The Uncanny Essays
5 samples in this category
The Monstrosity of the Ordinary in George Langelaan’s “The Fly” In the concepts surrounding the ideas of monstrosity, one tends to invoke images from gothic horror like Frankenstein, Carmilla, Nosferatu, etc., Or at the very least, extremely grotesque and eerie figures that possess abnormal features and forms. This is rightfully so, the etymology of the word suggests the disfiguration of a person and/or “misshapen being,” as the word derives from the Anglo-Norman and Middle French monstre during the first half...
The uncanny is a Freudian concept1, entirely psychological in nature, where the unknown becomes eerily recognizable, both deplorable and desirable; this perverse attraction to the taboo results in either self or societal rejection. Within the Gothic, the uncanny simultaneously evokes feelings of terror and attraction, Morris citing that it “derives its terror (…) from something strangely familiar2;” the conflict between these two polarising states reflective of the period in which the novels, “The Monk,” written in 1796 and “Dracula,” in...
People are no strangers to the concept of family, what it means to play a role in a household in order to paint a portrait of normalcy for society. Yet, since the introduction of Charles Addam’s the Addam’s Family (1938), a family who delights in the macabre and are arguably unaware or do not care, that other people find them bizarre, the appearances of unconventional and noticeably dysfunctional families in media has grown considerably over the past decades. Evident in...
The Uncanny, published in 1919, is one of the most famous of Sigmund Freud’s essays. This is not only because many of his most foundational ideas had their genesis here but because the essay pertains to aesthetics and popular culture, making it both accessible and gripping for a broad readership. The Uncanny is a good example of Freud’s predilection for drawing on aesthetics to support his arguments, and thus a useful introduction to the ideas of this vastly influential thinker....
I love exploring elements of the uncanny in gothic literature. It is directly linked with the transgressive nature of such writing. This has been epitomised in many novels and short stories of the nineteenth century. The Gothic and uncanny reinforce each other; they stand side by side in the dark shadows of such writing. To show this I’m going to give the example of two of my favourite gothic novels: Dracula and The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr...