Allusion and the uncanny

This book explores the relationship between allusion and the uncanny in literature. An unexpected echo or quotation in a new text can be compared to the sudden appearance of a ghost or mysterious double, the reanimation of a corpse or the discovery of an ancient ruin hidden in a modern city. This study identifies moments where this affinity between allusion and the uncanny is used by writers to generate a particular textual charge, where uncanny elements are used to flag patterns of allusion and to point to the haunting presence of an earlier work. The book traces the subtle patterns of connection between texts centuries, even millennia apart, from Greek tragedy and Latin epic, through the plays of Shakespeare and the Victorian novel, to contemporary film, fiction and poetry. Each chapter takes a different uncanny motif as its focus: doubles, ruins, reanimation, ghosts and journeys to the underworld.

Abstract only
Mimicry, history, and laughter

We saw in the previous chapter how images of spectrality in Henry James’s Anglo-American Gothic encode images of national identity. How ghosts can be discussed in a colonial context helps to illuminate the complex relationship which existed in the period between the colonial gaze and the apparently subaltern subject. This chapter proposes a reading of spectrality which

in The ghost story, 1840–1920
Abstract only

In Spectres of Marx , Jacques Derrida quotes the famous opening of the Communist Manifesto : ‘A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Communism.’ Derrida explores the intergenerational slippage at work between the production of Marx’s text and its reception, demonstrating how communism, described by Marx as a ghost from some unknown future, has been transformed into

in A familiar compound ghost
katabasis and The Tempest

variation on the theme of katabasis provides the starting point for this chapter, as well as my book’s title. The second is the ghostly afterlife of The Tempest , which seems not simply derived from, but haunted by, Shakespeare’s play, its own earlier sources and other intertexts. Although initially distinct, these two traditions will, like Eliot’s narrator and the compound ghost, meet one another at the

in A familiar compound ghost
Abstract only
Contemporary art and post-Troubles Northern Ireland

A vital issue in discussing distinctive group shows has been to explore how 'Northern Irish art' has emerged in dialogue with international art during the post-Troubles period. This book concentrates on the social and political developments pertinent to a study of post-Troubles art. It makes an effort to weave together fundamental background details on the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement with questions regarding the political and theoretical framing of this process of negotiation. Diverse local outcomes of the Agreement are nonetheless acknowledged: from ongoing political problems caused by the ambiguities and inconsistencies of the accord, to material manifestations of 'peace' in the built environment. The book presents thoughts on how 'Northern Irish art' of the post-Troubles era might be critically approached and appraised in light of broader contemporary conditions. It takes the 2005 exhibition of art from Northern Ireland at the Venice Biennale as the departure point for an extended examination of how the representation of 'local' concerns is shaped in relation to wider cultural and economic forces. Much of the book concentrates more directly on the manifold forms of 'ghost-hunting' undertaken by artists during the post-Troubles period. Several significant works by Willie Doherty are singled out for close-reading: photographic series and film narratives that are powerfully undecidable and uncanny in their oblique, unnerving evocations of the landscapes of Belfast and Derry. The book also discusses the haunted spaces of Doherty's practice by reflecting on artists' approaches to time and history.

A cultural history

This book examines the British ghost story within the political contexts of the long nineteenth century. By relating the ghost story to economic, national, colonial and gendered contexts it provides a critical re-evaluation of the period. The conjuring of a political discourse of spectrality during the nineteenth century enables a culturally sensitive reconsideration of the work of writers including Dickens, Collins, Charlotte Riddell, Vernon Lee, May Sinclair, Kipling, Le Fanu, Henry James and M.R. James. Additionally, a chapter on the interpretation of spirit messages reveals how issues relating to textual analysis were implicated within a language of the spectral.

Spirit photography and contemporary art

8 The ghosts of media past and present: spirit photography and contemporary art Ben Burbridge 1 I have no doubt that there are those within the sound of my voice who will live to see the time when photographic reproductions will be sent from country to country as quickly as telegraphic messages to-day. In conclusion, may I not ask, who shall say that the camera, adjusted by the hand that feels, and focused by the sensitive eye that sees beyond, with the aid of the intensely sensitive dry plates, shall not bring to light and view the forms of our departed

in The machine and the ghost
Technology and spiritualism in nineteenth to twenty-first-century art and culture
Editors: Sas Mays and Neil Matheson

Within the visual arts, speculation concerning the paranormal, haunting, spiritualism, and spirit photography expanded enormously in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Focusing on people's complex relationship with technology, this book explores our culture's continued fascination with the spectral, the ghostly and the paranormal. Informed by history and the visual tradition of spiritualism and psychical research, it cites that tradition within our contemporary concerns, such as landscape and environment, and recent technological developments. The book discusses the role of vitalism in contemporary theory, reflecting on what Bergson's interest in spiritualism suggests about the historical and theoretical complexities that lie behind the current uses of vitalism. It examines the twitching gestural engagements with a variety of devices, instruments, and technologies, including the typewriter, the pianola, the slate, and the phonograph. The book highlights that spiritualist phenomena are the result of mendacity on the one side and credulous belief on the other; Dada photomontage the result of painfully keen-eyed despair and a powerful drive to experiment. Resiting spirit photography and the production of 'ectoplasm' within the theatrical tradition of melodrama, the book considers spiritualist manifestations in terms of 'performances for camera'. It pays attention to exhibitions, staged in galleries in the UK and the United States between 2003 and 2007, which paired spirit photographs with examples of contemporary art photography. Finally, the book considers various spectral emanations moving across space and time, and across different discourses the work of John Ruskin, to discuss the relations between haunting and ecological catastrophe.


literary imagination and textual interpretation. 1 The culture of spiritualism played an important part in shaping a language of spectrality which in turn informed literary representations of ghosts. However, this was not a one-way process and this chapter explores the interactive relationship between spiritualism and the literary culture during the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, and so provides an alternative

in The ghost story, 1840–1920
Abstract only
Spaces and spectres of Ireland after NAMA

1 Ghost estates: spaces and spectres of Ireland after NAMA Cian O’Callaghan We spotted it from the road before we saw the signs. The building site faced the oncoming traffic showing a hill of scraped dirt, husks of houses and forgotten foundations. We were driving around County Cork, looking at points on a map, finding the route and keeping our eyes open for the billboards, signs and other markings of what were then beginning to be called ghost estates. As we approached the entrance of the estate, billboards advertising the development in illustrious terms stood

in Spacing Ireland