Doug Talks Weird about Ligotti

Last week Doug Bolden posted the third of his video blogs discussing Weird Fiction and in this instalment he talked about the Thomas Ligotti short story ‘The Frolic’ and the meaning of the term ‘Lovecraftian’.

‘The Frolic’ is one of Ligotti’s earliest published stories and, as good as it is, it is one of my least favourite Ligotti tales. The story centres around a psychiatrist who is dealing with a patient who is a notorious child murderer -he refers to his abuse and murder of children as ‘frolicking’- and who has become increasingly cynical and bitter about his career. To me the story seemed rather simplistic and, dare I say it, trite though that could well be to do with the stories age –Songs of a Dead Dreamer which features the story was Ligotti’s first collection released in 1986- or perhaps due to Ligotti trying to curtail his literary ambitions in order to appeal to the horror publications of the time.

Where I didn’t enjoy the story Doug manages to tease the Ligottian elements from within what is otherwise a by the numbers psycho-killer story.

There was a short, 24 minute, film made of ‘The Frolic’ a few years ago which is now available on Vimeo. I’ve not seen it and so can’t comment as to the quality but you can watch it below.

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4 thoughts on “Doug Talks Weird about Ligotti

  1. If you felt the short story was trite, I’m not sure if the short film will change your mind. It changes some details, and makes it (I feel) more definitely supernatural while removing some doubt, and then has a more definite “stairway to the stars” reference, but overall I feel it loses some of that “Ligottian Sleaze”, the weird snippets of slums and rundown warehouses in the cosmic wastes. It does add a couple of lines linking John Doe to Peter Pan and it has a great line about “That wasn’t Ryan [a child victim], that was just a suit I had to free him from…” (or something like that).

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