Hawthorne, Ligotti, and the Absent Center of the Nation-State
Donald L. Anderson
Although composed before 9/11, Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s My Kinsman, Major Molineux and Thomas Ligotti‘s The Shadow at the Bottom of the World are both prescient in their critique of the impulse of American communities following 9/11 to monumentalise and concretise the nation-state and in particular the remains at Ground Zero. In this essay I discuss Ground Zero as a suggestive trope for the illusiveness of the nation as an imagined community. These complementary Gothic short stories operate as allegory and offer a way of reading how patriotic communities cohered around what remained at Ground Zero and (re)produced it as a site of patriotic performance. A new Gothic trait in our age of terror(ism) is the anxiety over the absence of a stable centre that anchors national continuity. This article places these short stories in conversation with Benedict Anderson,,Étienne Balibar and other theorists who engage critiques of nation-building in order to draw out what is Gothic about the nation-state and to further substantiate how 9/11 revealed the nation-state as a principally Gothic phenomenon.
Thomas Ligotti and the ‘suicide’ of the human race
Xavier Aldana Reyes and Rachid M'Rabty
Thomas Ligotti, who commanded the attention of horror aficionados in 1989 after his first collection of short stories, Songs of a Dead Dreamer , was picked up by the major American publishing company Carroll and Graf, has experienced a minor revival in the second decade of the twenty-first century. 1
Ligotti’s scant writing in the twenty-first century, especially after he started taking medication for his bipolar disorder, has had little impact on his growing critical and popular appreciation. 2
The most Gothic of acts – suicide in generic context
William Hughes and Andrew Smith
sublime and the domestic. Peters’ focus on suicide across the Ripley novels provides an important new way of thinking about how the Gothic and crime fiction can be linked.
Xavier Aldana Reyes and Rachid M’Rabty, in ‘Better not to have been: Thomas Ligotti and the “suicide” of the human race’, explore what could be termed Ligotti’s materialistic pessimism, or the belief that conscious and rational life is inherently tragic, as it is largely dominated by the experience of pain and the realisation of the inevitability of death. More specifically
9 Charles M. Kinney, Borrowed Time: A Medic’s View of the Vietnam War
(Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing, 2003; 2005), p. viii.
10 Lifton, Home from the War, p. 100.
11 Parrish, Autopsy, p. xi.
12 Frank Lunati (as told to Gene Ligotti), Time Never Heals: The Memoirs of
Capt. Frank Lunati, Battalion Surgeon 2/5 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile)
1965–1966 (Bloomington, Ind.: Xlibris 2003).
13 Vietnam context Army medics are soldiers trained to give emergency
medical treatment in the field.
14 Hassan, Failure to Atone, p. 182.
15 Carl E. Bartecchi, A Doctor