Friend in the Woods
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These short stories are experiments in gothic, existential and fabulist writing. These three kinds of fiction question the nature of reality and create openings to explore different realities. Some stories experiment with ambiguous shadow figures, doubles and objects seen from the corner of the eye. Ambiguity is a key gothic symbol to question categories, perceptions and authenticity. Some stories involve ‘outsider’ characters, who explore the implications of attempting to invent another kind of life outside of the norms of ordinary existence. Existential techniques typical of ‘outsider’ novels, such as the creation of psychic distance and the use of discontinuous structure are used. Scenes are strung together out of sequence like images recalled from memory. Other stories are experiments in the fabulist style. Leaps out of realism challenge the sense of coherence and suggest what might be, rather than what is. The stories contain events verging on the magical or fantastic. They arose from experimenting with a method of intuitive writing, the aim of which was to suspend rational thought and access a more subconscious source of ideas.