It is very difficult to define exactly what these ideas of the 'uncanny' or 'unheimlich' mean. The Uncanny experience is something that we can encounter ourselves, and when we do experience it, it is a very uneasy, and in the extreme, terrifying situation, which is worsened by the fact the it cannot be explained. The uncanny can be portrayed in literature, thus creating the same sense of discomfort among the reader.
German idealism[ edit ] Philosopher F. Schelling raised the question of the uncanny in his late Philosophie der Mythologie ofpostulating that the Homeric clarity was built upon a prior repression of the uncanny. Hence, he coins the phrase "European nihilism" to describe the condition that afflicts those Enlightenment ideals that seemingly hold strong values yet undermine themselves.
Ernst Jentsch[ edit ] Uncanniness was first explored psychologically by Ernst Jentsch in a essay, On the Psychology of the Uncanny. Jentsch defines the Uncanny as: The better oriented in his environment a person is, the less readily will he get the impression of something uncanny in regard to the objects and events in it.
In telling a story one of the most successful devices for easily creating uncanny effects is to leave the reader in uncertainty whether a particular figure in the story is a human being or an automaton and to do it in such a way that his attention is not focused directly upon his uncertainty, so that he may not be led to go into the matter and clear it up immediately.
Hoffmann as a writer who uses uncanny effects in his work, focusing specifically on Hoffmann's story "The Sandman" " Der Sandmann "which features a lifelike doll, Olympia.
Sigmund Freud[ edit ] The concept of the Uncanny was later elaborated on and developed by Sigmund Freud in his essay "The Uncanny", which also draws on the work of Hoffmann whom Freud refers to as the "unrivalled master of the uncanny in literature". However, he criticizes Jentsch's belief that Olympia is the central uncanny element in the story " The Sandman ": I cannot think — and I hope most readers of the story will agree with me — that the theme of the doll Olympia, who is to all appearances a living being, is by any means the only, or indeed the most important, element that must be held responsible for the quite unparalleled atmosphere of uncanniness evoked by the story.
Freud goes on, for the remainder of the essay, to identify uncanny effects that result from instances of "repetition of the same thing," linking the concept to that of the repetition compulsion.
He also discusses the uncanny nature of Otto Rank 's concept of the "double". Freud specifically relates an aspect of the Uncanny derived from German etymology. By contrasting the German adjective unheimlich with its base word heimlich "concealed, hidden, in secret"he proposes that social taboo often yields an aura not only of pious reverence but even more so of horror and even disgust, as the taboo state of an item gives rise to the commonplace assumption that that which is hidden from public eye cf.
Basically, the Uncanny is what unconsciously reminds us of our own Idour forbidden and thus repressed impulses — especially when placed in a context of uncertainty that can remind one of infantile beliefs in the omnipotence of thought.
Thus, the items and individuals that we project our own repressed impulses upon become a most uncanny threat to us, uncanny monsters and freaks akin to fairy-tale folk-devils, and subsequently often become scapegoats we blame for all sorts of perceived miseries, calamities, and maladies.
What interests us most in this long extract is to find that among its different shades of meaning the word heimlich exhibits one which is identical with its opposite, unheimlich. What is heimlich thus comes to be unheimlich. Unheimlich is customarily used, we are told, as the contrary only of the first signification of heimlich, and not of the second.
According to him, everything is unheimlich that ought to have remained secret and hidden but has come to light. The self-blinding of the mythical criminal, Oedipus, was simply a mitigated form of the punishment of castration — the only punishment that was adequate for him by the lex talionis.
For example, and as a paradigm, Guy de Maupassantin his story "Le Horla", describes a man who suddenly may see his own back in the mirror. His back is there, but it is deprived of the gaze of the subject.
It appears as a strange object, until he feels it is his own. There is no cognitive dissonance here, we rather cross all possible cognition, to find ourselves in the field where we do not know how to distinguish bad and good, pleasure from displeasure.
And this is the signal of anxiety: Hitchcock was the master in the art of conducing art into the world of Unheimlich. The uncanny valley is the region of negative emotional response towards robots that seem "almost human".
Movement amplifies the emotional response. This concept is closely related to Julia Kristeva 's concept of abjectionwhere one reacts adversely to something forcefully cast out of the symbolic order.Lecture Notes: Freud, "The Uncanny" () I.
General Structure of the Essay "Uncanny" divided into three sections: Definition of the uncanny; definitions of the term itself; the semantic field of the opposition of the German words heimlich and unheimlich. Freud’s definition of the uncanny leads me to an even bigger theoretical question about the idea of the “double” which I will address shortly, but first let us take a closer look at Freud’s idea of the uncanny.
In his essay, Freud refers to the German words Heimlich and unheimlich. He uses the two words to first create a barrier between their meanings, but as he continues on the two merge to create a meaning .
Essay on Freud's Concept of the Uncanny Words 5 Pages When a person experiences chills or goose bumps as a reaction to something strange or unusual, they are being affected by a . An extraordinary collection of thematically linked essays, including THE UNCANNY, SCREEN MEMORIES and FAMILY urbanagricultureinitiative.comdo da Vinci fascinated Freud primarily because he was keen to know why his personality was so incomprehensible to his contemporaries.
In this probing biographical essay he deconstructs both da Vinci's character and the nature of his genius/5(2). Freud sees this moment of recall/project as an experience of the uncanny, as well as a repression of Da Vinci’s own repressed homosexual orientation.
To Freud, this memory is a “screen memory.” The title essay, “The Uncanny,” appears last in this collection. The uncanny arises as the recurrence of something long forgotten and repressed, something superceded in our psychic life = a reminder of our psychic past. IV.
The Uncanny in Literature, in Narrative Fiction.