Innovative Horror discussion

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message 1: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Cushing | 54 comments Mod
I just started a new poll (designed to stoke some conversation around these parts). Who is the most innovative horror author since 1980?

I've provided a list of luminaries to start us off, but feel free to write in your own answer.


message 2: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) I'm glad Barker won this even though didn't vote for him. His prose is divine. I just find Ligotti's prose cold (I know, that's the point), and his ideas too derivative of Kafka although most people cite Lovecraft as his primary influence. Other than the cosmic hopelessness, I just don't see the Lovecraft connection.


message 3: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) | 5 comments Randolph wrote: "I'm glad Barker won this even though didn't vote for him. His prose is divine. I just find Ligotti's prose cold (I know, that's the point), and his ideas too derivative of Kafka although most peo..."

Randolph... have you read Ligotti's Last Feast of Harlequin? I believe Ligotti intended it to be a tribute to Lovecraft.


message 4: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) Benjamin wrote: "Randolph wrote: "I'm glad Barker won this even though didn't vote for him. His prose is divine. I just find Ligotti's prose cold (I know, that's the point), and his ideas too derivative of Kafka ..."

Yes and Yes. It is quite a wonderful story. Borges also wrote a tribute to Lovecraft: There Are Many Things, and Lovecraft was obviously one of his many influences, but he isn't considered a Lovecraftian writer. I feel Ligotti is in the same camp. Calling him an heir to Lovecraft is too confining and it just seems that Lovecraft is one of many influences and at most a minor one, despite what Ligotti says himself. I just don't see it like I do in Barron. I see more Kafka than Lovecraft in Ligotti.


message 5: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) | 5 comments Matt Cardin posted an interesting piece on the TLO website regarding this very issue. You may want to check it out. I agree with your point to a certain extent, but HPL's influence on Ligotti is a bit more than you are making it out to be.

I'll try to find the link and post it here...


message 6: by Benjamin (last edited Apr 20, 2013 07:47PM) (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) | 5 comments Randolph... and others... I would be interested to get your thoughts and reactions to this well researched piece by Matt Cardin...
http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php...


message 7: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) At least I'm getting some lively intelligent conversation here. It seems to be in short supply on GR sometimes. You would think "readers" would engage in more erudite debates and not just tot up their books like a flock of OCD introvert bibliophiles. Ratings without verbiage aren't worth much.


message 8: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Cushing | 54 comments Mod
The thing you have to understand about Tom's work is that it's likely influenced by MANY sources. The man is just insanely well-read. I don't think he's influenced by Kafka so much as he's influenced by Bruno Schulz.

I highly recommend a book of interviews and criticism, THE THOMAS LIGOTTI READER. Between that and THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE, I think you get a gist of just HOW MUCH this man has read (and how OBSCURE some of his influences are).

I think the Lovecraft connection is there. He's read and re-read (and probably re-re-re-read a lot of HPL's stuff). If you read THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE, you get a sense of his thoughts about HPL. The influence is definitely there, but more in terms of theme than in style.

I think Poe might just be a greater influence on Tom's work than the vast majority of folks acknowledge.


message 9: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) Two posts is already past my self-imposed limit of one post/reply in a thread. Now I've committed the cardinal sin and posted three times. Barker is the man. Hellbound Heart is the greatest modern horror story written since 1970. It redefined the genre into the later 20th century even while it parodied itself and the genre, and the ever greater thrill oriented society we now live in. The funny thing about it is it's spawned it's own sub-genre of ever greater thrills and grue which is exactly what Barker was trying to parody in the original novella.

The Cenobite and Lamarchand's Configuration are two of the new, but now classic inventions in HH that are borrowed again and again in slightly different forms by genre authors. Talk about your Cosmic Horror, this is almost the pinnacle of the senseless universe and punishment of both the guilty and innocent. These all came out of left field, nobody saw what Barker was going to do to the genre when HH came out.

Mr. Ligotti has not penned his Hellbound Heart, yet. This is a pretty tall order. And it almost seems, that unlike Barker, he may be already written out.

I'll probably never read Conspiracy since from what I know it isn't purported to be fiction and I only read what I KNOW are lies. I never read literary analysis or in-depth criticism of any sort. I certainly have read/will read all his fiction and as much of his poetry as I can get my hands on.

I don't usually (almost never) debate, just declaim from the podium because I'm always correct.


message 10: by Char (new)

Char LOL, it must be comfortable for you to know that. :)


message 11: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) | 5 comments I think we need to take Randoph's response with his tongue firmly placed into his cheek.

But as a response, I would politely disagree with his "assessment". While I have enjoyed a number of Barker's stories, and do agree that his prose style is outstanding, I don't find myself affected or moved by any of his stories in the way I am by Ligotti. Ligotti is exploring boundaries of consciousness that none of his peers wish to go or perhaps are even able to go.

But Ligotti is not for everyone... I can definitely accept that.


message 12: by James (new)

James Everington | 33 comments I love Books Of Blood and Hellbound Heart. Maybe Cabal. After that, real big drop off in Barker for me.

Sorry!


message 13: by Anton (last edited May 06, 2013 06:39PM) (new)

Anton (antonb3) | 8 comments This discussion seems to have ended at this point, but I just read it and found it really interesting.

I've only read a collection of short stories by Ligotti, but felt like he was more in line with Poe than Lovecraft. At the risk of being reductive, I feel like in Poe's collected works we have both the emphasis on form, concept, and the absurd that's in Kafka (or in Borges), alongside an emphasis on sensationalistic diction, or diction driven by the idea of 'unity of effect,' which I feel is what Lovecraft most inherits from Poe. I see Ligotti more in terms of the Kafka/Borges lineage, though perhaps he encompasses both sides.


message 14: by Anton (new)

Anton (antonb3) | 8 comments I just saw Nicole said something similar. I agree with you, Nicole!

Anton wrote: "This discussion seems to have ended at this point, but I just read it and found it really interesting.

I've only read a collection of short stories by Ligotti, but felt like he was most in line wi..."



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