Introduction
in A familiar compound ghost
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This chapter, which introduces the concept of the literary allusion, by first citing examples from Northern Lights and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, holds that allusion and the uncanny are both characterised by the blend of the familiar and the unfamiliar. An allusion is effected by a transgression of the barrier separating the enclosed world of the text from its various sources and intertexts. The ghost of Hamlet's father is recognisable to those who witness it, fully familiar and yet uncanny. The chapter also discusses the echo, a more neutral word which does not rule out the possibility of conscious borrowing but implies that the connection is not strong enough to prove deliberate agency or to ensure recognition in the majority of attentive readers.

A familiar compound ghost

Allusion and the uncanny

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