Tag Archives: HBO

True Detective HBO Series: Plagiarism or Fair Use?

FYI, for my readers:

The debate about plagiarism vs. artistic license is  often a dicey situation. I loved HBO’s True Detective, and when I learned that the character Rusty Cohle was based from the writings of weird fiction writer Thomas Ligotti, I was even more intrigued. But I only learned about Ligotti’s influence in the script from an interview of the screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto, not from watching the show, since there’s no reference to Ligotti in any episodes or credits.

Recently, I came across a fascinating post about plagiarism concerning True Detective. This is a really heated debate about what is legally plagiarism, morally wrong, or fair use.  Check out these two posts on August 4 and 5 on Lovecraft Ezine:

Just how much borrowing of words and phrases from a copyrighted published work is considered fair use? What do you think?

Aug 4: http://lovecraftzine.com/2014/08/04/did-the-writer-of-true-detective-plagiarize-thomas-ligotti-and-others/

Aug 5: http://lovecraftzine.com/2014/08/05/nic-pizzolattos-homage-to-ligotti-right-and-wrong-vs-the-law-and-the-courts/







I have a particular interest in this kind of thing since in my own work, The Dazzling Darkness, I have two characters exploring the philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, speaking Emerson’s words and taking on his thinking. In every case, I cite Emerson as the source and was advised to do so by legal counsel: if the text is in the public domain (which all are), I could use it noting the source. And if not in the public domain, I would have to get (pay for) permissions. So, how does Pizzolatti get away with his character Rusty Cohle spouting (or in some cases paraphrasing) Ligotti’s thinking, words, phrases from his book The Conspiracy Against the Human Race (which is likely not in the public domain)? Hmmm. Curious, don’t you think?


If you are interested in reading a short story of Thomas Ligotti, check out Mrs. Rinaldi’s Angel here on my March 11, 2014 Tales of Terror post. Ligotti is a iconic American writer, winner of  Bram Stoker Awards, British Fantasy Award, and had published numerous stories, screenplays, poems and nonfiction (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race).


Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, tales of terror

Dreaming Little Traps of Horror

Mrs. Rinaldi’s Angel   by Thomas Ligotti  (2005)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror  March 11, 2014




Have you been watching Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective on HBO? thomas-ligotti Pizzolatto says in an interview with The Arkham Digest  that “the work and vision of Thomas Ligotti was very influential for imagining Cohle’s (Rustin Cohle) overall worldview.” Cohle is a nihilistic and hypnotic character in this compelling crime and horror series. If you became mesmerized watching True Detective as I have, you will likely enjoy the short stories of Thomas Ligotti. His prose is luscious and the philosophy of horror one of the darkest you’ll experience. And while Ligotti is not a classic dead author as I normally feature here, I felt stimulated this week at the conclusion of True Detective to read one of Ligotti’s shorts.

Mrs. Rinaldi’s Angel is about angels and demons with a dash of Gnostic theology. Add nightmares and the power of evil (favorite elements of my reading and in my own writing) and you’ve got a story intense with horror.

A young boy suffering from nightmares is brought to the long-widowed and witchy Mrs. Rinaldi for her curative methods.

“Do you know what dreams are?” she asked quietly, and then immediately began to answer her own question. “They are parasites-maggots of the mind and soul, feeding on the mind and soul as ordinary maggots feed on the body. And their feeding on the mind and soul in turn gnaws away at the body, which in turn again affects the mind and the soul, and so on until death.”

Until death. Makes one wonder if you could literally die inside of a nightmare … and then what? Does the nightmare triumph in the end? This young boy’s bodiless nocturnal adventures are not to be missed as you go with him into the blackness of old time.

Read Mrs. Rinaldi’s Angel at Ligotti.net


In keeping with today’s dream themes and for my classic horror fans …

HOUSENightmares5642762The House of the Nightmare  by Edward Lucas White (1906)

Edward Lucas White wrote stories based on his own nightmares. This story is more than fantasy or a writer’s imagination. Our narrator is a traveler in the countryside when the image of a white stone catches his eye and he crashes his motorcar. He is knocked out and awakens to find a young boy with a hideous harelip, staring intensely at him. He spends the night inside the boy’s house and drops into a nightmare.

“It had a hot, slobbering, red mouth, full of big tusks, and its jaws worked hungrily. It shuffled and hunched itself forward, inch by inch, till its vast forelegs straddled the bed.

This story will remind you of being a little kid, alone in your darkened room, afraid of the monster under the bed. White’s most famous short story collections are Lukundoo and Song of the Sirens


Read The House of the Nightmare at Gaslight.mtroyal.ca

Listen to the audio at Librivox Recordings



 WSJ blog:  http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/02/02/writer-nic-pizzolatto-on-thomas-ligotti-and-the-weird-secrets-of-true-detective/

Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/allenstjohn/2014/03/09/six-things-to-watch-for-in-the-true-detective-finale/

HBO: http://www.hbo.com/true-detective#/

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2356777/


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit


Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace


 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   Sirens Call Publications   The Fussy Librarian

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed



Art is by William Blake, Red Dragon


Filed under demons, Dreams, fiction, horror, Night Sea Journey, Nightmares, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror, weird tales, witches