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Page 1

Title: The impact of personal poetics on a horror writer

Name: Matthew Edlin

This is a digitised version of a dissertation submitted to the University of

It is available to view only.

This item is subject to copyright.

Page 2






Page 53


Jasmine stood. Martin asked where the notes and notification of death

certificate were, which turned out to be in front of us on the reception desk.

he added, tapping on the NOD certificate. He

laughed, and the nurse chuckled, more so from being uncomfortable.

The bay was dark when we entered, almost matching the darkness

outside the windows. Jasmine jumped when she saw me. I grinned.

ond. All

she did was glance at me, and then left. I turned and watched her leave; a

despairing bubble of disappointment popped in the pit of my stomach.

towards the end of the bay and grabbed us a pair of gloves each.

Martin and I quickly closed the rest of the cubicle curtains; most of the

male patients dozed and snored, tucked up under their blankets and sheets.

At peace, I thought.

ulling back the closed

curtains where the deceased lay. I pushed the stretcher inside, closed the

curtains behind me.

joked, his smile beaming.

The body was enclosed inside a thick, white body bag. Underneath was

a standard white sheet. We levelled the height and position of the bed and

stretcher as best we could, kicked down to apply the brakes on both. Me at

the foot of the bed, Martin at the head, we removed the thick blue sheet,

and both placed one of the long, metal bars to one side.

Page 54


We slid him over, a slight bump when he hit the stretcher. We both

grabbed the metal bar


Shockwaves electrocuted me. I had a firm grip of the bar and somehow

it slipped out of my grasp, as if it melted away. I looked up at Martin who

was still chuckling to himself. He gave me a thumbs up.

I reached down and grabbed the bar and put it back on properly. We

unfolded the blue sheet back over, made sure it was stuck down on both

sides, and left.

I pushed the stretcher past reception whilst Martin steered. He stopped

so we could grab the notes and NOD. Martin placed them upside down upon

the blue sheet. Jasmine sat there, ignored me.

No response.

We left.

The basement was long and narrow. Lengthy, fluorescent lights

illuminated each turn and corner. The floors were squalid, cluttered with big,

metal cages filled with dirty linen, spare or broken furniture, wide, ugly

waste bins, too, clustered to one side. Down here beneath the ground level

of the hospital the air was warm and stale. That distinctive odour of mould

and mildew filtered up my nostrils as we reached the north wing of the

basement, heading for the mortuary.

Martin kept nagging me for answers, but I said little about Jasmine. I

tried to stop thinking about her. I was down in the basements, down in the

dumps, literally. He swiped us in through the first set of double doors. I

pushed and manoeuvred the stretcher inside. Martin opened the second set

of double doors which slowly closed behind us.

A scent of cleaning chemicals and disinfectant lingered inside here. To

our right the embalmment room doors were shut and sealed from the world.

Page 106


Reference List


Aristotle. (1996) Poetics. London: Penguin Classics, p.x, viii.

Carroll, N. (1990) The Philosophy Of Horror. London: Routledge, p.15, 99,

160, 164, 167.

Castle, M., Sallee, W., Marano, M., Gilliam, R., Jens, T., Lansdale, J.,

Bonansigna, J., Cavelos,

J., Winter, D., Taylor, K., Kilpatrick, N. (2007) On Writing Horror. United

States: Writer’s Digest Books, p.51, 53, 63, 65, 68, 79, 83, 85, 98, 127, 137,

172, 175.

Freud, S. (2003) The Uncanny. London: Penguin Books Ltd, p.26, 28, 63, 152,


King, S. (2000) On Writing. Great Britain: Hodder and Stoughton, p.79, 166,

181, 190, 201,

214, 225, 249, 263.

Renehan, W. (2013) The Art Of Darkness. United States: New Street

Communications, p.4, 9.

Wisker, G. (2005) Horror Fiction: An Introduction. London: The Continuum


Page 107


Publishing Group Ltd, p.4, 5, 29, 38.


Barker, C. (2014) Genre, Imagination, Story, Writing Style, 1986-2014.

Available at: (Accessed: 21

July 2014)


Robert Sheppard (2000) The Necessity of Poetics. Available at:,%20'The%20Necessity%

20of%20Poetics'.htm (Accessed: 21

July 2014)

John Connolly (2006) John Connolly Books. Available at: (Accessed:


July 2014)

Joe R. Lansdale (1998) Joe R. Lansdale. Available at: (Accessed: 21

July 2014)

H.P. Lovecraft (2004) Good Reads. Available at: (Accessed:


September 2014)


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