thus epitomise Freud’s concept of ‘the uncanny’, a quality related principally to ‘death, dead bodies, revenants, spirits and ghosts’ (Sanders 2009 : 49): ‘everything is uncanny [ unheimlich – literally ‘unhomely’] that ought to have remained secret and hidden but has come to light’ (Freud  2003 : 126). Accordingly, Moshenska ( 2006 : 93) argues that it is strictly the process of exhuming remains from the peat – the transgressive act of bringing the hidden to light – which renders them uncanny, not any innate material property. Yet Sanders ( 2009 : 49
something distinctive only of human beings; and so is reflection, in a spirit of wonder, about the meaning of life (Gärdenfors 2006 : 33ff).
In Das Unbehagen in der Kultur ( Civilization and its Discontents ), physician and psychologist Sigmund Freud held that human beings possess two fundamental drives that are both restricted by civilisation: on the one hand an erotic and creative drive and on the other the destructive death drive. However, suppression of the death drive and aggression leads to neuroses, guilt feelings, angst, and discomfort (Freud 1930 (German
significant differences between White people
and people of colour in how racism is perceived in, for instance, the USA,
continue to beg for explanation.
Psychoanalytic traditions, reaching back to Sigmund Freud’s statement
that the ‘unconscious is like an aboriginal population of the mind’, have
focused on how the figure of the Other functions as projection ground in the
psyche of the White individual.36 Toni Morrison speaks of racism as a distortion of the psyche, ‘a profound neurosis that nobody examines for what
it is’,37 while Frantz Fanon famously
stratification, the uncertain, fragments, and documentation (e.g. Lowenthal 1985 : 251ff; 2015: 401ff; Ebeling & Altekamp 2004 ; Holtorf 2005 : 16ff).
The passion that the physician Sigmund Freud had for archaeology and antiquity has attracted considerable attention, and his psychoanalysis has been compared with an archaeological excavation (Møller 1994 ; Thomas 2004 : 149ff; Kuusamo 2011 ). Above Freud’s famous divan in Vienna there hung a gouache, a picture of Abu Simbel from 1907 (Pollock 2006 : 2 with fig. 1.1, 8f).
Another famous example is the philosopher and
: their ‘fleshiness and overt corporeality’ (Sanders 2009 : 50), their unsettling similitude yet difference from both the living and the dead (Wallace 2004 ). Even Freud seemed keen to repress this ‘black tide’ of visceral and violated dead. The British pagan community is by no means united on this front: many support the sensitive display of human remains (Vaswani 2001 ; Rathouse 2016 ) even if the notion of what is and is not ‘respectful’ is culturally contextual (Tarlow 2006 ). These problems take us into the territory of what has recently been conceptualised
loathing in literary works (such as the ‘noisome bog’ in Swift’s A Tale of a Tub ) and political satire (where the word ‘bog’ was often used in a knowing double entendre, as in popular prints by Hogarth, see Pittock 1999 : 32). Bram Stoker’s 1890 story The Snake’s Pass personifies the evil character of the bog as a consuming and cruel entity, embodied in the treacherous snake as a merciless harbinger of death. These tropes spawned twentieth-century literature that widened the associations of the bog with the ungoverned psyche (as Freud saw it, see Chapter 2