Dangerous diversions. The motif of game in Sępy, a collection of short stories by Robert Cichowlas and Jacek M. Rostocki
This paper deals with the motif of game in Sępy, a collection of short stories by Robert Cichowlas and Jacek M. Rostocki. Among the chief characteristics of those stories is their multiple reality perceived by the protagonists as having various levels and dimensions. The ambiguity of the world’s identity is brought on by the clash between the real and the virtual — which points out to the authors’ interest in the relations between the real world and the imagined one. The games presented in the stories tend to impair the protagonists’ perception, making them incapable of proper assessment of the actual situation, which brings about their physical destruction or moral defeat. Here the convention of horror fantasy turns out a useful tool for the creation of the atmosphere of an inconsistent world, resulting in a cognitive dissonance. The game motif’s function is to make the atmosphere of danger and uncertainty of the world’s real nature. The authors also draw on technological and metaphysical fears, which sets their stories in the modern social-moral context.