Conceptualizing varieties of space in horror fiction

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Scholarship on space in horror narratives has primarily turned to Freud’s concept of the uncanny as framework or focused singularly on its significance as symbol. This chapter proposes other possible concepts, namely the heterotopia, the fold (or pli), and the melancholy object, which can also be appropriated to shed light on the genre’s unique representation of space. Unlike the uncanny, moreover, these concepts do not reduce space to merely a psychical or figurative determination but instead emphasize the importance of its function as material presence in signifying horror. Finally, to substantiate the claim made in this chapter, a particular literary work broadly belonging to the genre is read against each concept.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook to Horror Literature
EditorsKevin Corstorphine, Laura R. Kremmel
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319974064
ISBN (Print)9783319974057
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Horror Fiction
  • Melancholy Object
  • Horro Narratives
  • Danielewski
  • Lived Space

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