Freud-Liz Marchuk

Freud” The Uncanny”
In the story “Sand-man” written by Hoffman, a little boy is told that if he does not go to sleep the sand-man will come and take his eyes out. Several nights he observes his father and an eerie man doing experiments. One night the visitor sees him and his father has to come to his rescue or the visitor will remove the boy’s eyes. Several evenings latter the father is found dead, killed by an explosion. When he is older he buys a spy-glass and observes a silent and motionless young woman named Olympia and falls in love with her. He one days see her eyes being removed (she is really a doll or robot) and goes insane. After he recovers he is about to marry and then see the very same man who has removed Olympia’s eyes and goes once again insane and jumps to his death.
For Freud, being robbed of your eyes or some type of a frightening event from your childhood will lead you back to what is known and familiar. Freud feels that the fear of losing one’s sign is often a substitute for the dread of being castrated

1 comment:

  1. Liz:

    How does then apply to the creative process??
    What does the uncanny have to do with art?

    If we understand Freud's simplistic definition- UNCANNY is when
    something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange.

    Freud's general thesis: The uncanny is anything we experience in adulthood that reminds us of earlier psychic stages, of aspects of our unconscious life, or of the primitive experience of the human species.
    a. castration
    b. double
    c. involuntary repetition; the compulsion to repeat (Wiederholungszwang) as a structure of the unconscious.
    d. animistic conceptions of the universe = the power of the psyche. It sees itself as stronger than reality; e.g. telepathy, mind over matter. These are common conceptions of primitive life.

    Please see Robert Gober link: