Mist, Fog, and Light: The Spectral World

True macabrists are as rare as poets and form a secret society by the bad-standing of their memberships elsewhere, some of their outside affiliations having been cancelled as early as birth.

Mist on a lake, fog in thick woods, a golden light shining on wet stones—such sights make it all very easy. Something lives in the lake, rustles through the woods, inhabits the stones or the earth beneath them. Whatever it may be, this something lies just out of sight, but not out of vision for the eyes that never blink. In the right surroundings our entire being is made of eyes that dilate to witness the haunting of the universe. But really, do the right surroundings have to be so obvious in their spectral atmosphere?

Just a little doubt slipped into the mind, a little trickle of suspicion in the bloodstream, and all those eyes of ours, one by one, open up to the world and see its horror. Then: no belief or body of laws will guard you; no friend, no counselor, no appointed personage will save you; no locked door will protect you; no private office will hide you. Not even the solar brilliance of a summer day will harbor you from horror. For horror eats the light and digests it into darkness.

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 indulge in cruel pleasures against ourselves and our pretensions, 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, Songs of a Dead Dreamer

3 thoughts on “Mist, Fog, and Light: The Spectral World

  1. Ligotti either didn’t take physics in school or forgot what he was taught. One cannot be separate from the crusty old universe. Same with the cobwebbed corners. The practice of horror is nothing more than an expression of the laws of our universe. We are it. It is us. No one escapes from its jail. Besides you and the jail are one, so you cannot escape from yourself who really doesn’t exist as a separate entity. You’re just an ooze following the laws of physics, and part of a bigger ooze. And all this talk is just the universe being and observing itself. It can do that.

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    • It’s all entertainment anyway… your fiction is no better than his. You just happen to have faith in your own bullshit, he his. Neither is more than a desperate plea for recognition in a universe that doesn’t care one way or the other. Neither do I.

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