Thursday, 3 December 2009

The uncanny, death and doubling

I was researching online and i found this little passage that i thought was also quite interesting. I didn't want to break it down so am just going to paste it because it will explain it in more detail:

"According to Freud, the phenomenon that would later be called the uncanny valley stems from a primitive attempt of humans to skirt death and secure our own immortality by creating copies of ourselves—such as wax figures and, later, life-like robots. He quotes his colleague Otto Rank in saying that this “doubling” behavior is “an energetic denial of the power of death” and suggests the idea of the immortal soul was the first double of the body.

Our uncanny response follows from the fact that most of us no longer believe we can secure our own immortality by making copies of ourselves, but we haven’t yet shaken the primitive habit of trying to do so. The sad consequence of this is that, in Freud’s words, “The double reverses its aspect. From having been an assurance of immortality, it becomes the uncanny harbinger of death.” The copies we feel compelled to make only serve to remind us why we began making them in the first place: We are, inevitably, going to die."

1 comment:

  1. ... deeper and deeper you go, Jade - excellent - now, try this theoretical idea on for size - Julia Kristeva's theory of 'the abject' - it's also predicated upon the repression of the reality of death...