Fiction for Readers Who Enjoy the Mechanics of Literature

One reason why I am drawn to the works of Vladimir Nabokov, Jeff VanderMeer, Steve Aylett, and James Morrow is that they write for people who not only like to read, but who also enjoy the mechanics and study of literature, especially as it relates to the humanities. 

Chapter 5 of  The Modern Weird Tale by S. T. Joshi includes this passage on writer Thomas Ligotti

“One of Ligotti’s many distinctive attributes is the frequency with which he can metafictionally enunciate his own literary agenda in his tales. Many of his stories are just as much about the writing of horror tales as they are horror tales. In ‘The Frolic,’ a psychiatrist’s report of a madman’s visions are uncannily like Ligotti’s own aesthetic quest for the unreal:

There’s actually quite a poetic geography to his interior dreamland as he describes it. He talked about a place that sounded like the back alleys of some cosmic slum, an inner-dimensional dead end… Less fathomable are his memories of a moonlit corridor where mirrors scream and laugh, dark peaks of some kind that won’t remain still, a stairway that’s ‘broken’ in a very strange way…”  

2 thoughts on “Fiction for Readers Who Enjoy the Mechanics of Literature

  1. Mr. Joshi’s new book, THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS, has just been publish’d in hard-cover by Mythos Books. Although his views of Mythos fiction has be — to put it mildly — harsh, he has for these past few years taken a look at this sub-genre (he has actually edited his own anthology of Lovecraftian fiction, BLACK WINGS!). Whatever his opinion of Mythos fiction, he brings to his discussion a keen intelligence, sardonic wit, and an absolutely thorough knowledge of the subject. Highly recommended!

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