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The uncanny

Related: weird - the supernatural - the fantastic - the marvelous

Secondary texts: Das Unheimliche (1919) - Sigmund Freud - The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre ( (1970) ) - Tzvetan Todorov

Etymology: 1596, "mischievous;" 1773 in the sense of "associated with the supernatural," originally Scottish and northern English, from un- (1) "not" + canny. --Online Etymology Dicitionary [Jan 2006]


Peculiarly unsettling, as if of supernatural origin or nature; eerie. See Synonyms at weird. --American Heritage Dictionary

A literary genre that was coined by Freud when he wrote on Das Unheimliche, which translates literally as the unhomely. The French call it le fantastique. [Jun 2006]

Wikipedia has this disambiguation entry:

  • " The Canny and the uncanny," related to one of Freud's psychological theories.
  • "The uncanny," a mode of fantastic fiction as defined in Tzvetan Todorov's The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny [Jun 2006]
  • Mike Kelley: The Uncanny (2004) - Mike Kelley

    Mike Kelley: The Uncanny (2004) - Mike Kelley [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Book Description
    Taking Freud's idea of the Uncanny as a starting point, artist Mike Kelley plays Sunday curator and presents work by Jasper Johns, Paul McCarthy, Jeff Koons, Tony Oursler, and others (reprinted from a 1993 catalogue), plus photos of chewing gum wrappers, postcards, record covers, and toys, all connected to ideas of youth and the Uncanny. Essays by Mike Kelley, Christoph Grunenberg. Paperback, 8.25 x 11.25 in. / 200 pgs / 150 color.

    See also: Mike Kelley

    The Uncanny (2003) - Nicholas Royle

    The Uncanny (2003) - Nicholas Royle [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    About the Author
    Nicholas Royle is Professor of English at the University of Sussex. His books include Telepathy and Literature (Routledge) and Deconstruction: A User's Guide. He is coeditor of The Oxford Literary Review.

    Book Description
    The uncanny is the weird, the strange, the mysterious, a mingling of the familiar and the unfamiliar. Even Freud, patron of the uncanny, had trouble defining it. Yet the uncanny is everywhere in contemporary culture. In this elegant book, Nicholas Royle takes the reader across literature, film, philosophy, and psychoanalysis as he marks the trace of the uncanny in the modern world. Not an introduction in the usual sense, Nicholas Royle's book is a geography of the uncanny as it manifests itself - and disturbs our thinking - in a range of disciplines.

    The Uncanny: An Introduction
    by Nicholas Royle - Literary Criticism - 2003
    Page 33 - Both ‘the fantastic' and ‘the uncanny' have to do with the question of response to apparently supernatural occurrences. ‘The fantastic', Todorov notes, ...

    See also: Tsvetan Todorov

    The Uncanny (1919) - Sigmund Freud

    The Uncanny (1919) - Sigmund Freud [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Illustration by Max Ernst

    See also: 1919 - Unheimlich - uncanny - Freud

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