“Small Objects” (short story) with accompanying commentary “Are you reading uncomfortably? Second person as an uncanny narrative mode”

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Abstract

By submitting a short story with critical-reflexive commentary, both of which are written in the second person, this article performs and illuminates some of the specific ways in which second-person narration lends itself to the creation of uncanny affect. The story, “Small Objects”, was composed as part of a doctoral thesis investigating the ways in which short fiction may be a particularly appropriate form for illuminating and interrogating contemporary experiences of science and technology through the creation of uncanny affect. The accompanying commentary locates this story in a practice research context, reflecting on its composition in relation to definitions of the uncanny, and second-person narration in short stories by China Miéville, Nicholas Royle and Ali Smith; it extends existing narratological theory to demonstrate that second person is a particularly uncanny narrative mode, and indicates that the capacity of second-person narration to capture a shifting sense of intimacy and distance may make it an especially useful mode for writing reflexive commentary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalWriting in Practice
Volume5
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • uncanny
  • short fiction
  • second-person narration
  • practice research

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