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March 17, 2007

Deja Vu

Freud, ''The Uncanny'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"...this factor of involuntary repetition which surrounds with an uncanny atmosphere what would otherwise be innocent enough, and forces upon us the idea of something fateful and unescapable..." (390).

Coming upon this particular aspect of uncanny feelings, I thought of deja vu. This involuntary return to the same situation results in a feeling of helplessness and of something mysterious and beyond the normal. The recurrence of a dream, situation, feeling or action allows for one to give a meaning to the recurring image.

Deja vu is the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time. Having an illusion of something that already occurred only can lead one to the feeling of uncanny-ness.

Not everyone will see the recurrence of situations, things and events as a source of uncanny feeling. This phenonmenon does, however, subject to certain conditions as well as combined circumstances that recalls a sense of helplessness which is sometimes experienced in dreams. This impression may alter if the events happen close together. This also maybe a form of superstition as well.

Coincidences of desire and fulfillment, mysterious recurrences of similiar experiences, deceiving sights and noises all lead to a fear of something uncanny.

Posted by Denamarie at March 17, 2007 9:01 PM

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Comments

Awesome connection, Denamarie. Déjà vu actually means "already seen" in French.

Your last sentence might be helpful for those who found this article confusing or repetitive: "Coincidences of desire and fulfillment, mysterious recurrences of similiar experiences, deceiving sights and noises all lead to a fear of something uncanny." I really think Freud nailed it when he said that things in fiction are NOT uncanny unless they occur outside of literature. (I wrote about this on my blog!) It makes me wonder: if we call something in literature uncanny, is it because we relate this "uncanny" to our own lives (drawing the idea out of the reality of the text) or because we see it in context of the environment of the book/poem/short story?

Posted by: Karissa at March 19, 2007 7:51 AM

Karissa -

In response to your comment I think that people often tend to think things "uncanny" because it is outside the norm in their lives. I know that that is how I tend to opperate. I commented on your blog saying that sometimes that is the hardest thing for me to do is separate my reality from the reality that we are trying to read about. (Which, now that I think about it, is weird because Fantasy is my genre of choice for pleasure. That would fall completely in the "uncanny" aspect of literature. hmmm.)

Denamarie -

I too thought of deja vu a lot when reading this article. I sometimes get those feelings and wonder why in the world I am having these feelings. Interesting.

Posted by: Tiffany at March 19, 2007 10:13 PM

I do think that we something in literature uncanny because it is outside of our own lives.
It is really hard to seperate your own experiences with those that we read. When something occurs in a story that is out of the norm in our own life, we call it uncanny.

Hope my blog helped =]

Posted by: Denamarie at March 22, 2007 12:44 PM

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