Perpetual Autumn

I posted a blog entitled FOREVER AUTUMN HERE in September 2012, conveying some of my philosophy of life and literature. And this morning just after 5.30 a.m., the BBC Radio 4 weather forecaster stated that our Winter went missing and it was replaced by what he called “perpetual Autumn” – referring to the serial strong Autumn storms that have been besieging our UK islands for most of the Winter so far and into the foreseeable future.

For me, it seems apt to mention, in this context, Thomas Ligotti’s recent mass audience recognition written by Michael Calia in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a recognition for Ligotti’s bleak philosophy. Death Anxiety plays a part in this – and probably in some of the Scandinavian fiction bleaknesses they often show on UK TV on Saturday nights – but here the WSJ article concerned something entitled TRUE DETECTIVE of which I have no experience (nor do I have any experience of the Scandinavian TV fictions, for that matter!)

Regarding his Fiction art in particular, Ligotti already had in my view a well-deserved mass audience recognition a few years ago with the Virgin paperback of his fiction entitled TEATRO GROTTESCO, a book that I saw in all manner of public places, at least in the UK.

And I am intrigued by this new recognition for his philosophical standing. Although believing such recognition to be well-deserved by Ligotti in respect of philosophy as well as fiction, I wonder whether — with his perceived tenets of such philosophy within ‘the Contrivance of Horror’ entitled THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE (CATHR) — the above heightened profile of personal recognition could be seen to be either counter-productive or irrational for his type of bleak anti-natalist philosophy: a dilemma I first raised HERE in 2007 before CATHR was published. (Ligotti replied at that time as shown on that link.)

I remain to this day open-minded about it and would welcome further input from Ligotti and others. If further thoughts of mine should arise on this matter, I shall include them in the comment stream below.

Meanwhile, I suggest that any writers who propound bleakly philosophical anti-natalism and so forth deserve name recognition for their writing where such recognition is deliberately sought rather than ideally or logically subsumed by the nihilistic subject-matter. Financial reward for such writers (as a symbol of such recognition or simply as a human pragmatic need) may also be a deserved consolation to appease their Death Anxiety that often remains otherwise unconsoled by the sublimated or distractive creativity of hard work employed in writing about such matters. Perpetual Autumn indeed, never Winter’s Death. Infinite Fall.

For the record, THIS was my real-time review of CATHR soon after it was first published as a book.

19 Comments

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19 responses to “Perpetual Autumn

  1. Just read a subsequent WSJ article (issued just now) about the TRUE DETECTIVE subject vis a vis Ligotti, Barron, Strantzas, Langan, Poe, Lovecraft etc.:- http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/02/02/writer-nic-pizzolatto-on-thomas-ligotti-and-the-weird-secrets-of-true-detective/

    Yes, it’s great to have these public salutes to Weird fiction.

    Meanwhile, though, my blog above is about CATHR and its ostensibly non-fiction nihilistic philosophy.

    I understand that TRUE DETECTIVE is on-going and its hero still needs to fulfil his pure pessimism or anti-natalist credentials. As do most Weird Fiction writers other than Ligotti, I guess!

    It seems to me that the writer of TRUE DETECTIVE, in this second WSJ article, is now retreating from CATHR as a stark anti-natalist philosophy on which his TRUE DETECTIVE hero bases his life, but rather approaching it as just another Weird or Horror fiction influence on him as if from a story by Poe or Lovecraft or by Ligotti himself rather than from a monumental philosophy of anti-natalism etc. like CATHR.

  2. I now note the word ‘plagiarism’ is publicly being used in connection with above topic, i.e. it is being said that the words used by the hero of ‘True Detective’ have been taken direct from CATHR without the programme acknowledging that source?
    I wonder how many in secular or religious monasteries or authorial ivory towers are ever sufficiently acknowledged? Or whether they can be or should be thus acknowledged – especially when one follows this dictum: it is futile to call life futile, because it is.

  3. My reply to Ligotti here in 2007 seems also very predictive of the Gestalt Real-Time Book reviewing I started in 2008.

  4. An interesting post on Thomasl Ligotti On-line about this matter: http://www.ligotti.net/showpost.php?p=99461&postcount=12

  5. Re: Philosophical Sophistry in ‘True Detective’

    From here: http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=8072


    Either the self is teeming with several separate selves. See Proust’s fiction as an example of that phenomenon depicted. Or it is empty. See me, see Nemonymous. Impossible to judge a self from the same self. That would be like judging the nature of mind through the only mind you can ever know, your own mind; judging one’s life or sense of existence via that very same life or sense of existence. We are life-insiders and we must learn to live life from the inside till we are given a chance otherwise. These are not my beliefs. Just observations from a fictional life-outsider.
    From the cosmic point of view, to have opinions or preferences at all is to be ill; for by harbouring them one dams up the flow of the ineluctable force which, like a river, bears us down to the ocean of everything’s unknowing. Reality is a running noose, one is brought up short with a jerk by death. It would have been wiser to co-operate wih the inevitable and learn to profit by this unhappy state of things – by realising and accommodating death! But we don’t, we allow the ego to foul its own nest. Therefore we have insecurity, stress, the midnight-fruit of insomnia, with a whole culture crying itself to sleep. How to repair this state of affairs except through art, through gifts which render to us language manumitted by emotion, poetry twisted into the service of direct insight?” from ‘The Avignon Quincunx’ by Lawrence Durrell (‘Constance’ 1982)

  6. There seems to be these possible standpoints:

    1. It is futile to call life futile, because it is.
    2. It is not futile to call life futile.
    3. Life has a definite purpose, therefore not futile – just live it and you will eventually see this is true.
    4. Life just is, neither futile or non-futile – just live it without thinking about it.

    Which one are you – or do you overlap?

    I think the only one wholly without hope is 1. I think I am mainly 1 but sometimes overlap with 4 or I alternate between 1 and 4.
    When engaged in matters of creativity and art, I sometimes sense twinges of 3!

  7. The more I think about it – no. 1 is close to no. 4, both a sort of laissez faire, 1. being an utterly pessimistic version of it and 4. a neutral version.

    3. is plain daft, on any objective viewpoint, though I do receive twinges of it as I said before.

    2. is the problematic one – and, like CATHR, it seems arguably to be a mixture of pessimism and optimism, by seeing some good in being pessimistic.

    Not that this should be a struggle to be the most macho or puritanical pessimist!

    CATHR
    The Conspiracy Against the Human Race

  8. It seems that, based on my photos from this morning in March 2014, there still prevails our Perpetual Autumn!
    A Misty Grove of Yieldingtrees.

  9. If it turns out to be true that life itself continues after your death, then it wasn’t futile that you once lived within that life to alter or shape it, however slightly.
    Re futility: http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=8101&page=2

  10. The Plagiarism issue raises its head above the parapet in a big way: http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=8770

  11. All my thoughts on Ligotti’s various works are linked from here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/thomas-ligotti/

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