Showing posts from July, 2023


Thomas Ligotti, "Vastarien" in  Songs of a Dead Dreamer  (Silver Scarab Press: 1986).   As far as cursed books go, neither the Necronomicon , nor the play  The King in Yellow has anything on the pale gray bound Vastarien . There are features unique to this tome that I particularly like. First, the book itself picks its own readers. It does this by simply appearing blank to most would-be readers. Second, it is a book “that is not about something but actually is that something.” At a first stab, the mad Victor Keirion describes the book as a dream chronicle, but it becomes clear that it isn’t just a recollection of weird dreams; instead, the book is the dream一it composes the world and is not just a description of the world. Ligotti turns many a notion on its head in this one: dream versus veridical experience, representation versus represented, and the dreamer versus the dreamed. But the big one in the story is the inversion of the real/unreal dichotomy in such a way that