Abstract and statement of poetics for Things That Flicker, Things That Fade: Time and the Short Story


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Things That Flicker, Things That Fade is a collection of short stories which, together with a poetics essay, works through questions raised by themes of time and memory, their representation, their relationship with technology and the possibilities of mental disturbances once that representation and relationship are questioned. It sees the emergence of hauntings as a rupture between time and memory (memory considered as both public memorial and personal recollection.) Both the fiction and the poetics look at photography as a form of memory, narrative and self-representation. They also consider how technologies of communication (most notably the railway) reconfigure the individual's relationship with time, and from that, the individual subject itself.
The poetics investigates some of the themes which emerged during the practice-led research in more detail, notably theories of time in St. Augustine and Henri Bergson, their relationship to narrative as considered by John Berger and Walter Benjamin, mental disturbances in some of the work of Denise Riley, Julia Kristeva and Marina Warner, and how the themes running through the collection and the work of these philosophers and critics emerge in short fiction by Dickens, Kipling, Nabokov and Ballard. The poetics concludes by relating some of these ideas back to the Things That Flicker, Things That Fade stories and looking at how they influenced their production. It closes by looking ahead to potential future generation of more stories working around these themes.
Date of Award9 Apr 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Edge Hill University
SupervisorAILSA COX (Director of Studies) & ROGER GLASS (Supervisor)


  • poetics
  • short stories
  • fiction

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