Notes on Absolute Inhumanism
From My Work is not yet Done:
“A: There is no grand scheme of things.
B: If there were a grand scheme of things, the fact – the fact – that we are not equipped to perceive it, either by natural or supernatural means, is a nightmarish obscenity.
C: The very notion of a grand scheme of things is a nightmarish obscenity.”
The logic above is a kind of anti-metaphysical metaphysics – that if there is such a metaphysics it is obscene and given the thrust of Ligotti’s work, generally unfriendly to human egocentrism. Ligotti’s antihumanist assertion is that one’s life is simply of no mater (The Sect of the Idiot). In addition to the general pessimistic anti-humanism of Ligotti’s philosophical texts there is a rampant ecological horror aspect.
From “The Shadow at the Bottom of the World”:
“In sleep we were consumed by the feverish life of the earth, cast among a ripe, fairly rotting world of strange growths and transformation. We took a place within a darkly flourishing landscape where even the air was ripened into ruddy hues and everything wore the wrinkled grimace of decay, the mottled complexion of old flesh. The face of the land itself was knotted with so many other faces, ones that were corrupted by vile impulses. Grotesque expressions were molding themselves into the darkish grooves of ancient bark and the whorls of withered leaf; pulpy, misshapen features peered out of damp furrows; and the crisp skin of stalks and dead seeds split into a multitude of crooked smiles. All was a freakish mask painted with russet, rashy colors—colors that bled with a virulent intensity, so rich and vibrant that things trembled with their own ripeness.”
The dark (bio) vitalism of Ligotti’s creeping nature is also found in the fungoid creatures of Lovecraft’s pantheon as well as William Hope Hodgson’s “The Derelict” and especially “The Voice in the Night.” The creeping life problematizes (but not in a merely somatic post-modern way) the interior and exterior – in that the surface of the earth is stabilized mostly in human thought – its porosity ignored or trivialized.
The ultimate counter example to such decisional solidity is the muck monster – the creatures taken from the tradition of the Judaic golem but exorcised of religiousity – such as the heap, man-thing, swamp thing and so forth. Ligotti is all too aware of this tradition in his “Severini” discussing the putrid blackness from where we all come and where we all end.
To be continued with a discussion of the creep of life…
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