Ligotti in The New Yorker

An erratic overview, with an off-beam title. This — for instance — is absolutely not getting it: “… the essential quality to truly terrify: an aspect of the unreal.”

This, though, is getting it:

Ligotti’s stories, which have been reissued in a new Penguin Classics volume that brings together the books “Songs of a Dead Dreamer” and “Grimscribe,” are fugues of the creeping unknown. They often begin with a moment of banality: a visit to a new town, an academic’s research project, the tearing down of an old building. His narrators are fairly nondescript, if occasionally a tad morose. But they are all sensitive to or attracted by a slight bend in reality. Something leaks through into the known world, and the protagonist, often already on the edge of sanity, is doomed by the encounter with whatever it is — say, the spectre of a demolished house that seems to exist in a liminal place between wintry nights and the realm of the dead.

Horror is about nothing at all except reality. Unreality is for everything else.

One thought on “Ligotti in The New Yorker

  1. Pingback: The Horror of the Unknown: Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti | Electric Literature

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