The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, by Thomas Ligotti
The problem with being human is that, in order to get through life, we have to try really hard to remain ignorant of what we are: uncanny things, self-aware puppets, evolutionary accidents embodying the contorted logic of a paradox. That is, according to Thomas Ligotti — celebrated writer of existential horror.
A departure from his normal fare of dread-inducing short stories, this is a peak into his mind, and into the philosophers and writers that have influenced him. Philosophically, Ligotti is a pessimist, and this work traces that history in ways that make this a unique contribution to that history of philosophy — nicely complementing other works I’ve recently reviewed, like “Pessimism” by Dienstag, “Dark Matters” by Van Der Lugt, and “Anti-Natalism” by Coates/Mishri.
Ligotti has a way with words, and this work blends philosophy, history of philosophy, and literary prose into a single whole. Very much worth reading. The picture below gives a taste of how some of it comes through in the book:
(Also — for fans of HBO’s True Detective: a fair number of Matthew McConaughey’s lines in the first season were heavily… errr… inspired by lines in this book.)