Originally published in Postgraduate English, vol. 32 (March, 2016) ABSTRACT This interdisciplinary study investigates the tensions inherent within the ‘anti-modern’ element of early modernism and its relationship to Victorian and fin de siècle narratives of modernity. Using Sigmund Freud’s Totem and
Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle is perhaps his most controversial work. It is difficult to get to grips with ideologically and to follow through the twists and turns of its reasoning. This post offers a simple explanation of Freud’s key ideas.
In his 1919 essay of the same title, Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud defines das unheimliche (‘the uncanny’) as, ‘that class of frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar.’ His original essay relies on the etymology of the