Weird Tales: Essays and Reviews

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“Metaphysical revelations begin only when one’s superficial equilibrium starts to totter…”
– E.M. Cioran

“…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.”
– Thomas Ligotti

“When early youth had passed, he left
His cold fireside and alienated home
To seek strange truths in undiscovered lands.”
– Alastor, Percy Bysshe Shelley

Hegel once told us that the “aim of knowledge is to divest the objective world of its strangeness and to make us more at home in it.” But what if the opposite were true that the real aim of knowledge is to invest the objective world with abject strangeness and to alter our mode within it as pure homelessness?

Homeless voids roam the empty abyss of this universe licking up light from the swirls of galactic clusters surging round the infinite drift of dust and stars; black holes like the gods of some delusionary dream shuffle among the broken quasars seeking out the dark filaments of superfluous suns, each cannibalizing the light of a thousand civilizations on the edge of cosmic nothingness.

The Trauma Factory

“Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal…”
– H.P. Lovecraft, The Tomb

Behind our eyes are those of the tiger, wolf, dolphin, elephant, and mustang and all those animals and insects of the terrestial dream; the shifting gazes of a million life-forms spread their light among the dark contours of this sensible self. The mutable surface of skin hides the innumerable macrophages who defend the black inner realms like the militia of a defensive army, engulfing the cellular debris and pathogens of a terrible desire; and the bacterial denizens of this wet oceanic life in symbiotic resistance break down the ancient predatorial and vegetal vitality that invades the blood and acidic cavities, each mobilizing its own secret agenda without benefit of agent, goal or purpose beyond the sacred power of teeth chittering in the hive. The inertia of metalloid biotics collides with the fractured resilience of this strange flesh like a musical score played upon some stellar harp spread across transfinite dimensions, bleeding into this space of time giving birth to the shape of a spectral delusion that is beyond the human form.

Over the years wandering the sub-cultural delirium of dark alchemical mutant dataclash like ccru, conspiracy theory, bizzaro, weird tales, horror, gothic, noir, pulp etc. one gets the feeling that what is being related, although not empirically true nor part of some vast collective reading of the unconscious psyche of the planetary psychosis, is rather the notion of a world-wide Trauma Factory. As if there is a productive system of necrotic knowledge systems producing cosmic nihilism and despair, nightmares and consensual hallucinations; populist narratives gathering threads from every form of deranged mediatized corruption and fetid unknown shadow world; absorbing, collating, revising, narrativizing and republishing for mass consumption the fears and geotraumatic events of our age. Theory-fictions: all the subtle horrors and aberrations, sociopathic and/or psychopathic invasive natural and transnatural installations from the great Outside. Broadcasting not the actual but rather the virtual inlays of a traumatized civilization and species as it faces absolute extinction at the hands of its own secret death-drive toward apocalypse and annihilation.

Maybe the dark gnosis from the collective delirium is a message from the hinterlands of Non-Being, a fragment of that forbidden knowledge we’ve needed for so long but were unable to accept nor fathom, a fractal and hallucinatory signal from the inter-dimensional vastation. Now that it is emerging from the dark portals of our own inner-sense, like a murderous passion or raging storm of will and intellect, we can begin to register the (non)truth of our own inhuman nature, accept the challenge of unknowing for the first and last time. Maybe we are the impossible shape of time’s vectors eroding among the black spaces of a frozen universe. We who have forgotten so much, wander the labyrinths of deep time, bound to the wheel of ignorance and self-laceration, begin to know who and what we are, wherefrom we’ve been expulsed, into what we’ve been thrown, and whereto we are speeding like so many daemons on a runaway train to oblivion… 

Fantastic: Recent Posts, Book Reviews, Essays, etc.

Fantastic Chronology

Fantastic Authors: Appreciations

Essays on the Weird

  1.        Michael Cisco and Weird Fiction
  2.        Fear of the Unknown: The Heart of the Weird Tale
  3.        Vladimir Nabokov: The Wood Sprite
  4. The Dark Fantastic: The Wild Lands of the Monstrous Other
  5. The Mad-Hatter Returns… (Notes)
  6. Fantastic Politics: Subversion, Symbolic Order, and Exit Strategy
  7. The Daemonic Imaginal: Ecstasy and Horror of the Noumenon
  8. David Roden: Aliens Under The Skin
  9. Warren Ellis on the Silence of the Net
  10. Gateway to the Real: Lovecraft, Ligotti, and the Inhuman
  11. The Paraxial Realm: Dostoevsky’s Fantastic Truth
  12. The Transgressive Fantastic
  13. On Fantastic Horror and Cosmic Nihil
  14. Surrealism and H.P. Lovecraft
  15. Dark Vitalism and Lovecraft’s Philosophy of Nature
  16. The Post-Nihilist Sublime
  17. The New Fantastic: The Carnival of the World
  18. The Neon Demon: Decadence and the Art of Darkness
  19. Angel of History vs. Demon of the Future
  20. In the Uncertain Realms of the Fantastic…
  21. Secular Mysticsm: Pharmakon, Ritual, and Pain
  22. Short History of Necropunk Philosophy
  23. Hyperstitional Closure: Historical Change as Retro-Virus
  24. Lee Braver on Philip K. Dick’s “Ubik” as Postmodern Gnosticism
  25. The Philosopher as a Young Madman
  26. Franco “Bifo” Berardi: The Joker Steps Out of the Mirror
  27. Nick Land: Philo-Fiction, Chasm, and the Abstract Manifesto
  28. Eugene Thacker: The Horror of Philosophy
  29. Eugene Thacker: In the Dust of this Planet
  30. Depressive Realism: Psychosis, Solipsism, and the Real
  31. Chasing the Void: Modernity, Abstraction, and Aesthetics
  32. Time’s Prisoners: Nietzsche, Burroughs and the Rift
  33. Toward a Non-Conceptual Fantastic
  34. On Fantastic Horror and Cosmic Nihil
  35. A Fondness for the Damned
  36. The Mad-Hatter Returns…
  37. Mash-ups, Rhizomes, Funereal Surgery…
  38. The Satyr’s Play
  39. Joseph Addison: The Fairy Way of Writing
  40. Our Necrophilic Culture of Doom
  41. Creative Destruction: The Age of Metamorphosis
  42. Nick Land: Philo-Fiction, Chasm, and the Abstract Manifesto
  43. The Cosmology of Nick Land: Bataille, Gnosticism, and Contemporary Physics
  44. The Curse of the Sun: Libidinal Materialism as the Composition of the Universe
  45. The Horror of Thought and Dark Pantheism
  46. Emile Cioran: The Fall into Time
  47. Emile Cioran: On Sainthood as a Form of Despair
  48. Graham Harman: An Ontology of Forces and Actions
  49. E.M. Cioran on Borges
  50. E.M. Cioran and Slavoj Zizek: A Difficult Gnosis
  51. E.M. Cioran – The Irreparable Uniqueness Of Things
  52. E.M. Cioran’s Revenge: The Triumph of Failure
  53. E.M. Cioran: The Delusions of our Sadness
  54. La Sorcière: Jules Michelet and the Literature of Evil
  55. Meditations in Black (1) – Aberrations of the Impossible
  56. The Occult Revival – Literature, Hermeticism, Magic and Philosophy
  57. La Sorcière: Jules Michelet and the Literature of Evil
  58. Fredric Jameson On David Wittenberg’s “Time Travel: The Popular Philosophy of Narrative”
  59. Paul Virilio: The Anti-City
  60. Topology of the Unknown: A Fantastic Anthropology
  61. The Grand Illusionist: The Non-Existent Self
  62. The Folds of Horror: Notes on Ligotti, Lovecraft, and Philosophy

Current Work in Progress: