The Return of The Teeming Brain

By jcoterhals via Flickr under Creative Commons

By jcoterhals via Flickr under Creative Commons

Greetings, Teeming friends. After a break of — what has it been now? four months? — I’ve recently been tracking certain subtle indicators, auguries, and ripplings in the cosmic aether that indicate it’s time to rouse The Teeming Brain from its long winter’s nap. While I’m at it, I would like to broadcast a special thanks to those of you who have continued sending your voluntary monthly donations to the cause during the downtime. This has been a great help with the Web-hosting fees, which went up considerably last summer when I took steps to improve the site’s speed and loadability.

Interestingly, a steady stream of Web traffic has continued to converge  here even in the absence of new posts — one of the benefits, I think, of developing a vast and varied collection of content like the one that we have here in our library of articles, essays, columns, and links spanning the past eight years.

I have now managed to dig part of the way — a very, very small part of the way, mind you — out from under the mountain of accumulated projects and responsibilities that necessitated the hiatus. The mummy encyclopedia that I was editing for ABC-CLIO is basically finished and turned in to the publisher, with a rich assemblage of articles by more than 40 top-notch scholars from half a dozen different countries around the world. I have now moved on to the paranormal encyclopedia project for the same publisher, and am thrilled to have secured the participation of many top writers and scholars in the field whose names and works will be very familiar to Teeming Brain readers, since you’ve seen them quoted and cited here many times. I’m also slated to contribute two articles to an encyclopedia about spiritual possession and exorcism. Then there’s the matter of my forthcoming omnibus collection of supernatural horror fiction from Hippocampus Press, To Rouse Leviathan, which awaits my final touches. Work is also basically complete on Born to Fear, the forthcoming book of collected interviews with Thomas Ligotti that I edited for Subterranean Press. I’ll give further details on all of these projects in the near future. Then there’s the ongoing fact of my day job as a college writing instructor. So, yes, my time is still largely spoken for at any given moment.

That said, the publication of new Teeming Brain content will resume within the next few days — a fact that will be aided and facilitated not a little by my decision several months ago to permanently delete my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, which has liberated large amounts of time, energy, attention, and soul (something that I may also say more about in the future).

Thank you again to everybody who has ridden out the long break. There has been no lack of activity during the past few months in the various spheres that we’ve devoted ourselves to tracking, investigating, analyzing, and commenting on here, so I look forward to resuming the conversation and receiving your input.

About Matt Cardin


Posted on February 18, 2014, in The Teeming Brain. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Glad to see you guys back. In the months you’ve been away I took a second class with Professor Daniel O’Leary at Concordia University and got an A. I also took a class on international action cinema.. hong kong, japan, hollywood.. and got an A in that class as well. I attribute my success to being a reader of this blog and exploring my interests in criticism , horror/religion and cultural anthropology. You’ve really inspired me a lot in my writing. Last week Professor O’Leary lent me his copy of Dreamtime: Concerning The Boundary Between Wilderness And Civilization by Hans Peter Duerr. I had meant to have read it already but had decided to read other books instead.. I’m spending reading week going through this uber classic.

    “The demons who had been chased into the wilderness, far away from people, then proceeded to return in a changed shape and in a much more threatening form. They were not content to squat on the fence anymore, they sneaked up the cellar steps at night and knocked on the doors. The witch no longer threatened from the outside, she awoke inside.”

  2. oh that was from page 49 Chapter 5 Bedevilling the senses .

    from the jacket “Can witches really fly? This question has been posed by, naively and not so naively, for centuries, but never with the erudition and sophistication with which Hans Peter Duerr addresses it in Dreamtime. He asks what one means by witches, what one means by flying, what one means by reality, and what one means by asking… Methodologically , Mr. Duerr is attempting to wing it between his two worlds. In the end, the answer is he gives to his basic question “Can witches really fly?”, is “I can” .

  3. yay! glad to see you back, Matt! I’m looking forward to what’s to come.

  4. Matt,

    Welcome back to the darkness. 😀

    I spoke with you some time ago, a semester or two, within one of Dr. Kendrick’s horror pictures’ lectures. After your guest discussion (and geeky questions), I’ve since consumed nearly all of Ligotti’s works, and I’ve moved to newer stuff, Laird Barron & Mark Danielewski kinds of horror. The older pieces too are atop my shelves what with Daphne du Maurier & Hagiwara Sakutaro.

    Thanks for your contributions here on the site and elsewhere online. I’ve read your “A Course in Demonic Creativity,” and, like Gardner’s “The Art of Fiction,” King’s “On Writing,” and Orson Scott Card’s “Characters & Viewpoint,” it is a welcomed (new) addition to my list of writing resources, the go-tos.

    I am making time to read your horror fiction as well, and your blog I will definitely and interact with more. I’m glad to read you’re back, and we readers are definitely anticipating your edited release on Ligotti’s interviews.

    um, re-welcome?

    • I appreciate the welcome-back, Candy, and I’m very glad to hear that I provided you with a fruitful introduction to Ligotti via that guest lecture in Jim’s class (as I’m inferring must have happened). I’m also glad my creativity ebook has proved valuable to you. I hope the same things happens as you dip into my fiction.

      Regarding all things Ligottian, you might be interested to hear (if you’re not already aware) that HBO’s TRUE DETECTIVE is currently evincing a direct dose of central inspiration by Tom’s pessimistic and antinatalist stance on life and the cosmos, as verified by the series’ writer himself, Nic Pizzolatto, in a couple of online interviews, including one for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. This is the first time such an influence has explicitly appeared in a major mass entertainment phenomenon. Notably, Pizzolatto also cites Laird and some other contemporary weird horror writers as influences, and the central mythos of this first season of the show has emerged as being centered in Robert W. Chambers’ uber-classic in the genre, THE KING IN YELLOW (1895), which has just vaulted into Amazon’s current Top 10 bestseller list because of this. I’ll be saying more about these things in a future post.

  5. That I didn’t know. HBO has me again now it seems. Thank you for sharing that tidbit of info. I had started Ligotti’s “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race” to learn exactly how he could articulate his special variety of pessimism without all fiction. Odd for some, but for horror/philosophy fans it proves there’s optimism to be gained of the darknes, a glass half full kind of a thing. Thx again.

  6. Hi Matt, and so great to see the reawakening of The Teeming Brain!

    Speaking of True Detective, are you aware that it was my io9 article that started the whole discussion of its ties to The King in Yellow? I was stunned at all the attention it got (and is still getting—nearly 750,000 page views).

    More than anything, I am thrilled to have contributed to the book hitting Amazon’s top 10. It’s so cool to know that so many new people will discover Chambers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.