Historical and Philosophical Relations between the Uncanny and Illustration

Shapiro, Carolyn ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2987-8111 (2019) Historical and Philosophical Relations between the Uncanny and Illustration. In: A Companion to Illustration: Art and Theory. Blackwell Companions to Art History . Wiley Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 444-466. ISBN 978-1-119-18553-6

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Abstract / Summary

Many illustrators have adopted “The Uncanny” and embraced it as the characteristic psychological effect of their illustrative style. While we might argue that other discursive forms are capable of conveying the effect of uncanniness, what I am interested in here is why it manifests historically via illustration in particular. I will divide my investigation into three propositions: first, that the Uncanny’s essential ambivalence is achieved as a literary event; second, following Ernst Jentsch and Masahiro Mori, that a key site of the Uncanny effect is actually within the material physical object and its potential for movement; and finally, following E.T.A. Hoffman, that complex textual scenarios and frameworks of storytelling comprise the locus for the philosophical theorisation of The Uncanny. The word “uncanny” is used in many contexts of the everyday. But this chapter will argue that a critical perspective on storytelling is the best mode for showing how the Uncanny effect is a phenomenon of language—and its theoretical consideration is really a consideration of larger philosophical questions about our relation to language as subjects, and as objects.

Key words: Uncanny; automaton; The Sandman; Coraline; Jentsch: Freud; ETA Hoffmann

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: 978-1-119-18553-6
Subjects: Arts > Illustration
Language
Philosophy & Psychology
Courses by Department: The Falmouth School of Art > Illustration
Depositing User: Carolyn Shapiro
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2018 15:31
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2020 09:29
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/2815

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