Author Topic: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti  (Read 11799 times)

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Broken Brains

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Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« on: August 08, 2014, 09:29:16 am »
I received a deluxe copy of Born To Fear ...

It is like a supplement to Conspiracy Against The Human Race. 

It is suggested that the only ways of dealing with our reality is to either kill ourselves or go insane.

Since it is almost unthinkably difficult to do oneself in in cold blood, I guess insanity is inevitable.

I guess it is a consolation to read someone who has the courage to just come right out and declare that it is a damn shame that life ever started on this or any other planet. 

« Last Edit: December 22, 2021, 08:13:42 pm by sentient intestines »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

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Holden

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 09:55:58 pm »
That's interesting. I will try to get a copy of the book.
La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
-van Gogh.

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2014, 11:38:40 am »
Be careful though ... I mean, while reading it ... Ligotti's worldview is very grim to say the least.
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

Holden

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2014, 02:15:10 pm »
Yes,well, I haven't got much to lose.
La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
-van Gogh.

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2014, 01:32:45 pm »
I understand.  My "state of being" seems to be becoming even more unbearable.  I try to think of certain people I have met (in institutions) who were able to keep their spirits up in such a way that they appeared to enjoy being themselves.   I've been very "sensitive" to snide vibrations ... I don't know how else to describe it.  It's as though I pick up on the gorts' mocking glances.  I would think I would be able to just "psychically deflect it" ---- I have to "pray for strength and courage" I guess.

I wonder how many others feel this way ... this "social anxiety" ...  :-\

It amazes me that I am not able to follow Schopenhauer's council as far as not giving people the satisfaction of seeing their effect on me.

Maybe I need o go over The Pessimist's Handbook.

I don't want to walk around hating while in society, but I don't want to be a prisoner in the apartment either. 

I now there is ice in people's laughter when they try to intimidate me not to speak out loud to myself.   I say loud enough for them to hear me, "Philosophy is the ability to converse with oneself."

It's a spiritual battle.   Do you ever have fear of someone driving by and shooting you?    There seems to be a huge conspiracy.  Artaud suggested that Van Gogh was "suicided by society".   In Dostoevsky's The Brothers K--- one of the characters says that he plays the buffoon in public even though he knows he is "intellectually superior".   

A prime example of how people can be suicided by society is Gene Simmons' attitude:  Gene Simmons Tells Depressed People: 'F**k You, Kill Yourself'

He's a great example of the type of arrogance I despise ... King of the Gorts? No ... That term is not really accurate, is it?  King of the Phonies?   Hmmm .... I don't know.  He doesn't pretend to be something he's not.  He's not a sucker ... And yet ... well, maybe he was just after some free publicity.  King of the ****?  Let's just forget it.  He might be some kind of mafia boss that could put a hit out on me and make it look like a suicide.   

I will try not to become too angry about such attitudes ... but holy f---.

Sorry ... I am unable to write curse words in the public library due to a Net Nanny ...  ::)


It was not easy to be Dostoevsky or Nietzsche or Schopenhauer.   It's most likely Hell to be Ligotti.

I haven't been writing at all.  That's one of the worst consequences of binge drinking.  When in the grip of it, the hands shake and I can't hold a pen.   I have very little interest in doing anything at all.  Knowing that Ligotti suffers similar feelings of horror and dread can actually be a consolation.  I am hoping the few of us who post here can offer us some kind of consolation just knowing we suffer similar horror at being alive.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 01:08:04 pm by H »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

Holden

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2014, 03:47:26 am »
Unbearable..yes,I am know what you mean.I haven’t met you in person, but I draw inspiration from you very frequently in order to stand up to the gorts.The gorts, they get to you,they get to me too,when I am outdoors,inevitably,one way or another I land into some sort of trouble.

Remember,Schopenhauer himself was treated much the same way,not that it matters to you, but I am certain that ,in time ,the non-gorts would recognise you for a giant of philosophy, that you are.

The safest general characterisation of  the world anti-gort philosophical tradition shall consist of a series of footnotes to Schopenhauer & you,Mr H.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 10:51:12 am by Holden »
La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2020, 10:52:20 pm »
Days between 2014.08.17 and 2020.03.11 : 2033 days
_______________________________________________

I have been grabbing this book, Born to Fear (The Ligotti Interviews), on the way out the door.  Re-reading it, finally.   It feels good in my hands, an actual book.  You see, when I work with mathematics, and often even when programming, I am working with hard copy texts; whereas, most of the literature I pour over is digital format through a device.

So, for this book of interviews to spontaneously find its way back to front and center is welcomed.

It is a good companion to The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, since, well - it's Tom Ligotti, the conversationalist existing in our world, not one of his protagonists finding a cassette recording in a trunk in an attic in some creepy abandoned house on the outskirts of Detroit.

Are we in the enchanting nightmare?   When I imagine my fellow-human beings out there, it is kind of terrifying ... The Island of Dr M has nothing on the places we live.   There are some seriously unstable phenomena out there.   Humanity oozes to and from the cities.  In the nooks and crannies, pure Hell ... There is an Evil loose in this world, and it is always hungry, always needs very badly some kind of fix ...

Ligotti wants confrontational escapism, where we might tap into the abstract nightmare ... this phantasmagoria inside our skulls.  The protagonists of Lovecraft's stories are going mad with fear, terror ... horror.   Were we to be able to see all at once into the nooks and crannies on this Plantation of the Multinational Industrialists, we might be truly terrified.

As males, we are generally conditioned to repress or outright deny any fears; and yet Ligotti seeks out the fear.

It is one thing to be brave, another thing to be ignorant of the nature of one's own life.

I admit that I do not fit into this world too harmoniously, and that I hate the Banks, the Big Industries, the Lawmakers who tax and keep police forces well-fed and well-disciplined; but I fear the corrupt and powerful - that is, I wish to evade confrontations with them.

I wish to escape into a realm of far more powerful entities, the so-called supernatural forces who might intervene in my behalf.

If you could transform into some kind of supernatural demon, would you wreak havoc on those who trample over employees to get a bargain flat-screen TV?

All this demon would have to do is allow nature to take its course.

Abstract horror is relative and subjective, isn't it?   I used to have nightmares when I was drinking heavily where these masked freaks would be poking me with sticks ... and I could almost recognize the faces of people I might have known in the town I was living in at the time.

I can sympathize with those who truly feel the presence of supernatural forces battling all around us.   How any one of us interprets this reality must really be our own business, no?   

The demon of life is in me, as well; but I am tormented by a human fragility that we all must share to some degree, some much more than others - our weakness in the hands of the Indifferent Natural Elements, of which our fellowman is a part.

   I must repress a great deal.  As one prone to write and express forbidden ideas, I must be vigilant not to reveal too much even to myself!   Catastrophic Introspection!

Lead us not into temptation?  Tobacco is overtaxed, enforced by Federal Agents of the Corporate State.  We're in the Open Air Funny Farm.  What I am banking on is that a certain degree of documented "psychiatric mood disorder" of some sort might give one POETIC LICENSE to blurt unpopular truths out.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2020, 06:14:55 pm by mike »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2020, 02:34:08 pm »
Within BORN TO FEAR, page 83, in the section Work Not Done?: An Interview with Thomas Ligotti  (Thomas Wagner 2003), there is a passage which may lend insight to the theme I am trying to zero in on in the new thread, I dislike both Capitalism and Socialism.

Wagner: : One could interpret My Work Is Not Yet Done as a harsh critique of modern American, or let's say, Western society: human greed is the root of evil.  The greed for more and more money and power, along with stupidity, corrupts our whole world and leads to unavoidable catastrophe.  But, nonetheless, My Work Is Not Yet Done is not some kind of political statement, because you don't show any solution or way out of the dilemma.  Your view of the world seems to be 100% pessimistic.

Ligotti:  My view is exactly that.  While My Work Is Not Done uses the corporate system as a starting point, this is only so that the story can go on to depict the all-encompassing system of human existence -- in fact, all organic existence -- as something fundamentally and inescapably evil.  This view is essentially that of Buddhism, except Buddhism offers salvation in the form of an ultimate escape from existence through attaining enlightenment and nirvana.  For me, the only escape is death.

.... (I will not type up the rest, not just yet ... too many damn things to tend to in living reality) ...

WagnerIn our last interview you mentioned "The Shadow at the Bottom of the World" as your favourite story.  What about the stories in My Work Is Not Yet Done , especially the title story, which must really have a personal meaning for you.

Ligotti:  Thematically, the title story of My Work Is Not Yet Done and "The Shadow at the Bottom of the World" are identical.  Both of them emerge from the feeling of a dark, hideous power that underlies the nature and guides the workings of all organisms.  In that sense, they both have a personal meaning for me.

_________________________
much more I wish to type up, but torn ... by the demands of just another day.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 04:58:10 am by mike »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2020, 04:32:53 pm »
Disillusionment Can Be Glamorous: An Interview with Thomas Ligotti

E.M. Angerhuber and Thomas Wagner (2001)

At the very end of the interview:

text to speech:  https://youtu.be/xZx2oES1SBE?t=1995

E.M. Angerhuber: If you had a wish to make for the future, what would you desire most?

Thomas Ligotti:  I don’t even have to think about this one.  Here’s my wish:  That every living thing, at the moment of its death, expires in a state of bliss.  All’s well that ends well.  Of course, this would upset the natural order of things, and people would be killing themselves left and right.  In order to insure the continuation of this funhouse of flesh that we call Life, it’s necessary that we fear the pain and grief of death and all costs struggle to avoid the inevitable.

____________________
full interview (transcript) at The Nightmare Network
« Last Edit: March 14, 2020, 04:37:22 pm by mike »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2020, 11:32:24 pm »
BORN TO FEAR, page 78, in the section Work Not Done?: An Interview with Thomas Ligotti

Wagner… We’ve detected a priceless humor in My Work Is Not Done (as well as in many other of your stories).  We guess you’re not a “happy” person.  We suppose this kind of homo sapiens which thoroughly enjoys existence In a world like ours is as fishy to you as to us.  But what about Thomas Ligotti’s sense of humor in real life?  Do you face everyday’s madness with a grin? 

Ligotti:  To my mind, a well-developed sense of humor is the surest indication of a person’s humanity, no matter how black and bitter that humor may be.  If you think of the real bastards in world history as well as those with whom you are personally acquainted, they are people who invariably have no sense of humor.  And they will often regard your sense of humor as “inappropriate.”  Humor is the mark of their enemy.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 01:50:24 am by mike »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2020, 01:48:48 am »
BORN TO FEAR, page 86, in the section Work Not Done?: An Interview with Thomas Ligotti

Wagner:  “The Phenomenal Frenzy” ends in a disillusioned way that I’d like to call typical Ligotti-esque: “But this same place, a true resting place in which I should have been able to live out the rest of my life in some kind of peace, was now only one more thing that I had to fear.”   That’s something I found in nearly all your stories: even the apparently good things turn out to be just another charade, a facade in the sideshow world, and they mutate into something weird or evil.  Compared with this, the end of the afterward sounds unfamiliarly positive:  “I had triumphed over my literary crisis and wanted nothing more than to get back to my desk, my brain practically vibrating with an unwonted energy in spite of passing another night without sleep.”

Ligotti:  To my mind, the narrator’s eagerness to continue writing is actually quite monstrous.  At the same time, it is, as you say, very positive.  In my observation, the most monstrous and vile people are those who are filled with energy and confidence.  The more energy and confidence they have, the more monstrous they are.  These people make life miserable for those of us who have doubts about everything we do and above all about existence itself.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 01:50:36 am by mike »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2020, 01:59:02 pm »
I have been reading about how Nietzsche considered himself a pessimist and not an optimist, only he believed that his pessimism was the genuine pessimism.He had an indifferent health almost all of his life and the places he lived in were generally cold.
Thankfully,my town is not cold.Cold really drives me insane.
Very few people bought his books while he was alive.A teacher with no students.He said Schopenhauer went wrong when he endorsed conventional morality.

I can see now where he started to differ from Schopenhauer.
This woman he was apparently  in love with,spurned him.
She must have thought -what a loser,no patrimony, no prospects.If he had not resigned from his professorship, it might have been different..but as things stood he was certainly not a good catch..unlike Schopenhauer,who could have had any woman he took a fancy to.
What would Schopenhauer say to Nietzsche,perhaps, nothing.Perhaps he would just give him a knowing smile and shake hands with him.

Today I spent almost the entire day locked in my room.
Nietzsche's life was closer to a typical tragedy.But Schopenhauer's no less infused with suffering.

I cannot help but imagine that both of them,in their loneliest loneliness, must have wept a great deal.
La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
-van Gogh.

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2020, 02:47:39 pm »
Quote from: Holden
unlike Schopenhauer,who could have had any woman he took a fancy to.

No, and again, no, as Schopenhauer would say.  Schopenhauer stated that he had been very fond of several, if not many, women, and that none of them would have him.   

Of course, this statement was made in the context of being accused of misogyny.

In particular, when he was around 43, I think, he had the hots for a 17 (or 19, let's be fair) year old.  She didn't want anything to do with his grapes. 

I understand your confusion, Holden.   Myself, I had always pined for and pursued unattainable women, with some characteristic which made them particularly unattainable, such as language barrier, age barrier, cultural barrier, and even evidental lack of chemical attraction (her toward me), not to mention my lack of resources to be able to provide.   That's an entirely different can of worms.

There is a theory that the man who has chased unattainable women really wished to preserve his independence.  In the end, he may be the one who has been unattainable all along.    You see, such a man would never just choose any woman just because she would have him.  He, in reality, prefers his own company.

These are just my interpretations.   We are under no obligation to agree.

While I am not fond of Nietzsche's overrated "works" and hyperbolic "theories," I, like you, very much sympathize with the tragic existence he endured, and he is far closer to being my brother than my enemy.


As for the weeping, as I have said before, It was not easy to be Nietzsche or Schopenhauer.   It's most likely Hell to be Ligotti.  Schopenhauer admits that not every Hanzel finds his Gretyl, and yet, this idea that romantic love or marriage or procreating is some kind acheivement boggles my mind.

As I say, flies fuuck.  Not every drone gets to impregnate the queen.  Not every spider is lured to its death via intercourse with the female.

Certainly this is not a smooth running system nature has on her hands.  There's bound to be rejects and downright deserters.
_____________________________________________________
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 05:33:21 pm by mike »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2020, 07:05:18 pm »
BORN TO FEAR, page 89, in the section Work Not Done?: An Interview with Thomas Ligotti

WagnerRecently I read an old interview with you in the magazine Tekeli-li.  I found it very interesting that you mentioned the unknown German author of the book The Nightwatches as some kind of reinforcement for your own work.  Is it by chance the book Natchwachen, that was published under the nom-de-plume Bonaventura at the beginning of the nineteenth century?  This is one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Romantic period and is hardly known even in Germany.

LigottiThe Nightwatches is indeed a forgotten masterpiece.  Any book that is so explicitly at odds with the social and religious culture of the world, especially during the period it was written, is doomed to be ignored.  A modern-day counterpart to this book is the work of Austrian novelist and playwright Thomas Bernhard.  But Bernhard was always raging against the Nazi mentality that he saw as still holding sway within Austria, so his work has been embraced somewhat, at least in Europe.  His work is still too grim for consumption by English-speaking countries.  English and American readers will only tolerate books that ultimately uphold the status quo and offer people reasons why their miserable lives are worth living.
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

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Re: Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2020, 03:17:18 am »
Quote from: Holden
I cannot help but imagine that both of them [Schopenhauer/Nietzsche],
in their loneliest loneliness,
must have wept a great deal.


Is it possible that "tears of enlightment" might be mistaken for so-called "depression" --- ?

just a thought   :'( :D
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 04:34:20 am by mike »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~