Robert Aickman’s strange stories (1): “Meeting Mr. Millar”

Robert Aickman’s “strange stories” are epistemological in nature. Consistently, each story portrays an increasingly baffling series of events. The events rarely culminate in some horrifying revelation (comprehensible or otherwise). Instead, they end with the obstruction of all possible access to that which has occurred, why the events in question have taken place, and the general… Continue Reading Robert Aickman’s strange stories (1): “Meeting Mr. Millar”

Consider the Retronomicon

Retronomicon [/ˌɹɛkɹəˈnɑmɪkən/]. Noun. 1. Any nonexistent media artifact that serves as the imagined or imputed retroactive source for a field of meaning or sense (e.g., a genre, a mode of aesthetic production, or a school of thought). 2. Hyperstition. A network site of increased hyperstitional activity or productivity that operates more effectively by not existing.… Continue Reading Consider the Retronomicon

Ligotti epherema: “The Blonde” from Theoretical Detective (1982)

Here’s an interesting piece of Ligotti ephemera, for which I’ve been searching for many years. It’s a sonnet Ligotti published in a very obscure 1982 speculative detective fiction fanzine called Theoretical Detective (edited by Tine Said). My interest in the material relates to a long-term fascination with Ligotti, on the one hand, and with philosophical… Continue Reading Ligotti epherema: “The Blonde” from Theoretical Detective (1982)

The roots of creative darkness

(A shorter version of this post can be found at the DePaul University Institute for Nature and Culture‘s website, Environmental Critique. Thanks to Dr. Christine Skolnik for the invitation to contribute.) Introduction At first glance, the three figures under discussion – Algernon Blackwood, Marion Milner, and Friedrich Schelling – seem to form a rather unlikely… Continue Reading The roots of creative darkness