 September, 2020 09:24PM
Yep. In a sense they're fables, with exotic and fantastic elements.

Someone a few days back mentioned Morthylla. You've also got Xeethra. These are strange and wistful stories, not intended to frighten, in any sense.

These are just two off the top of my head. Likely there are others.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 8 September, 2020 10:32PM
Sawfish, I'll start a thread (since you suggest it) on "Lovecraft's Comfortable World."

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 8 September, 2020 10:43PM
That's done...

Now to your comment here, Sawfish. Yes, I found The Road got under my skin too. The fears McCarthy evokes lie deeper and are more serious than those I think HPL generally evokes. It is worth saying that Lovecraft's best story, "The Colour Out of Space," actually is like an early version of The Road, though I don't assume McCarthy was actually inspired by it. Maybe he was...!

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 8 September, 2020 11:02PM
Dale, I'm having trouble remembering Color...

This was the possessed rustic who used the strange and threatening statement about how he'd been promised benefit by unearthly beings (Cthulu and the like) "when the Earth was cleared off"?

If so, not sure I see the connection between it and Road.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 8 September, 2020 11:49PM
Sawfish, I think you're remembering "The Whisperer in Darkness."

"Colour" is the story in which a meteorite lands in the New England countryside, and from that spot a weird wasting gradually proceeds, turning a widening circle into grey lifelessness. Human beings are liable gradually to lose their minds from proximity to the "blasted heath." It's some years since I read The Road, but my impression is that we do not know what struck the earth and brought greyness and death, etc. In both stories, the effects are shown upon a decent family -- there is real pathos in their undeserved fate. Lovecraft tells the story deliberately, keeping his tendency to verbal excess under control with only one brief lapse, and of course McCarthy's prose is restrained too.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 September, 2020 04:24AM
I got my old mother interested in Ray Bradbury and Lovecraft. She has no general interest in supernatural literature or science fiction. She now considers Bradbury one of her favorite authors. She thinks Lovecraft one of the greats of literature, and cannot accept that he was limited to pulp magazines at newsstands. But when she read "The Colour Out of Space", and came to the part where the mother is locked up and crawls around on all fours, she could not go on reading. She had worked in psychiatry in young years, and had seen more than enough of such things. She was badly shaken by that scene.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 9 September, 2020 10:40AM
Thanks, Dale. I'll re-read it. I don't recall it, or only vaguely.

In a sense this is also like J. G. Ballard's apocalyptic novels, Burning World, Drowned World, Wind From Nowhere, etc. None of these use a family to provide the narrative POV and subsequent changes to their lives, if I'm remembering correctly. Most are kinda heavy-handed, too.

Not Vermilion Sands, however. Last summer by odd circumstance my interest was temporarily diverted to the old Manson/Tate case. There are entire websites devoted to this, and about 85% of the participants are great examples of extremely sloppy thinking based largely on vicarious emotional attachments: they start with a conclusion and any new information is made to fit that conclusion, rather than taking the information, as much of it as you can get, and sorta summing it up, and the answer will be the most sound conclusion.

Anyway, if you can get past the baggage, and simply look at all the evidence and compare it to the testimony, it's an intriguing mental exercise. And after I spent maybe 2 months on the site, I left, thinking:

"The ambiance place and the characters of the Polanski/Tate crowd might equally apply to Vermilion Sands."

Here's the thing about McCarthy: I'm not all that sure that a bit of commercial hucksterism doesn't sneak in with a book like No Place for Old Men. The novel, while very good and well-paced, is disturbingly like the typical Elmore Leonard crime novel. So I need to think about each book, whether it's "tainted", and if so, to what degree.

Not that tainted is a bad thing, in good literature, but it's always good to assess what you're reading, I think.

This AM I'm starting in on an expansion of the discussion about the points contained within your paper. As always, I *know* that I'm going to get a lot of this discussion. Even when we don't agree, I gain a lot.

I'm a consumer of literature: a food critic of the mind... ;^)

You are both a consumer of literature and an exceptional scholar. Perhaps the only professional in the field that I know.

OK, my head's warmed up: I've had a bolt of coffee. I'm ready to focus now... :^)

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 9 September, 2020 02:38PM
Knygatin wrote, "But when she read 'The Colour Out of Space', and came to the part where the mother is locked up and crawls around on all fours, she could not go on reading. She had worked in psychiatry in young years, and had seen more than enough of such things. She was badly shaken by that scene."

Yes. That is one of the most powerful images in Lovecraft, and that must be because it has a strong element of pathos as well as of horror.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 9 September, 2020 02:43PM
Yes, Sawfish, I also felt that No Country for Old Men was a well-written thriller, much more an entertainment than The Road, the only other novel by McCarthy that I have read. I wonder if, in his mind, he makes a distinction between Entertainments and Novels as, if I recall aright, Graham Greene did.

I do like the sheriff in No Country, and particularly was struck by his thoughts on the blood-on-their-hands that users of illicit drugs have, who are complicit in that terrible, bloody business. Steely Dan singing about "the fine Colombian" -- and you need to think of what a hellish place Colombia is for the peasants thanks to the drug mafia down there. The combination of moral censoriousness (often for trivial matters) combined with ghastly moral obtuseness of many of our cultural warriors can vex one's soul if one lets it.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 9 September, 2020 03:20PM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes, Sawfish, I also felt that No Country for Old
> Men was a well-written thriller, much more an
> entertainment than The Road, the only other novel
> by McCarthy that I have read. I wonder if, in his
> mind, he makes a distinction between
> Entertainments and Novels as, if I recall aright,
> Graham Greene did.

For some reason, I do not trust any of his statements about motivations, etc. not sure why, but...

So yeah, I think Country is commercial, and you know what: I suspect that The Road has commercial elements to it--specifically the ending, which to my mind is ambiguous, as in The Life of Pi.

He's very, very good at capturing regional values systems. This statement make no sense on its own, but reading Suttree or Child of God, and considering some of the characters, you scratch you head at "how could there *be* such people", just as you might in Faulkner, but also as in Faulkner, the answers are definitely supplied within the story.

Or if not "answers, exactly, the the rationale for their existence.

>
> I do like the sheriff in No Country, and
> particularly was struck by his thoughts on the
> blood-on-their-hands that users of illicit drugs
> have, who are complicit in that terrible, bloody
> business. Steely Dan singing about "the fine
> Colombian"

"Hey, Nineteen". !!!

> -- and you need to think of what a
> hellish place Colombia is for the peasants thanks
> to the drug mafia down there. The combination of
> moral censoriousness (often for trivial matters)
> combined with ghastly moral obtuseness of many of
> our cultural warriors can vex one's soul if one
> lets it.

Yes, absolutely.

But you know what I *really* liked in the sheriff's expository narration? It was, I suspect, the key to *why* he's basically throwing in the towel as it gets real, real tough.

He keeps saying that it's no country for old me, and that he's old. And there's an element of believability in that, for sure.

But like a masterful author who likes to mess with your head, McCarthy introduces the reminiscence about the sheriff's war experience. to cut quickly to the heart of it, he abandoned his comrades-in-arms--waited for night and ran out on them--and for that cultural segment, west/central Texas male--that's a BIG NO-NO.

So then we are left to ponder: why, really, is he throwing in the towel with Anton? Oh, sure, his thoughts on the direction of modern society are valid--the old man in the dog collar--but...

(Sorry I diverted, but I get few responses from the McCarthy forums, the Chandler forums, etc. I would like one for Nathaniel West, etc... :^( )

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 10 September, 2020 11:08AM
I read 'Blood Meridian' years ago - the only novel by McCarthy I ever read. It's pretty good, mainly in terms of how it's written, as there isn't much of a plot per se: a bunch of bounty hunters on a killing spree. It does have a cumulative force though, largely as a consequence of what these guys are doing and the inevitable moral degradation this entails (although I think the mc was a pretty nasty piece of work from the get-go).

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 10 September, 2020 12:11PM
Cathbad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I read 'Blood Meridian' years ago - the only novel
> by McCarthy I ever read. It's pretty good, mainly
> in terms of how it's written, as there isn't much
> of a plot per se: a bunch of bounty hunters on a
> killing spree. It does have a cumulative force
> though, largely as a consequence of what these
> guys are doing and the inevitable moral
> degradation this entails (although I think the mc
> was a pretty nasty piece of work from the get-go).

We never know his name.

Judge Holden is one of the truly magnificent literary villains of all time, making Iago look like Eddie Haskell by comparison.

The character of Glanton (leader of the scalp hunters) is very understated, and yet there's something to him that's unusual--not sure what. I see him as something like William Holden's character in The Wild Bunch. There's a bit more to him than to his men, but I'm not sure how/why.

The plot is historically based, which means that a lot of the major stuff described happened about where/when it says in the book. But you know, all the little stuff that makes the book good is likely made up.

Like Aguirre, Wrath of God. Based on fact, but how the hell would anyone know the small stuff?

Thanks for indulging my diversion, Cathbad.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 10 September, 2020 12:45PM
I think Judge Holden is supposed to be the living personification of death? All that stuff about him drawing stuff and then destroying it afterwards sound heavily symbolic to me. Plus, I reckon it's only natural that Death would be drawn to a group of men who are doing a lot of killing. And it would explain why he's waiting for the mc at the end. Nobody slips through that guy's fingers!

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 10 September, 2020 01:55PM
Maybe so. Gets kids, gets everyone.

But then, too, he's good at everything, a sorta polymath, dancer, best fiddler you ever heard, etc.

I tend not to read literature in terms of looking for cultural symbols, but he's definitely more than human, no doubt about it.

I have an aversion from undergrad days. I misunderstood what I was learning. I think that what was intended was that you can *find* evidence of cultural recurrent symbols and themes, but I did not understand that what most of the authors seemed to be doing--except for those marginal wise-guys, like, er, well symbolists, etc.--were merely telling a story, and as products of their particular cultures, these deep-seated symbols sorta bubble to the surface, like artesean springs.

So at that time I thought that these elite authors were send us students clever, winking messages by *consciously* using cultural references for the cognoscenti--ahem!, *us*--to pick up on. But in fact, what was going on most of the time is that they included sequences that were influenced by cultural themes/norms/symbols, but not consciously so. What we did was to *find* these influences, which I mistook to be conscious references.

Man, I could find this stuff EVERYWHERE, and I'm now ashamed of my papers (truly, "undergraduate" in the worst interpretation of the term--I figure that Dale knows *exactly* what I'm talking about ;^) ), because I now think that the way to interpret it by default is that the authors seldom consciously intended to put them in, but in creating the narrative, they fell back on their life influences, which included central cultural motifs.

And to make matters worse, it's entirely possible that some of them *did* consciously inject these references in just the manner I believed as an undergrad, but now I would tend to think of this as a sign of a tender ego.

Back to Holden...

Do you think it's kinda jarring that Glanton, and not he, is the leader? I mean, in every way he makes better sense as the leader of a bunch of--face it--psychotics (stronger, more ruthless, smarter, superhuman strength etc.), but he is not.

Now there's one written account, in a sort of memoir by an alleged gangmember, that verifies the existence of Holden (maybe), so perhaps McCarthy felt constrained by the historical record--but the written account, while making Holden remarkable, does not go so far as to make him mythical--which McCarthy certainly does.

Odd stuff going on with that character, for sure.

Fun discussion, Cathbad!

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 10 September, 2020 02:46PM
I actually think Holden works pretty well in his assigned role - the mysterious fellow traveller. He's sort of like a carrion crow that accompanies an army on the march. My memories of Glanton are pretty dim, but your description suggests McCartney was trying to keep him morally ambivalent. Not a good man, but not actively wicked, either. Which I think is kind of interesting.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 12 September, 2020 12:56AM
Cthulhu is real. Metaphysically. I see neither Lovecraft or Smith as merely entertainment consumption literature. I take them deadly serious.

Those readers who respect Lovecraft as a fine author, and don't look upon his work as humorous (intentionally or unintentionally), often find their way to Ligotti, whose work can be said to be a continuation of Lovecraft's outlook on cosmic meaninglessness. Ligotti explores the effects of the philosophy Lovecraft hinted at.

I would have greater reason to laugh at Blackwood or Machen. But it is more appropriate to pity them.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12 Sep 20 | 12:59AM by Knygatin.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 12 September, 2020 09:54AM
Thanks for the Ligotti recommendation, Knygatin. I have found his *non* fiction work, Conspiracy Against the Human Race, in e-books format at the library and have checked it out. I realize that his greatest strengths will be found as fiction, but reading quickly about him on Wikipedia, then the library's description, I think it'll be good to try to get my had around his stated ideas.

Thanks again! I'm looking forward to reading it, starting today, most likely.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 12 September, 2020 12:04PM
I was able to get Ligotti's first published volumes, Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe instead of the non-fiction volume. I just finished the first story, "The Frolic".

I am impressed with his apparent worldview and look forward to reading some more, to see if it's consistent.

His narrative style in "The Frolic" is kinda awkward and not well formed--a sign of the early works of a writer, most likely--but I found the note from John Doe to the psychologist to be composed of very compelling imagery. A lot of the remainder of the story is expository dialog, which is maybe my least favorite narrative vehicle because if the author chooses to use it, he must therefore manipulate the course of the dialog to convey and resolve the plot, and often a natural dialog would not develop in that way.

But the *mindset* that permits him to view the world in a certain way is startlingly like my own...and here I'm going to get into trouble by expanding upon this, but...

Like most people growing up in a conventionally organized post WWII household I was raised in a saturated reality where we (the western powers) had just defeated EVIL and having purged the world of this, it was back to a normal peaceful and harmonious existence that humanity craved and naturally gravitated toward--with the exception of those unreconstructed Rooskies! I mean, my folks never fought, my extended family was peaceful and an upwardly mobile 2nd gen group seeking material success, and hence the security their parents had lacked in their homeland.

All of this fit together seamlessly, and what's more, being somewhat isolated out there living on an orange grove in 50s S Cal, nothing much disrupted this appearance.

So then we moved to the SF Bay area, I went to various state colleges while trying to avoid the draft, and over time I found that if I lived within the expectancies of my upbringing, not a lot of what I encountered out there in the larger world made much sense. I was constantly being blindsided by people and institutions not behaving in the way I was taught to expect.

So I sorta intellectually hunkered down and *observed*, looking at patterns. I did this for quite a while.

Then, maybe 45 years ago or so--at that time I was still a schoolteacher and kinda partway clung to these older and more optimistic assumptions--I was watching a Joan Goodall documentary on chimpanzees, and it came to me in a revelatory moment that, gosh, the chimps really did act like humans: petty, self-centered, immediate needs or wants as their greatest motivators, and little evidence of planning or strategizing.

And more disturbingly, it came to me that the chimpanzees had not *learned* this from humans, but that in fact, humanity retained this primate behavior as an unpurged remnant, and to a startlingly common degree: basic human behaviors were best understood as evolved core primate behaviors, and any behaviors considered to be of higher motivations were simply surface responses that required two prerequisites: 1) these "higher" behaviors be consistently inculcated by respected adults, and modeled by them, as well; and 2) sufficient access to material resources to remove the constant threat of day-to-day survival.

Now there's a whole lot more to say about all this, but I'll leave with the observation that once I had both grasped and accepted this, almost all of the stuff in life that I had encountered as a young adult that *did not* make sense, now all of sudden made sense, and indeed much of human behavior became predictable.

As always, my opinions, only.


:^)

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12 Sep 20 | 12:10PM by Sawfish.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 12 September, 2020 12:32PM
I have not dared to read Conspiracy Against the Human Race yet. It is considered a very very dark and pessimistic work. I have read a few of his supernatural short stories. I did not like "The Frolic", for to me it seems to be about a pedophile, and that is just too bleak. As I am more of a fantasist, I could recommend Nethescurial (free read at the Ligotti website), "Drink to Me Only With Labyrinthine Eyes" (Poesque), and "The Mystics of Muelenburg".

Many consider his late collection Teatro Grottesco, to be his finest most mature work.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 12 September, 2020 02:12PM
I think we're sold a false dichotomy in terms of how other animals behave and how mankind behave, something that becomes more apparent as you get older. Humanity's traits - positive and negative - are pretty evident in most other species. People find a partner, mate, rear their young and fight over territory and resources. I don't mean to be reductive when I see this; we're still a pretty exceptional species in many other ways.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 12 September, 2020 02:22PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have not dared to read Conspiracy Against the
> Human Race yet. It is considered a very very dark
> and pessimistic work. I have read a few of his
> supernatural short stories. I did not like "The
> Frolic", for to me it seems to be about a
> pedophile, and that is just too bleak.

I'm OK with the bleakness so long as I can distance myself from it. This includes most stuff.


> As I am
> more of a fantasist, I could recommend
> Nethescurial (free read at the Ligotti website),
> "Drink to Me Only With Labyrinthine Eyes"
> (Poesque), and "The Mystics of Muelenburg".
>
> Many consider his late collection Teatro
> Grottesco, to be his finest most mature work.


I just finished my third story. Frolic was not well assembled in my judgement, but after reading the next two, I now ascribe that more to artistic choice rather than lack of skill or subtlety.

The next two are Les Fleurs (thematically related to Frolic) and Alice's Last Adventure. The latter is quite remarkable, in my opinion.

I'll look for Teatro Grottesco; sounds promising.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 12 September, 2020 02:33PM
I have not read Alice's Last Adventure, but I enjoyed Les Fleurs. His bizarre cacti sculptures was to my taste.

Re: the "level of threat" posed by HPL, CAS
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 12 September, 2020 02:43PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'll look for Teatro Grottesco; sounds promising.

I have only read one of its stories, "The Bungalow House". I was quite impressed. Depressing though. But humorous too; he is good with colorful eccentric characters.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12 Sep 20 | 03:37PM by Knygatin.



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