The Uncanny

The Uncanny

This is the first book-length study of the uncanny, an important concept for contemporary thinking and debate across a range of disciplines and discourses, including literature, film, architecture, cultural studies, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and queer theory. Much of this importance can be traced back to Freud's essay of 1919, "The uncanny," where he was perhaps the first to foreground the distinctive nature of the uncanny as a feeling of something not simply weird or mysterious but, more specifically, as something strangely familiar. As a concept and a feeling, however, the uncanny has a complex history going back to at least the Enlightenment. Nicholas Royle offers a detailed historical account of the emergence of the uncanny, together with a series of close readings of different aspects of the topic. Following a major introductory historical and critical overview, there are chapters on the death drive, déjà-vu, "silence, solitude and darkness," the fear of being buried alive, doubles, ghosts, cannibalism, telepathy, and madness, as well as more "applied" readings concerned, for example, with teaching, politics, film, and religion. This is a major critical study that will be welcomed by students and academics but will also be of interest to the general reader.

The Uncanny

The Uncanny

An extraordinary collection of thematically linked essays, including THE UNCANNY, SCREEN MEMORIES and FAMILY ROMANCES. Leonardo 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. As ever, many of his exploratory avenues lead to the subject's sexuality - why did da Vinci depict the naked human body the way hedid? What of his tendency to surround himself with handsome young boys that he took on as his pupils? Intriguing, thought-provoking and often contentious, this volume contains some of Freud's best writing.

The Uncanny "Method" in the Madness

"Apocalypse Now Redux" aus Sicht der Postkolonialismus-Forschung

The Uncanny

Apocalypse Now has been interpreted as addressing the Vietnam War in a similarly mythological and hence ahis¬torical way as the high modernist poetry recited by Colonel Kurtz. The closer, post-colonial view of this paper in the German language, however, shows that the 2001 “Redux-“ version of Coppola’s film questions the imperialist US sys¬tem on several levels. By mockery it subverts the ide¬ology of free-trade underlying the confrontation between the super powers in the Cold War and the Vietnam War itself. Also, the movie’s technique of montage fundamen¬tally questions the author¬ity of the military apparatus and exposes the un¬tenable nature of Willard’s killing mission. The visit of the Captain’s boat crew in the French colony serves to further outline the extent to which the doomed imperial war project is grafted – as a palimpsest – on the equally outdated re¬mains of the French colonial past. As a conse¬quence both forms of intervention are cinemato¬graphically dele¬gitimized, especially by means of uncanny props exposing the de¬gree to which they are haunted by the contradictions between ide¬ological justification, US-historical genocidal past – in the case of the Vietnam War – and a belligerent present oper¬ating also by means of arbitrarily constructed alterity. This makes obvious Redux’s practice of – in Edward Said’s termi-no¬logy – establishing ”anti-imperialist re¬sistance” against the US warfare. One of the movie’s key strategies to expose the inhumane moral universe of the war theatre is Kurtz’s ”method” of making Willard – and the viewers of the movie – experience the large-scale massa¬cre in a lavish, synesthetic total work of art in¬spired by Stanislavski’s ident¬ifi¬catory “method acting” and Ri¬chard Wagner. This didactic “Gesamtkunstwerk” also makes use of further cin¬ematogra¬phic adaptations of uncanny ele¬ments – ac-cording to Sig¬mund Freud – and strategically mobilizes a displaced version of mimicry.

Sites of the Uncanny

Paul Celan, Specularity and the Visual Arts

Sites of the Uncanny

Sites of the Uncanny: Paul Celan, Specularity and the Visual Arts is the first book-length study that examines Celan’s impact on visual culture. Exploring poetry’s relation to film, painting and architecture, this study tracks the transformation of Celan in postwar German culture and shows the extent to which his poetics accompany the country’s memory politics after the Holocaust. The book posits a new theoretical model of the Holocaustal uncanny – evolving out of a crossing between Celan, Freud, Heidegger and Levinas – that provides a map for entering other modes of Holocaust representations. After probing Celan’s critique of the uncanny in Heidegger, this study shifts to the translation of Celan’s uncanny poetics in Resnais’ film Night and Fog, Kiefer’s art and Libeskind’s architecture.

The Uncanny

The Uncanny

It is only rarely that a psycho-analyst feels impelled to investigate the subject of aesthetics, even when aesthetics is understood to mean not merely the theory of beauty but the theory of the qualities of feeling. He works in other strata of mental life and has little to do with the subdued emotional impulses which, inhibited in their aims and dependent on a host of concurrent factors, usually furnish the material for the study of aesthetics. But it does occasionally happen that he has to interest himself in some particular province of that subject; and this province usually proves to be a rather remote one, and one which has been neglected in the specialist literature of aesthetics.

On Freud’s “The Uncanny”

On Freud’s “The Uncanny”

On Freud’s "The Uncanny" explores Freud’s 1919 essay of the same name and elaboration of the concept of the uncanny and how others or ‘the Other’ can impact on our selves. Catalina Bronstein and Christian Seulin bring together contributions from renowned psychoanalysts from different theoretical backgrounds, revisiting Freud’s ideas 100 years after they were first published and providing new perspectives that can inform clinical practice as well as shape the teaching of psychoanalysis. Covering key topics such as drives, clinical work, the psychoanalytic frame, and the influence of Ferenczi, On Freud’s "The Uncanny" will be useful for anyone wishing to understand the continued importance of the uncanny in contemporary psychoanalysis.

The Uncanny

Experiments in Cyborg Culture

The Uncanny

Documenting the image of the cyborg in all its imaginative guises, THE UNCANNY includes essays and excerpts by Allan Antliff, Bruno Bettelheim, Randy Lee Cutler, Freud, William Gibson, Bruce Grenville, Makiko Hara, Donna Haraway, Masanori Oda, Jeanne Randolph and Toshiya Ueno. One of the most persistent and intriguing cultural images of the last century, the cyborg exists at the intersection of science, technology and culture, and is understood here as an uncanny' image that reflects our shared fascination and dread of the machine and its presence in our daily lives.'

Rethinking the Uncanny in Hoffmann and Tieck

Rethinking the Uncanny in Hoffmann and Tieck

This stimulating new book challenges Freud's definition of the uncanny, prevalent in the study of Gothic and Romantic fiction, by reviving the importance of uncertainty in the uncanny. Literary criticism views the uncanny as an expression of the return of the repressed. Falkenberg's expanded definition includes, but is not limited to, the psychoanalytic and instead redefines the uncanny as a cognitive and aesthetic phenomenon. Beyond offering a survey of what David Punter has called -The Theory of the Uncanny-, this study places the uncanny in the context of the poetological and philosophical background of the Romantic period. In close readings of two stories that have stood at the center of the debate about the uncanny - E.T.A. Hoffmann's -Sandman- and Ludwig Tieck's -Blond Eckbert- - the author shows how these texts are constructed as uncanny phenomena in themselves. The study traces fairytale elements, framing techniques, and interdependencies between the fictional productions of the protagonists and their -dark fates- to expose how these texts confront the reader with paradoxical decoding instructions. This expanded and revised uncanny not only yields new readings of two classic German short stories, it also leads to a better understanding of the cultural soil that nourished the Romantic Movement."

The Uncanny

The Uncanny

Andrew Klavan reinvents the classic ghost story with this literary X-Files, a breathtaking blend of Hollywood-style excitement and literary tour de force. Richard Storm is a Hollywood producer who has reached the top of his profession making horror movies based on classic English ghost stories. Now, with his life beginning to unravel, he flees to England on a desperate quest: to find evidence that the great old stories bear an element of truth, that the human spirit lives on after death, that in this all-too-material world there still may be reason to have faith. But his search uncovers more than he bargained for: Sophia Endering, a mysterious damsel in distress who may just be the last love of Storm's life; Harper Albright, an eccentric pipe-smoking old woman whose researches into the paranormal mask an obsessive hunt for a malevolent killer; and the man known as Saint Iago, a seemingly immortal villain who makes a night with a vampire look like a walk in the park. Richard Storm's nightmares are about to step down off the screen into real life. And Storm is about to begin a journey through his deepest passions and his darkest fears, to a romance that could last forever, and a secret a thousand years old-down a trail formed by the classic ghost stories themselves-into the very heart of the uncanny. From the Hardcover edition.

The Uncanny Valley in Games and Animation

The Uncanny Valley in Games and Animation

Advances in technology have enabled animators and video game designers to design increasingly realistic, human-like characters in animation and games. Although it was intended that this increased realism would allow viewers to appreciate the emotional state of characters, research has shown that audiences often have a negative reaction as the human likeness of a character increases. This phenomenon, known as the Uncanny Valley, has become a benchmark for measuring if a character is believably realistic and authentically human like. This book is an essential guide on how to overcome the Uncanny Valley phenomenon when designing human-like characters in digital applications. In this book, the author provides a synopsis of literature about the Uncanny Valley phenomenon and explains how it was introduced into contemporary thought. She then presents her theories on its possible psychological causes based on a series of empirical studies. The book focuses on how aspects of facial expression and speech can be manipulated to overcome the Uncanny Valley in character design. The Uncanny Valley in Games and Animation presents a novel theory that goes beyond previous research in that the cause of the Uncanny Valley is based on a perceived lack of empathy in a character. This book makes an original, scholarly contribution to our current understanding of the Uncanny Valley phenomenon and fills a gap in the literature by assessing the biological and social roots of the Uncanny Valley and its implications for computer-graphics animation.