Thomas Ligotti

teatroI was going to wait to post something on Thomas Ligotti until I had read more of his work, but what the hell. I’d heard his name  for a few years and had always been sort of curious, but it wasn’t until recently that I decided to give it a chance.  I picked up a copy of the short story collection  Teatro Grottesco and devoured it. The other day  I found a copy of the out of print The Shadow At The Bottom Of The World  that I will probably dig into over the long weekend.

Ligotti  most often gets compared to Poe and Lovecraft, but from the shadowstories I have read thus far it is a tonal comparison more than a stylistic one. Within his body of work he has  visited the Lovecraft Mythos a bit from what I understand, but it is by no means is a focal point. His prose is tight and descriptive with out being overwhelming and superfluous. Ligotti’s stories evoke a vivid environment of apocalyptic dread, anxiety and madness that is truly potent.

His work is one of the very few that I have read that produced a “where have you been all my life” epiphany. The stories in Teatro, particularly “The Red Tower” and “In A Foreign Town, In A Foreign Land,”  capture so much of what I have tried to do in Gruntsplatter that seeing it on the page was striking. It was encouraging as well to see that those kind of stories have an audience.

Ligotti has also contributed to Current 93, on the albums “In A Foreign Town, In A Foreign Land”, “I Have a Special Plan For This World” and “This Degenerate Little Town.” I haven’t heard any of those releases. I’m not the biggest of Current 93 fans (David Tibet’s voice is annoying, sue me) but I am interested in seeing how his words play against their style of music.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time you see Ligotti’s name mentioned here, particularly since I have an unopened book of his work waiting for me.  Here is an interview from 2004 with Ligotti that is definitely worth reading. If you like dark fiction, short stories or any of the music I have done, I can’t recommend him enough. A lot of the stuff is out of print now sadly, but Virgin Books issued Teatro Grottesco and a collection of three novellas called My Work Is Not Yet Done that which I still need to get, and those shouldn’t be too hard to find. Fox Atomic comics has also issued two graphic novels called The Nightmare Factory based on Ligotti’s stories.

Cross-posted from The Aberrant Laboratory

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