Luciano Cabral, Visiting Scholar: "The Fictional Serial Killer as Narrator"

January 8, 2019
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Research Commons Classroom 352
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“In my PhD thesis The Fictional Serial Killer as Narrator, I aim at analyzing autodiegetic serial killers as they commit their brutal crimes and tell us about them. My presentation will concentrate on part of my thesis, that is, on the narrative strategies utilized by these narrators to arouse the emotion of fear through their murderous accounts. Many novelists have made use of actual serial murderers’ background to build up their stories. The notorious examples are Robert Bloch’s Norman Bates, inspired by Ed Gein; and Thomas Harris’s Hannibal Lecter, inspired by Ted Bundy, Ed Kemper, and William Coyne. However, the moment these actual murderers narrate their stories, they usually offer repetitive modus operandi and virtually non-ornamented, lifeless-voiced narrations of hideous accounts. This strategy seems to create a mismatch: their accounts are terrifying, but the way they convey them, apparently, is not. Novelists, however, have developed two sets of autodiegetic serial killer narratives: 1) those in which novelists keep the mismatch, so the autodiegetic serial killers convey a dull, lifeless and non-ornamented narrative; 2) those in which novelists move away from the mismatch, so the autodiegetic serial killers convey a deep, lively and discursively ornamented narrative. In my presentation, I will be discussing the narrative strategies of the first set, composed of the novels American Psycho (1991), by Bret Easton Ellis; Frisk (1991), by Dennis Cooper; and Zombie (1995), by Joyce Carol Oates.”

Luciano Cabral has a master’s degree in English Language Literature from Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ). He was the editor of the online journal Palimpsesto-UERJ in 2014 and 2015, and member of the research groups Gothic Studies and The Voice and the Standpoint of the Other. He has publications on serial killer fictions, fear literature, fictional monsters, American literature, and Brazilian literature.

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