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.
—  The Lost Art of Twilight by Thomas Ligotti
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
—  Thomas Ligotti
Sappiamo di essere vivi e sappiamo che moriremo. Sappiamo anche che soffriremo durante la vita, prima della sofferenza - lenta o veloce - che ci condurrà alla morte. Questa è la conoscenza di cui “gioiamo” in quanto organismi più intelligenti a nascere dal ventre della natura. Stando così le cose, ci sentiamo imbrogliati se per noi non c'è altro che sopravvivere, riprodursi e morire. Vogliamo che ci sia qualcosa oltre a questo, o almeno pensare che ci sia. E’ questa la tragedia: la coscienza ci costringe alla posizione paradossale di doverci sforzare a vivere inconsapevolmente ciò che siamo, pezzi di carne destinata a corrodersi su ossa che vanno disgregandosi.
—  Thomas Ligotti, La cospirazione contro la razza umana
.We need to know that puppets are puppets. Nevertheless, we may still be alarmed by them. Because if we look at a puppet in a certain way, we may sometimes feel it is looking back, not as a human being looks at us but as a puppet does. It may even seem to be on the brink of coming to life. In such moments of mild disorientation, a psychological conflict erupts, a dissonance of perception that sends through our being a convulsion of supernatural horror.
—  Thomas Ligotti, ‘The Conspiracy Against the Human Race’
In depression, all that once seemed beautiful, or even startling and dreadful, is nothing to you. The image of a cloud-crossed moon is not in itself a purveyor of anything mysterious or mystical; it is only an ensemble of objects represented to us by our optical apparatus and perhaps processed as a memory.
—  Thomas Ligotti
By means of supernatural horror we may evade, if momentarily, the horrific reprisals of affirmation. Every one of us, having been stolen from nonexistence, opens his eyes on the world and looks down the road at a few convulsions and a final obliteration. What a weird scenario. So why affirm anything, why make a pathetic virtue of a terrible necessity? We are destined to a fool’s fate that deserves to be mocked. And since there is no one else around to do the mocking, we will take on the job. So let us delight in the Cosmic Macabre. At least we may send up a few bitter laughs into the cobwebbed corners of this crusty old universe.

 ~Thomas Ligotti (on preferring Cosmic Horror to the Supernatural) 

External image

Collapse artwork by Andrey Kunin (see Collapse IV for some interesting content on Horror, including Ligotti’s work)