Uncanny doubles: part one
in A familiar compound ghost
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This chapter, which emphasises the importance of the interplay between an uncanny phenomenon in the text and an uncanny affect in the reader, holds that the uncanny is both a ‘foreign body’ and something on the page in front of the reader. It describes nineteenth-century doubles who remind people of their textual predecessors as well as of their own doubled selves. The chapter looks at uncannily Gothic doubles of the earlier decades (James Hogg and Edgar Allan Poe), through the novels of the mid-Victorian period, in which doubles are more usually deployed to drive a sensational plot (Wilkie Collins and Mary Elizabeth Braddon), and at a second, more self-conscious Gothic flowering in the novels of thefin de siècle (Robert Louis Stevenson and Oscar Wilde). It concludes that the tendency to invoke earlier examples of the Doppelgänger tradition becomes increasingly pronounced.

A familiar compound ghost

Allusion and the uncanny

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