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Vastarien, Vol 1 - Issue 1, Grimscribe Press - a review

Wow! Just wow! This is a collection of short stories and academic essays inspired by the writings of Thomas Ligotti and pessimistic philosophy. While there were a couple of pieces that I found a little pretentious for my taste the gems, and there were many, more than made up for this.

Singing the Songs, Notes on a Horror, The Theatre of Ovid, Solar Flare and The Alienation of Self were by far my favourites. The writings are not only entertaining and thought-provoking they are also political, personal and self-validating. In addition I find myself truly inspired to delve into the darkness and the surreal with renewed vigour.

Stand out quotes -

In the film, the future co-exists with the past; and the future is fixed, in exactly the same sense as the past. Though the spectator may not know the future, every future event, without exception, might in principle be known with certainty, exactly like the past, since it exists in the same sense in which the past exists.

It is an old tradition – making people laugh while telling them the worst truths. If you don’t have that talent, you might be executed. Nowadays, people just won’t buy your books if you don’t keep them laughing all the way to the graveyard.

They look upon a pallid countenance, an idiotic smile, and see a grotesque, three-dimensional self-portrait.

Being itself “gaslights” us who have directly borne witness to the insanity, to trauma … For if Being did not “ontologically gaslight” us, Being would not persist.

Depression as philosophy is to philosophical pessimism what riding a bull is to daydreaming about being a rodeo clown.

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