The Uncanny Listener: Stories from the Shadows (Part 1)
What exactly is “the uncanny“? We’ve all felt the sensation of a bloodcurdling shiver running down our spines, but when it comes to describing what that means or what caused it, we’re often left with nothing but: “it was just . . . creepy.”
In the latest episode of the Asymptote Podcast, we explore the mysterious and alluring phenomenon of getting the creeps, through the words of some of the best scary-storytellers in world literature. The Uncanny Listener: Stories from the Shadows is a chilling collage of readings that reveal the strangeness of what’s familiar and the familiarity of what’s strange.
Part 1 of this audio anthology features the writing of Bruno Schulz, Ambrose Bierce, Felisberto Hernandez, John Herdman, and of course the official overlord of the uncanny, Sigmund Freud. Set to haunting original music by Ash Black Bufflo, this episode poses the question: just what is it we’re so afraid of?
This episode is based on the book The Uncanny Reader: Stories from the Shadows, edited by Marjorie Sandor (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015). Buy a copy of the book to read full versions of all the stories featured here, as well as others by H. P. Lovecraft, Joan Aiken, Steven Millhauser, and many more.
The book launch mentioned in the episode took place at Mother Foucault’s Bookstore in Portland, Oregon. It’s a beautiful shop – make sure you check it out if you’re ever in the city!
Produced by: Emma Jacobs and Sally Decker
Featuring performances by: Tim Jensen, David Turkel, Elena Passarello, Joy Futrell, Ray Malewitz, Clay Wilwol, and Eric Altemus
Music by: Ash Black Bufflo with solo violin by Kate O’Brien-Clarke
Special thanks to: Marjorie Sandor; Lee Yew Leong and József Szabo; Eric Gleske and everyone at Oregon State University; all the publishers, authors and translators who generously gave us permission to use their stories