Sigmund Freud, Das Unheimliche [The Uncanny]

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

In this essay, which has become of signal importance for psychoanalytic and critical theory, Freud sets out to trace the nature of the uncanny, “that class of the frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar” (340). In his opening remarks, Freud observes that almost nothing has been written on the uncanny in relation to aesthetics, although he refers in passing to Ernst Jentsch’s 1906 essay “The Psychology of the Uncanny”. In fact, Freud mirrors Jentsch’s approach to the subject: after an initial concern with the etymology of the uncanny, he collects “all those properties of persons, things, sense impressions, experiences and situations which arouse in us the feeling of uncanniness”, then relates these phenomena to the “primary narcissism” of…

1312 words

Citation: Brewster, Scott. "Das Unheimliche". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2002 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

5735 Das Unheimliche 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.