Masters Thesis

Metafictional monsters and found-fiction nightmares: reality and narratological strategy in horror fiction20 21

As technology becomes ever-prevalent in modem society and our lives are documented for all to see on a daily basis, it is more important than ever that we understand the role of narrative in our media. This project explores works of horror fiction that work upon the conceit of being a found text that is in some way representative of the real world. I argue that these texts, rather than just being an adrenaline rush, are able to teach us how to be better readers of the world around us. I study a breadth of horror texts, focusing specifically on the film The Blair Witch Project, the novel House of Leaves, and the Twitter story “Dear David.” Each text ushers in a new mode of horror, in which we never know who—or what—we can trust. This new, modem horror posits that we must be wary of the nefarious powers that run our everyday lives through technology and social media.

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