Deprimer or Depresser


review by D.F. Lewis

DEPRIMER by Mike Thorn

“Sometimes he wished for some fantasy organization that could erase people’s lives from all earthly records. […] …quick merciful and total subtraction from reality, so he’d have no need to worry about leaving others in pain.”

This seems to be a seminal fable for those who take certain philosophies and certain casts of the human mind from Ligottianism. But here this is something quite different that you can take from Ligotti’s FICTION, a blend of literary worth and avant garde hoax. The story of suicide-prone Vincent and his chance-unchance encounter with Dr Cribs, and it is no coincidence, I guess, that the latter’s cure-all clinic where Vincent is “cured” is an “anonymous white building on the brink of the industrial district.” His own battle with his somehow eponymous internal and external blight, is also almost a love affair starting with a kiss. And the choice that you the reader faces at the moral hidden within the fable’s wonderful ending is balanced in the scales of your mind. The paradoxical irony of Deprimer versus Depresser. I know which choice I made, and you may guess it. Which of the cribs? A crib is both a child’s bed and a cheating act. Yet, if you choose the bed, through a sort of new-born innocence of confident joy, you can transcend your own cheating of self by making the bed and then sleeping in it.

Above is from the review of VASTARIEN here:

OR BOTH?image
I have been reviewing the gestalt of my own recent revisit of ‘Songs of a Dead Dreamer’ and ‘Grimscribe’ (reprinted and possibly edited for the new Ligotti Penguin Classics collection), stories that I first read just under 30 years ago.
These works, based on my findings HERE, represent an artful blend of (a) genuine, perhaps partially unintended, prophetic warnings about factors that have since emerged in our world, couched in a beautiful original Gothic-Baroque style, and (b) a ‘fabulous hoax’ that is essentially an avant garde happening.

The question remains whether Ligotti’s numerous interviews over the years and, indeed, his Conspiracy Against The Human Race are substantively part of (a) or (b)?

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