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Author Appeal: Deconstructing horror and philosophy tropes seems to be a big one. Also, any of the recurring themes under Paranoia Fuel.
Crosses the Line Twice: Everything in . Also, "The Town Manager". My Work Is Not Yet Done
Crowning Moment of Awesome: Arguably, the ending of "My Work Is Not Yet Done".
Cult Classic: In a manner of speaking, but for different reasons than most bearing this distinction.
Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory
Genius Bonus: While rarely essential to the enjoyment of his work, having a robust literary background does not hurt when reading Ligotti.
Hell Is That Noise: "Do you know the sound of something that stings the air?"
The Law of Fan Jackassery: Mostly on the "obscure/friendly" end, with a small handful of nasty exceptions.
Magnificent Bastard: If a true antagonist can be discerned in a Ligotti story, the sheer elegance and ingenuity of their cruelty is rarely in question, regardless of how unspeakably amoral their behaviour may be.
Narm Charm: Intentionally invoked throughout Songs of a Dead Dreamer, usually in Homage to Vladimir Nabokov. Simon Smirk, narrator of "The Chymist", is particularly over-the-top.
Needs More Love
Nightmare Fuel: Arguably, nearly everything that Ligotti has ever written. Averted only in a few of his early vignettes, which lean more towards pure surrealism or philosophical deconstruction, as well as some of his poetry, which is simply exceedingly depressing.
Paranoia Fuel: Puppets, doctors, pills, carnivals, dolls, abandoned buildings, office work, shadows, flowers, gastrointestinal disorders, souvenirs, OCD, dreaming, art galleries, strange masks, rare books, bondage, chamber music, maps, abstract ideas... Think of it, and this man has made it horrifying.
Squick: Frequently presented in extremely detached prose.
Uncanny Valley: Intentionally invoked frequently.
Tear Jerker: Perhaps not the best term... Depression Fuel is more apt. Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Plomb from "The Spectacles in the Drawer". Frank Dominio from "My Work Is Not Yet Done" could also be seen as one of these before his transformation.