Our Uncanny Selves: The Distorted Mirror as the Spooky Gate to Your Soul OR The Nature of Post-Postmodern Literary Devices

  • Othmar M. Lehner (Speaker)
  • Sweet, C. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


This paper examines the “Uncanny” as a psychodynamic experience in human existence, involving that which is familiar, yet uncomfortable and spookily mirrored for us in a synchronicity of events that is more than coincidental. We understand uncanny as aptly analysed by Freud and Lacan, strongly connected to trauma theory and brought to life in post-postmodern narrations through novel and distinct techniques. Spanning a period of 15 years, and using the characters and storylines of “Atonement” by Ian McEwan, “Beyond Black” by Hilary Mantel, as well as of “Hot Milk” by Deborah Levy - all three of them well-listed for the Man Booker prize - as a starting point, we explore the shadowy world of the human soul as it presents itself in our most instinctual behaviours – eating, sexuality, forming emotional bonds and judging what goes on inside and all around us. Through this we identify novel tropes and effective combinations of literary devices that lead to the perfect reflection of an ever so distorted post-postmodern world in the literature of the early 21st century.
Period19 Aug 2017
Event titleThe Uncanny in Language, Literature and Culture
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, UK, United KingdomShow on map