Freud, the uncanny and monsters | Classically Inclined

The whole film has an uncanny feel from the evocative opening scene, so expressly phantasmagorical in its lilting music, where under the silver moonlight a pair of skeletal, robotic hands stitch the Coraline doll and send it floating out of the open window. This already sets up the uncanny in its themes of superstitious beliefs seeming to be confirmed, in the animism, the non-human hands acting in a human way. This is the film’s creation myth, the genesis that sets its cogs moving, and it can also be speculatively read as that other facet Freud identifies as a generating locus of uncanny impression: the return of repressed infantile complexes. As the approximation of Coraline floats out of the window, tiny and simplified, we can read it as her primitive repressed returning, triggered by her uprooting from home and friends. From this symbolic trauma, the uncanny rises.

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Guided Questions: Freud’s “The Uncanny” | Freud at …

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Free Will, Determinism, and the Uncanny
We are finally left with the question of whether an existentialist understanding of the uncanny negates the applicability of Freud’s version to film and literature, and particularly the horror genre. This involves the question of free will and determinism, and whether this distinction in fact needs to be reconciled to have a workable theory in either case. Donald Carveth (2004) brings up the point that free will and responsibility (in other words, an existentialist understanding of human nature) are not incompatible with psychoanalytic practice:

The UNCANNY ESSAY How is the Uncanny Created in …

Carveth argues that free will is not incompatible with psychoanalysis, only with Freud’s metapsychology. This seems to be a valid point, since for Freud the project of psychoanalysis is to help patients achieve self-mastery by helping them deal with things that are happening in their unconscious. If this is the case, free will must be possible. As Carveth notes, “Psychic reality is characterized by both determinism and freedom” (2004). Following this, it would seem that there is not necessarily an absolute tension between psychoanalysis and existentialism regarding how we should understand the experience of the uncanny. It may be that both positions can offer something to the interpretation of horror and the relationship the viewer has with it in terms of its effects and its appeal. It has been admitted already by many that the Freudian uncanny is not intended as a universal explanation of the effects of horror; supplementing this version with the existentialist one might provide the opportunity for a more dynamic approach to the study of horror. Further, Kristeva’s theory of abjection might provide a version of psychoanalysis that is more compatible with existentialism, working as a bridge between what have often been seen as incompatible fields, at least regarding this particular aspect of experience. In any case, it seems clear that an examination of the experience of horror provides a unique entry into the question of determinism, and vice versa, the question of determinism provides a unique entry, and presents interesting challenges, to the concept of the uncanny and the study of horror.

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Freud’s treatment of Hoffmann’s Sand-Man is not a valid rendering because it focuses too heavily on attributing the uncanny to the castration complex, while rejecting Jentsch’s theory of intellectual uncertainty, and altogether neglecting the profound spiritual constituents of this tale....

SOLUTION: Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny - English - …

he quotes it in full in his essay "The Uncanny", ..

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