For Nicholas Royle, an experience of the uncanny always involves ‘a peculiar commingling of the familiar and the unfamiliar’ (Royle 2003, p.1). According to Royle’s description, the writing process is itself uncanny; it is at once familiar and strange, surprising and unsettling. Poet Charles Simic explains: ‘When you start putting words on the page, an associative process takes over. And, all of a sudden, there are surprises. All of a sudden you say to yourself, ‘My God, how did this come into your head? Why is this on the page?’ (Simic 1993). How is it that our own words can appear to us as strangers? By what uncanny mechanism might they come into being?


Nicholas Royle, The Uncanny (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003)
‘Charles Simic’, ‘A Conversation with Charles Simic’ (1993), Artful Dodge <> [accessed 3 April 2017]