Saturday, June 6, 2009

"THE UNCANNY" by Sigmund Freud

Freud's essay on the unheimlich is worth re-reading. There's some good--yes, even uncanny--stuff in there, despite the predictable Freudian attempt to find an infantile etiology for everything. It's all right to have all the answers, but when all the answers are the same, I get suspicious. Especially questionable is Freud's delimiting, late in the essay, of the category of the uncanny so that it includes only those experiences which fit his theory--a theory derived at least partly from experiences that thus no longer fit it (fantasy literature, for example). Still, the essay is good and strange enough to qualify as a work of art (it shares this quality with the best of Freud's case studies), and I will surely return to it.

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