Fiction as Religion: Some good words about DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP

Here’s something for those of you who have read or are thinking about reading my first book, the cosmic-spiritual horror collection Divinations of the Deep (Ash-Tree Press, 2002).

Last month Des Lewis, better known to the world at large as extremely prolific and much-respected weird horror author and editor D.F. Lewis,  bought a copy of the book and began posting short, impressionistic reactions to its contents at the Shocklines message boards. This led to a brief online conversation in which various friends and fellow authors chimed in with their own enthusiastic thoughts and feelings about the book.

Now Des has extracted his commentary from that message board and presented it in a bit more permanent form at one of his Websites. The upshot of his reactions appears at the end, and interfaces with his long-held fascination at the idea of “fiction as religion”: “Matt Cardin’s wonderful conceit that Religion is the deterrent for whatever that Religion worships . . . . This whole book is Fiction-as-Religion in action. It is truer than truth. imho.”

He also points out what I myself had already noticed: that major aspects of my story “If It Had Eyes” bear an almost spooky resemblance to major aspects of Stephen King’s Duma Key — and my story was published six years before that novel. (No charges of any authorial impropriety here, by the way. Just an interesting observation. I find it virtually impossible to believe that King has even heard of Divinations, let alone read it.)

So here’s a sincere thanks to Des for his perceptive and insightful reading of my work. I read everything, fiction and nonfiction alike, in exactly the same manner that’s on display in Des’s commentary: as a way to find synergistic interplays between my inner world and that of other people. How interesting to see someone else offering such a reading of my own stories.

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD, GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES, and HORROR LITERATURE THROUGH HISTORY.

Posted on January 13, 2009, in Arts & Entertainment, Religion & Philosophy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Cardin,

    Please explain what you mean by this idea of “Fiction as Religion.”

    Thanks!

    thefaithfulmind

    • thefaithfulmind — Sorry about the brief delay in my response. The specific idea of “fiction as religion” as mentioned in this post comes, as mentioned above, from Des Lewis. Let me refer you to a discussion thread about the subject that he started a couple of years ago at Thomas Ligotti Online, where you’ll find him fleshing out the idea in various ways and with various examples, and you’ll also find other participants trying to hash out the idea. Look especially for the posts by “Nemonymous,” since that’s Des’s screen name at TLO (and also the name of a fine fiction journal that he edits, and whose “hook” — and a fascinating one it is indeed — is that all of the stories are published anonymously, with the authors’ names being revealed in the next issue).

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