Check Out Weird Fiction Review’s New Ligotti Interview

Another day, another interview link. Well, this is more than that — also a heads-up about a great new and interesting web site created by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer: Weird Fiction Review. It’s great to see this sub-genre given such a clean and professional presentation. The site seems to have been created as a launching point for the VanderMeers’ massive upcoming anthology, The Weird, yet most of the content is only indirectly related to that volume.

There’s a lot to see here, but what inspires me to point people in that direction today is a fascinating new

Thomas Ligotti’s The Agonizing Resurrection of Victor Frankenstein

My copy of the new Centipede Press edition of The Agonizing Resurrection of Victor Frankenstein by Thomas Ligotti just arrived. Haven’t started reading yet, but the book is so beautiful it inspired me to take pictures.

Centipede often throws in extra stuff with your order. Last time it was some large art prints on loose sheets, plus a National Geographic map of Mexico. This time it was a book (not a Centipede edition) along with a note explaining that they thought this would appeal to fans of Thomas Ligotti.

This photo makes the book look tiny but it’s actually quite tall.

Front cover view on top of slipcase.

Hypnotic endpapers.

The illustration opposite the title page gives a sense of the quality of the artwork inserts.

Many beautiful color illustrations. What a luscious edition!

By the way, this book is already sold out at the publisher, though there are reportedly a few copies available at dealers here & there.

We want our artists to be crazy

Last week I read an interview with Thomas Ligotti (who, in case you don’t know, if a very interesting, uncompromising and very strange writer of psychological horror fiction. I’d read about Ligotti before, but in the course of reading this interview I realized a very high percentage of the creative people I’ve admired are somewhere between “troubled” and “completely nuts.”

Just look at who else I’ve written about in this short-lived blog… Hemingway (suicidal alcoholic), Fitzgerald (depressive alcoholic), Philip K. Dick (who, let’s just say, has a five paragraph section under the heading “mental health” in his Wikipedia entry), and now Ligotti. For a catalog of Ligotti’s psychological troubles I’ll leave you to read the above-linked article, if you’re interested.

Add to that list some of my other favorite creative inspirations, for example painters –Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo — and a pattern begins to emerge. One begins to wonder, do individuals of the sensitive nature who might excel at creation just naturally have a hard time in life due to that sensitivity? Or is it that unbalanced, obsessive people have more time or energy to focus upon their creative work, and are thus more likely to be productive and to succeed? Or is there something in the inward searching all creative artists must undertake that is somehow troubling or corrosive to one’s happiness in the long term?

I really don’t know the answer to this. It does seem, though, that a quick rundown of my list of favorite poets, artists, composers and so on, yields a rate of incidence of psychological problems greater than what’s seen in the general population.