The ultimate skyline by Heather Horsley – this novel ‘Nemonymous Night’ by DF Lewis was published exactly three years ago by Chomu Press. I have just picked it up to read it and pretending that I have never read it before! And it feels as if I haven’t! It’s coming up completely fresh and dare I say I am enjoying it? It’s been on a slow fuse since June 2011. At least I hope it’s a slow fuse and not a dead or dying one like that to the firework display for the launch of the Jules Verne Drill told about in the novel itself! (The novel’s few reviews here.)
Pleased last June to learn that my gestalt real-time book reviewing, aka dreamcatchers, has been nominated for a British Fantasy Award 2014.
Unknown or unexpected dreams that find themselves entrammelled fortuitously or ominously in the dreamcatchers with which we set to catch them.
Or targetted dreams we actually set out to catch with our dreamcatchers.
Or dreams that set out to catch us, captcha us.
My recent dreamcatcher HERE as teased from Thomas Ligotti’s two new short fictions.
‘Metaphysica Morum’ as an anti-natalist Modest Proposal in the tradition of Swift … and ‘The Small People': Ligotti’s own variation upon a theme of Gulliver’s Travels as addressed to Doctor Lemuel himself via Aickman or Sarban.
The Swift Link.
“The world came to an end in 1914.”
Opportune that I finished this massive Priestian-Proustian-steampunk ‘cone zero’ of a novel on this day, 4 August 2014, exactly one hundred years since the Great War began or the world ended?
‘Against the Day’ by Thomas Pynchon is a major visionary work, spreadeagling with dirigibles and other SF craft through Time and Light Pollution, Europe and America upon the cusp of 1914, inter-fraternal, multi-picaresque, proto-concupiscent, with Dali’s Hidden Faces, the interconnective gestalt to end all gestalts, in real-time and deja-vu time and bilocationary time….
For me, yesterday evening belonged to Winston.
The commentary said he came to the diary room to talk about the remaining housemates, although it seemed to me that he had been dragged there by BB to give him more profile, and he sat there with half-tongue-tied opinions in his usual disarming fashion as BB force-fed him questions. But it was when he later said to someone that he once played the part of Peter Quince in ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream‘ that everything so far in this summer’s Big Brother fell into place. Winston Showan as the character that is Shakespeare’s own comic portrait of himself melding with Winston Smith (the hero of Orwell’s 1984), the Young Churchill lookalike, the callow youth, the Essex beefcake, and his earlier sudden out-of-context question to Chris about the Illuminati as if itself a question force-fed by preternatural forces during this our own deep Midsummer…
Above taken from discussion here (I am Des2).
It was simply the way ponderously half-a-sandwich Winston (Young Churchill lookalike) brought up the Illuminati subject himself out of the blue that convinced me. It didn’t seem to have a context. It just was.
As to Mark complaining to God if his eyebrows, hair-straighteners etc. weren’t up to scratch in Heaven, and saying that Jesus would help him. I foresaw odalisque Danielle up there, too, somehow, tending to Heavenly affairs….
All this reminds me why I have been watching and commenting upon Big Brother here for the last ten years!
(Also enjoyed Super-Cassandra’s sound-bites about Orwell’s 1984 book)
It was all predicted in early 2013 with my ‘Relaxed Snowman’ blog, including the fact that ‘Horror Without Victims’ was likely to be my final paying publication for other authors (the twelfth such publication). And, in recent days, my own slippage showing up with some of my many WordPress sites starting to vanish from public view, but still clinging on? Who knows what is next?
As promised, I intend to resume real-time reviewing when the current Summer break or Sabbaticess (a form of Eventernal Slumber or Perpetual Autumn?) ceases at the end of August – using the books I have already been showing on this site as recently purchased.
Is Ligotti’s work experimental or traditional weird literature?
For me, experimental fiction includes
(1) being essentially tractable by most readers but with difficult subject matter, text leading to allusion, illusion, or elusion, by poetics or density or text’s texture or richness of sound and semantics and look, relative complexity of narration’s and time’s points of view, a prime example of which would be Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandrian Quartet
or (2) as (1) but often also with seemingly Avant Garde devices like the marble or blank pages and typographical mazes in Tristram Shandy or the mind-blowing and vexed texture of text in Finnegans Wake, the latter breaking sexual and other taboos, too … (or an anti-novel like Robbe-Grillet’s?)
I personally place Thomas Ligotti’s canon of work firmly in (1), demonstrated by difficult subject-matter balanced between truth and metaphor upon the fulcrum of its author’s self in a nightmare of distress, and I would include THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE in his canon.
Most other weird literature that I enjoy presents an array of traditional story-telling and not experimental in the above sense. Cisco, Connell and Crisp would be examples of exception.
Other examples of exception abound in the huge Zagava/ Ex Occidente canon of books. Indeed, separate from that, its canon as a whole has been an Avant Garde experience in itself….!
My mention of Tristram Shandy shows that experimental or avant garde does not always mean modern or modernist.
Disagreement can be productive of new ideas in spite – or because? – of a surface-cracking, fiction against truth, fiction against fiction, truth against truth, a series of frictions that are often more productive than any slip-slide of surface agreement. Disagreement, indeed, can be a form of brainstorming that tussles between already grooved paths, then folding itself into unexpected, yet-to-be-grooved, story-lines, one such story-line’s potential being along the still emerging real-timeline of one’s own future life, however Autumnal it is or even Winter-terminal. A vexed texture of text.
Today, I was fatefully given the unexpected opportunity to append my simple agreement regarding the need for the Avant Garde sensibility in some Genre fiction — and this relates to my earlier description of the relationship I have had with the Avant Garde over the many years of my writing career.
Indeed, I suspect I belong there, not here. I know I have wasted my life thinking I was writing something when all the time I was writing something else. Neither of them being anything much to write home about.
A footnote to a life’s disagreement – with myself!
Yesterday, I finished reading the uniquely momentous and monumental Mann’s ‘Doctor Faustus’. My thumbnail thoughts about it HERE. Dead Tooth, Sea-Maid, Young Echo and Germany’s two World Wars in palimpsest. And its accompanying lamentatory music.
I am continuing the reading of the massive ‘Against the Day’ by Thomas Pynchon. For anyone who enjoys SF like Michael Wyndham Thomas’s ‘Valiant Razalia’, Jules Verne, Dr Who, LOST, Christopher Priest and, dare I say, ‘Nemonymous Night’ – as well as much more that is uniquely Pynchon, with Wild Western Dynamiters and seekers of Iceland Spar…