The consolation of horror in art is that it actually intensifies our panic, loudens it on the sounding-board of our horror-hollowed hearts, turns terror up full blast, all the while reaching for that perfect and deafening amplitude at which we may dance to the bizarre music of our own misery.
I am an offspring of the dead. I am descended from the deceased. I am the progeny of phantoms. My ancestors are the illustrious multitudes of the defunct, grand and innumerable. My lineage is longer than time. My name is written with embalming fluid in the book of death. A noble name is mine.
While I no longer have a copy of the letter, I recall that I told him that I thought he and I shared a similar view of the world and its heart, though we had drawn different conclusions. Both Tom and I saw a fallen world, but I believe in redemption. Tom had gone to that terrible place beyond worlds, beyond redemptions, beyond words, where even the silence was ferocious and painful.
David Tibet, “Soft Black Star: Some Thoughts on Knowing Tom Ligotti”
from the cover art that I created for the upcoming “Demiurge : The
Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales of Michael Shea.” This will be part of a
series of six Cthulhu Mythos books from authors Thomas Ligotti, Caitlín
R. Kiernan, Clark Ashton Smith, and more, to be published by Dark
In speaking of depression and its defining effect of driving its victim to the point of caring nothing for anything, the American talk-show host Dick Cavett once remarked that “when you’re downed by this affliction, if there were a curative magic wand on the table eight feet away, it would be too much trouble to go over and pick it up.” No better elucidation has ever been proffered vis-à-vis the uselessness of reason in the absence of emotion. In the recumbence of depression, your information-gathering system collates its intelligence and reports to you these facts: (1) there is nothing to do; (2) there is nowhere to go; (3) there is nothing to be; (4) there is no one to know. Without meaning-charged emotions keeping your brain on the straight and narrow, you would lose your balance and fall into an abyss of lucidity. And for a conscious being, lucidity is a cocktail without ingredients, a crystal clear concoction that will leave you hung over with reality. In perfect knowledge there is only perfect nothingness, which is perfectly painful if what you want is meaning in your life.
Thomas Ligotti, The Conspiracy against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror
The human phenomenon is but the sum
Of densely coiled layers of illusion
Each of which winds itself on the supreme insanity
That there are persons of any kind
When all there can be is mindless mirrors
Laughing and screaming as they parade about
in an endless dream
To say that some kind of god might exist is to vivify its being with mystery. To define a god into existence because it meets certain criteria for godhood is to kill that god by turning it into a cheapjack idol with a publicity team of theologians behind it. This would explain why so many deities—all of them, in fact—have fallen apart or are in the process of doing so: eventually every god loses its mystery because it has become overqualified for its job. After a god’s mystery is gone, arguments for its reality begin. Logic steps in to resuscitate what has been bled of its healthful vagueness. Finally, another “living god” is consigned to the mortuary of scholars.