He specifically says, however, that there are more opportunities for generating horror in fiction than in reality, and also that his present discussion concerns a variant of that has its roots in rejected or primitive notions.
Horror based on repressed “infantile complexes” should, according to Freud, be seen as a somewhat different proposition, a view that undeniably fits in with his idea that and Freud of course stresses in his analysis of Hoffmann that the reader’s uncertainty gradually disappears: what happens in the story is real within the framework of the fiction, and not the confabulations of a disturbed mind (unless one refuses to budge from the helpfully diffuse term “unreliable narrator”).
3 A survey of the titles given to his essay as translated into a range of languages offers us an overview of the real pitfalls and problems inherent in the task of the translators: Marie Bonaparte’s French version of , which means just about the same as Marie Bonaparte’s take on the Freudian term.
The established English translation is “the uncanny”, an expression that always makes me imagine instructions on a label on “how to un-can”. Besides, all those who have paid attention to what Hoffmann has written know very well that he had a genius for playing on ambiguities – Freud, who is definitely one of the attentive readers, wrote that Hoffmann is “an author who, better than almost anyone else, succeeds in creating gruesome [ occupy many pages in the essay and are, to quote Harold Bloom, “unquestionably his strongest reading of any literary text”, although, as Bloom goes on to say, Freud’s approach shows a few oddities.
When he hit on it, Freud struck philological gold and his discovery is very hard to reproduce elsewhere.
Freud's interest in the phenomenon comes to the…In modern German, however, the sense of “homey cosiness” is contained within the words .Freud’s definition of the uncanny starts at this point and his interpretation is illustrated by a quotation from Sanders’s dictionary that strongly appealed to him, and which Sander in turn quoted from the nineteenth-century writer Karl Friedrich Gutzkow’s novel is what one calls everything that should have remained secret, or concealed, but which has emerged into the open.” Indeed, to quote Freud’s own take on the word: “Generally, we are reminded that the word 2 Indeed, not only Norwegian translators struggle to find the right word to encompass the German concept.In my own case, the word instantly makes me think of, for instance, the encounter between Dante and Virgil in the first Canto of the Mentre ch’i’ ruvinava in basso loco. In the first place, Freud’s “natural explanations” are, as ever, utterly hair-raising and, anyway, the theme contributes to making the reader feel that the entire essay is best told on a dark evening by the fireplace: “The Uncanny” could be categorized as a ghost story lightly camouflaged as rational discourse, or perhaps a spiritualist séance conducted in the name of science: Freud’s role is primarily that of a shaman, discreetly seated at the head-end of the psychoanalytical couch, but actually not quite admitting that he believes in what he elicits.dinanzi alli occhi mi si fu offerto chi per lungo silenzio parea fioco. The closest rendering of the essay’s key concept in Norwegian is (cf.Throughout his childhood, Hoffmann’s protagonist Nathanael was tormented – even traumatized – by his imaginings about the Sandman, the German version of the Norwegian Ole Lukkøye or Jon Blund [Ole or Jon Shut-Eye].A series of popular comic books by Neil Gaiman is called , but the characters and stories have remarkably little to do with the German figure.With regard to the latter in particular, he is at least as preoccupied by what is written in the context of (Grimm), i.e.“confiding, friendly, trusting”; other perfectly possible versions include “comfortable” and “cosy”.Norwegian literary critic Henning Hagerup grapples with the notion of the uncanny in European language and literature.He also considers how today Marxist thought poses an unheimlich threat to the glorified, ahistorical arrogance of the capitalistic-neoliberal establishment.