Born in Manchester in , and growing up in Altrincham, Nicholas went on to later study in London — a city that significantly informs his own writing and he still visits often. The author of seven novels, three volumes of short stories and two novellas, he is also an Editor at Salt Publishing. When working in Manchester, he is Reader in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, head judge of the Manchester Fiction Prize and it is in this city he established a particularly gripping way of giving people short stories: Nightjar Press. The name in itself, is intriguing. Nightjar Press very much follows this inspiration, publishing short story chapbooks that feel delightfully delicate to hold, yet are weighted with the weird themes of darkness, The Uncanny and The Gothic. Designed by John Oakey, the books are finalised with enigmatic cover imagery - often the work of local artists or Nicholas himself.
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Nicholas Royle. Manchester: Manchester University Press, Freud has influenced culture in general and philosophy, literature, and cultural studies, but has been incorporated into each discipline in a very different manner. The book includes one very uncanny digression about the RAE the national Research Assessment Exercise that rates the productivity of academic departments in the UK , in which the author attempts to deconstruct the "programming" to which academic institutions subject their employees.
It is also a self-reflexive poke at the fact that "[e]verything in the present book, as the work of an academic employed by a British university, has been assembled in the shadow or night of the RAE" On the one hand, the style of the book is refreshing and playful. On the other hand, the style of the book does little to aid understanding, and I found its level of vagueness disturbing.
It is difficult to find a clear argument, a commitment to a position, or a sustained structured analysis of a topic in the book. Another disturbing tendency in the text is for too many things to be "about" each other. The references to secondary literature are engaging and the work draws various connections for example, between the death drive and telepathy that are imaginative and thought provoking.
But as a sustained argument or a structured analysis, this book has limited success.
The Dummy & Other Uncannny Stories