Ligotti the Experimentalist

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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.

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One response to “Ligotti the Experimentalist

  1. Complete discussion thread whence the above has been adapted: http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=8678

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