Thomas Ligotti

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Thomas Ligotti

Thomas Ligotti (July 9, 1953, Detroit, Michigan) is a contemporary American poet and writer of the horror genre. His narrative works cultivate diverse modes and styles, most often the Lovecraftian terror, and sometimes they have been assigned the qualification of “philosophical horror”. That is, they are philosophical narratives, but in a “darker” tone than those related to Gothic fiction. An author little known to the general public, the Washington Post newspaper commented on his work: “It is the best-kept secret of contemporary horror literature.” Another critic stated: “He is a truly skilled writer who can suggest such a horror. Shocking that is appreciated to be kept off the stage ».

This author is quoted in the Spanish natural story of the tales of fear, which in turn quotes ST Joshi (in his work The Modern Weird Tale), as one of the fundamental writers of the macabre fantasy in his country and defender of the genre of tales against the excessive preponderance of the novel.

Thomas_Ligotti’s Biography

Ligotti attended Community College, Macomb County, between 1971 and 1973, and graduated from Detroit’s Wayne State University in 1977.

As a writer, he began his publishing career in the early 1980s with a series of short stories that he published in small American magazines. He was editor and collaborator of Grimoire between 1982 and 1985.

His stories, as singular as they are shocking, have not been widely read until recently. Their relative anonymity and seclusion led to speculation about the true identity of the author. In an introduction to the Ligotti short story book The Nightmare Factory (1996), the writer Poppy Z. Brite echoes these doubts with a rhetorical question: “Are you there, Thomas Ligotti?”

In recent years, there have been several interviews with the writer in which they have come to light some details of their background, for example, that for twenty-three years he worked as an associate editor of the Gale Research house (now the Gale Group) , an editorial that produces, among other things, compilations of literary works of investigation. In the summer of 2001, Ligotti left his job at the Gale Group and moved to South Florida.

Ligotti’s worldview has been described as a profound nihilism, although he himself distrusts this label. Once said: “” Nihilist “is an adjective that others put you. No intelligent person has ever described himself, or thought of himself, as a nihilist. “Ligotti has acknowledged, on the other hand, that he has suffered anxiety disorders for much of his life, which have marked his work significantly. / p>

Ligotti avoids explicit violence, so common in current horror fiction, focusing rather on the recreation of disturbing and pessimistic atmospheres, by subtle and repetitive means. He has cited authors such as Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Bernhard, Edgar Allan Poe, Bruno Schulz, Emil Cioran and William S. Burroughs among his favorites. Likewise, certain similarities can be traced between some of Ligotti’s works and Robert Aickman’s stories. H. P. Lovecraft is also a fundamental influence for Ligotti; some stories, “The Sect of the Idiot”, in particular, make explicit reference to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Myths, and the story “The Last Feast of Harlequin” [“The Last Harlequin Feast”] “] is dedicated to the Providence writer. Likewise, among his declared influences (as cited in an interview for the Dagon fanzine) are MR James, Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Machen, all horror writers of Fin de siècle, known for their literary subtlety and for the implications of what cosmic and the supernatural in their stories.

As has been said, Ligotti has stated that he prefers the format of the story to the longer narrative forms, as reader and writer, despite which a few years ago he published a short novel: My Work Is Not Yet Done. work is not finished].

Ligotti collaborated with the musical group Current 93 on his albums In A Foreign Town, In A Foreign Land (1997 and 2002), I Have a Special Plan for This World (2000), This Degenerate Little Town (2001) and The Unholy City (2003), all edited by David Tibet for the Durtro label. Tibet has also published several limited editions of Ligotti’s books in Durtro Press. Ligotti himself played the guitar in Current 93’s contribution to Foxtrot, an album whose proceeds were used to finance the anti-alcoholic medical treatment of musician John Balance.

The critical analysis of Ligotti’s work can be found in the book by S. T. Joshi The Modern Weird Tale (2001), as well as in a critical anthology collected by the scholar Darrell Schweitzer, a declared fan of Ligotti.

In September 2007, the editor Fox Atomic Comics released The Factory Nightmare, a graphic novel based on Ligotti’s stories. The book received very good reviews and, consequently, a second volume was published in September 2008.

Wonder Entertainment launched an edition for collectors, with DVD and book, of The Frolic, which contains a film adaptation of the short story by Ligotti, with the script and presentation by the author. Only 1,000 copies of this collector’s edition were made.

Ligotti has favorably reviewed the story “Nowhere to Go” by the author of Nova Scotia, Canada, Barry Wood, criticism published in the English magazine Postscripts, No. 14 of 2008. He has also positively rated books by Eddie M. Angerhuber, Matt Cardin, Michael Cisco, John B. Ford, Thomas Wiloch, as well as the philosopher Eugene Thacker. The Scottish philosopher Ray Brassier wrote the prologue to Ligotti’s book The Conspiracy against the Human Race, “a strange combination of literary guidance, treatise on nihilistic philosophy and imaginary book (extracted from his account” The Shadow , the Darkness “)».

The publisher Subterranean Press has begun to launch final revised editions of some of the collections of ancient Ligotti stories, including, among others, Grimscribe.

In Spanish

De Ligotti, the books The Factory of Nightmares (ed. Factoría de Ideas, 2006), Noctuario, Grimscribe vida y obras, Teatro Grottesco and The Conspiracy against the Human Species (ed. Valdemar, 2012, have been translated into Spanish). 2015 and 2016) According to its editor, “Noctuario is a collection of stories that are grouped into three parts:” Studies of shadow “,” Discourse on blackness “and” Notebook of the night “. The stories gathered in this “nocturnal diary”, whose writing is as meticulous and careful as it is dark and subtle is the breath that animates them, introduces us into an ominous and deranged universe, populated with unhealthy dreams, sinister dolls and strange gadgets, hypersensitive and sickly minds. All these ghosts that make up the strange world of Thomas Ligotti move between light and shadow, dream and wakefulness, the Real and the Unreal. So, Noctuario is a chronicle of the Darkness, a narrative inquiry into the very essence of terror, which questions the foundations on which reality and reason rest ».

The anthology of editorial Valdemar Fear in the body: 25 years of terror with Valdemar (2012), picks up Ligotti’s tale “The Wonder of Dreams.”

In comics, the factory of nightmares, published by Panini, appeared in 2008, with adaptations of Ligotti’s works by various American scriptwriters and cartoonists.

His Spanish editor, Rafael Díaz Santander, commented on Ligotti in an interview: “For those who do not know him, Ligotti is a current author, but one that connects perfectly with the classics, as he transports us to a world that is not contaminated by the prosaic details of our time. Their stories happen in the universe of pure terror, populated by strange mechanical devices, disquieting mannequins, puppets, landscapes that surround the characters and devour them as carnivorous plants, characters that wander as in a Beckett work, intrauterine nightmares, dreams that reveal the existential vacuum. I would say that Ligotti is a kind of vacuum cosmonaut. ”

In February 2015, his already mentioned essay Conspiracy against the human species, work, according to the publishing house, in which the author “pays homage to the forgotten” appeared in Spanish, also published by Valdemar publishing house. pessimistic philosopher and Norwegian antinatalista Peter Wessel Zapffe, and also recalls the contributions to this philosophical current of thinkers like Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Mainländer, Bahnsen, Brashear and others, without forgetting the influence that this worldview has had on the history of literature of horror, especially in the work of his beloved and admired teacher HP Lovecraft. They abound in these pages, that will not leave indifferent to any reader, lapidary phrases that shine like lighthouses that penetrate the reigning darkness, that shake the consciences, like the knocks at the door of Macbeth. A couple of examples: “The cake has been discovered: we are biorobots that copy genets that live in the open on a solitary planet in a cold and empty physical universe …”. or “It is better to immunize your conscience against any alarming and horrendous thought so that we can all continue to conspire in order to survive and reproduce as paradoxical beings: puppets that can walk and speak for themselves … human toys that mutually support the illusion of be real “».

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