The Gothic Novel

{Cover Illustration}


This is a very well-received 4th term university project in literary history and theory, on the early Gothic novel, with focus on an inquiry into two of the major theories related to the Gothic genre (the Habermasian seperation of spheres and Freud's 'Uncanny'), their interrelationship, and their applicability to the very early Gothic works; founded on analyses of Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto" (1764). The project was finished at the 20th of May 1998 at Aalborg University, Denmark, under the (loose :-) supervision of Jørgen Riber Christensen, by the following people:

© Copyright is retained by the three authors listed above, All Rights Reserved.

Comments are always encouraged! :-)

The project was converted and cross referenced to hypertext by Mads Orbesen Troest (phew!).
Current document revision is 1.01, last altered at the 26th of June 1998.


Table of Contents

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. METHOD
  3. ORIGINS OF THE GOTHIC GENRE (Lars Christensen)
  4. THEORY
    1. Habermas and the Division of Spheres
      1. Defining the Terms (Carsten Hammer Andersen)
      2. Historical Outline (Carsten Hammer Andersen)
      3. Representative Publicness (Lars Christensen)
      4. The Bourgeois Public Sphere (Lars Christensen)
      5. The Development of the Family Home (Carsten Hammer Andersen)
      6. Critique of The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (L. Christensen. & C.H. Andersen)
    2. Freud and the Uncanny (Mads Orbesen Troest)
      1. Identifying the Uncanny (Mads Orbesen Troest)
      2. Concluding Critique of Freud's Uncanny (Mads Orbesen Troest)
  5. THESIS
  6. ANALYSIS OF "THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO"
    1. A Habermas Approach (Carsten Hammer Andersen)
      1. 'The Castle of Otranto' and the Emergence of the Public Sphere (Lars Christensen)
      2. Lady Isabella and the Separation of the Private Sphere (Lars Christensen)
      3. Manfred and the Separation of Spheres (Lars Christensen)
      4. Patriarchal Power in 'The Castle of Otranto' (Carsten Hammer Andersen)
    2. The Role of the Uncanny (Mads Orbesen Troest)
      1. Repetition, Automatism and Determinism (Mads Orbesen Troest)
      2. Doppelgängers (Mads Orbesen Troest)
      3. Incest (Mads Orbesen Troest)
      4. Death & Sexuality (Mads Orbesen Troest)
  7. CONCLUSION
  8. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    1. Literature
  9. NOTES & REFERENCES


1. Introduction

      Close as we are to the end of not just another century but the millennium, we have brought at least one thing with us from another fin de siècle, from the 18th century's labour giving birth to a restructured society upon which our contemporary rests. That thing is a historically recurrent and still prevailing fascination with the emotionally sublime, with the almost infatuated exploration of transgression and norms; with a paradigm that is now most often designated 'Horror'.

      As with a great many themes of our modern society, we can trace the origins of this genre back to the 'quiet turmoil' - in emotional respects as well as in societal - of the 18th century. With the Enlightenment's avowed aim of liberation from oppression, ignorance and superstition (a liberation par force if need be), the Gothic - as it was later termed - potential is perhaps perceivable. Everything was now to be explained scientifically, rationally and according to neo-classicistic ideals; that which could not was scorned for its aesthetic and moral inferiority.

      People questioning, or feeling confined under, this 'oppressive freedom' found voice in the newly established literary genre of the novel, challenging the norms that good literature was to be instructive and promote moral virtues (traits we see incarnated in Samuel Richardson's early (1740) novel Pamela). Thus, the Gothic Novel came into existence; more precisely with the advent of Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto in 1764. Being accredited as the first manifestation of the genre, it marked a turning point on the literary scene.

      This distinct Gothic genre has been the subject of much zealous study, and many diverging contexts have been read into it. There are, indeed, many engaging aspects to investigate, and several theories have been linked to it throughout its history. Some of the more significant of these are Sigmund Freud's contemplation on the subject of the 'uncanny', Jürgen Habermas' theory of the emergence of the public sphere, and Edmund Burke's (then contemporary) inquiry into the aesthetics of the sublime. These theories have each proven their worth in the Gothic context individually, revealing some of the possible motivations behind the Gothic writing.

      Given the range of applicable theories about the genre, it becomes particularly interesting to investigate the interrelationship between these. Two of the previously mentioned theories would seem particularly attractive for this purpose: Habermas' implied theories of the spherification of the new bourgeois society and Freud's psychoanalytically founded theory of the 'uncanny': Upon contemplating a concept like Freud's notion of das unheimliche and its inherent relation to its apparent opposite of das heimliche, the homely, one's attention is inevitably draw towards Habermas' theory of the separation of spheres (one of which could, perhaps, be called the homely sphere). At the same time, paradoxically, the theories seem quite unrelated; what has a theory of the social sciences to do with one of the emotionally sublime? This apparent schism prompts us to assess to what extent these theories are linked.

      It appears that the most exhaustive examinations of the Gothic genre have been conducted with focus on the so-called Ambiguous Gothic in particular; a trend evolving around the turn of the 18th century. The novels written before this more 'evolved' Gothic form are often considered somewhat crude and perhaps not worth the same amount of attention as the later novels. This makes it particularly interesting to investigate to what extent said commonly applied theories also fit the early, pre-Ambiguous Gothic; indeed, whether their merit persists all the way back to the birth of the Gothic novel. Addressing this issue, analysing Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764) as an example of this early novel would seem obvious, given its generally acclaimed position as the first manifestation, and precursor, of the Gothic genre.

      Consequently, the aim of this paper is, in essence, an inquiry into two of the major theories related to the Gothic genre, their interrelationship, and their applicability to the very early Gothic works; founded on analyses of The Castle of Otranto.


2. Method

      The following provides a description of the overall structure and motivation of the focal points of this paper.

      Please observe that throughout this paper, references for each of the main chapters appear as endnotes, immediately following their conclusion, whereas other notes (marked by roman numerals) appear continuously as footnotes throughout the paper. {Note to Web-edition: In this edition, all notes and references appear as endnotes.}

Origins of the Gothic Genre

      This chapter will briefly introduce the origin of Gothic. It will consist of a possible definition of the term, followed by an introductory presentation of aspects concerning the Gothic literature, spanning from the emergence of the Gothic novel over Graveyard Poetry to The Castle of Otranto specifically. The subject of sublime terror will also be touched upon, along with the 'stock prop' problem which allegedly influenced the genre in negative terms. Finally, a short discussion of contemporary Gothic will conclude the chapter.

Choice of Theory

Habermas

      The theory of the emergence of the public sphere deals with the polarisation of society up through history. This chapter seeks too outline Habermas' theory, beginning with the Greek city-state, moving through the feudal times and ending with the emergence of the bourgeois public sphere, in the 18th century. Furthermore, different relevant passages within the theory will be discussed in order to take a critical approach to the theory, which, from time to time, can seem overwhelming, and not immediately intelligible.

Freud

      Freud's authoritative investigation of what he calls the 'uncanny' is of particular importance to the Gothic genre, because it can be seen as an examination of the emotional sublimity so central a theme in these novels; a psychoanalytical complement to Burke's early inquiry into the sublime. This chapter will introduce the reader to Freud's thesis of the psychological ancestry of the uncanny, discussing and assessing its various aspects and relating them to the Gothic genre in particular.

Analysis

Habermas

      In this chapter, the aim is to analyse The Castle of Otranto, by using the theory of Habermas. This analysis will be conducted in order to examine the Gothic novel in the light of the division of spheres, as the separation of these are believed to have influenced the literature produced at the time. The possible influence will be investigated in order to determine whether the Gothic genre was a reflection of the societal tendencies of the time.

Freud

      This chapter presents a possible Freudian reading of The Castle of Otranto, based in particular on "The 'Uncanny'", in order to establish the extent to which the theory matches an early Gothic novel. As the variety of uncanny themes is abundant, focus will be put on issues deemed particularly important in this context, namely: repetition, incest, sexuality and death.


3. Origins of the Gothic Genre

      When dealing with a genre of novels designated 'Gothic', it seems appropriate to first try to define the meaning of that word, of Gothic. In her thesis on Ann Radcliffe and Gothic fiction,[1] Linda R. Koenig examines the word Gothic, and arrives at the conclusion that it has a somewhat complicated history. The word is believed to originate from a Germanic tribe which once invaded England. This tribe was actually the Jutes, but was mistakenly identified with the Goths by 17th century antiquarians, and ultimately, in the 18th century, Gothic came to mean essentially everything that was of Germanic origin. Gothic was often associated with things that were barbaric, uncouth and rude but, interestingly enough, it also became associated with parliamentary rights, as ancient records seemed to point at the Goths as the ones who introduced what later developed into the tradition of British liberty and democracy. This positive connotation later extended to include aesthetic matters, especially at the architectural scene, in which the Gothic buildings were believed to display a soaring freedom from the strict neo-classical ideals. As put by Fred Botting in his study of the Gothic genre:

      "Manifestations of the Gothic past - buildings, ruins, songs and romances - were treated as products of uncultivated if not childish minds. But characteristics like extravagance, superstition, fancy and wildness which were initially considered in negative terms became associated, in the course of the 18th century, with a more expansive and imaginative potential for aesthetic production."[2]

      Botting also argues that Gothic could be seen as a reaction to the Enlightenment. This age of reason had brought in its wake an air of confusion. Rationalism had even displaced religion as the means through which to explain the universe, the social world and supernatural phenomena. Gothic works, with their disturbing ambivalence, therefore lend themselves as instruments which could be used in an attempt to explain and debate that which the Enlightenment had left unexplained.[3]

The Gothic Novel

      Horace Walpole, who is usually considered as the father of the Gothic Novel, or Gothic fiction, did not use the term Gothic himself, when he introduced his novel The Castle of Otranto (henceforth Otranto) in 1764. This should, perhaps, not come as any surprise, as the term a Gothic Story had presumably not yet been invented. But it is quite interesting to note, then, how, in a review of Walpole's novel in the Monthly Review from February 1765, a critic speaks of the absurdities of Gothic fiction,[4] which must indicate that the term was already in use at the time when the first edition of Otranto was released. On the facsimile of the original title page of the first edition of Otranto, one can see that it is only titled a Story. When the second edition was released, however, this had been changed to a Gothic Story. It would be quite tempting to presume that Walpole 'borrowed' the expression from the critics, as he does apparently not try to claim the right to the term of a Gothic Story, though he in his second preface readily enough proclaims himself inventor of a new genre. He does, in fact, not mention the word Gothic. Instead, he reveals in the second preface to his novel, the often quoted lines that his intention was to write a novel that ...

      "[...] was an attempt to blend two kinds of romance, the ancient and the modern. In the former all was imagination and improbability; in the latter, nature is always intended to be, and sometimes has been, copied with success."[5]

      A plausible explanation as to why the word Gothic was attached to Walpole's work could be sought in the fact that Gothic, according to Maurice Levy in his paper Gothic and the Critical Idiom, "[...] for a long time served the regrettable purpose of vilifying medieval architecture, medieval literature, medieval manners and medieval superstition". [6]

Graveyard Poetry

      Another explanation could be the fact that the new genre already had a predecessor in the so-called Graveyard Poetry. The Graveyard poets were inspired by potential conceptions of the Gothic, especially the shadows. The shadows marked the limits "[...] necessary to the constitution of an enlightened world and delineated the limitations of neo-classical perceptions".[7] The darkness was the adversary to the light, the light of reason, in the way that it, metaphorically, was threatened by that which the light did not acknowledge. The Graveyard Poetry was popular in the first half of the 18th century and the poetic objects were, apart from graves and churchyards, synthesised from elements like; night, death, ruins, ghosts and everything else that would be considered irrational, and thus excluded, by the rational culture of the Enlightenment.[8]

The Castle of Otranto

      Walpole's novel was conceived in a time in which the novel was supposed to be realistic. The 'New novel', was expected to reflect the new enlightened society and thus be educational. It is likely to believe that Walpole found this perception of the novel rather dull,[9] when he consequently chose to blend the genres of the old romance and the new novel. One could say that it was a combination of the marvellous and the realistic; a combination in which the characters would respond in a realistic and believable way to the unrealistic circumstances. In Walpole's own words:

      "The author of the following pages thought it possible to reconcile the two kinds. Desirous of leaving the powers of fancy at liberty to expatiate through the boundless realms of invention, and thence of creating more interesting situations, he wished to conduct the mortal agents in his drama according to the rules of probability; in short, to make them think, speak, and act, as it might be supposed mere men and women would do in extraordinary positions."[10]

      This basic theory of reconciliation was advocated by several of Walpole's contemporary Gothic writers, and was echoed in a critical remark from Clara Reeve, who wrote in the preface to her novel, The Old English Baron that her aim had been to try to "[...] unite the most attractive and interesting circumstances of the ancient Romance and modern Novel".[11]

Sublime Terror

      One of the aspects that neither Walpole nor Reeve had explicitly touched upon, was that their works could (and would) evoke terror in the reader. This obligation, as it later came to be, to terrorise the spectators of the narratives was partly spawned by Edmund Burke who, with the essay A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, "[...] had given terror aesthetic respectability by denominating it a source of the sublime" (1757).[12] To Burke, beautiful objects that would evoke tenderness and affection, were characterised by their smallness, delicacy, and smoothness, whereas the sublime emotions would be generated by objects that were vast, magnificent, and obscure. According to Botting, no other topic of the 18th century originated as much interest as the sublime.[13]

      Burke's interpretation of the sublime was, however, founded on what David B. Morris in his essay on Gothic sublimity has called "[...] a narrow, mechanical account of bodily processes" (which may, of course, partly explain the favour with which it was received by the contemporaries).[14] Thus, his theory is very much part of the time in which it was written; an important contribution to theorising the aesthetics of the sublime, but by no means the only angle to address it from (as we shall see later, in chapter 4.2).

Stock Props

      This idea that Gothic fiction was/is supposed to be frightening was firmly established by the end of the 18th century. But the obligation to evoke terror turned out to be counterproductive, as the genre soon became associated with simply a compendium of stock props, settings, situations and characters. It was the apparatus that defined the form.[15] This perception of the Gothic genre ended up prevailing, and the evidence that this view of the genre persisted well into the 20th century, can be read out of M.H. Abrams' "A Glossary of Literary Terms", from 1957, which defines Gothic as:

      "The Gothic novel is a type of fiction which was inaugurated by Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story (1764) - Written in professed imitation of medieval romances - and which flourished in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The setting of these novels was usually medieval, and often a gloomy castle replete with dungeons and subterranean passages; plentiful use was made of ghosts, mysterious disappearances, and other sensational and supernatural occurrences (which sometimes turned out to have natural explanations); and the principal aim was to evoke chilling terror by exploiting mystery and horror in both atmosphere and events."[16]

The End of Gothic

      Whether Gothic is still alive in contemporary society, is an issue that has been submitted to some debate. In Gothic, Fred Botting brings up to date the Gothic genre and examines it in the light of the 20th century. Botting discusses the Gothic in writing, in science fiction and film, in the post modern, and finally, the end of it. He uses the Coppola film Bram Stoker's Dracula as an example of how the genre dies, "[...] divested of its excesses, of its transgression, horror and diabolical laughter, of its artificial and suggestive forms".[17] These conclusive remarks would probably have pleased Maurice Levy when he produced his paper Gothic and the Critical Idiom. Levy discusses how, according to him, the term Gothic has been diluted and is today often seen in connection with Science-Fiction, spacewarp and teleportation. There seems to be a consensus to the fact that the Gothic genre started with The Castle of Otranto in 1765, and Levy believes that the genre showed enough signs of decline in 1824 to be questioned, whether literature written in the Gothic mode, exceeding that year could truly be called Gothic. According to Levy:

      "Gothic [...] necessarily conjures up images of female innocence engaged in labyrinthine pursuits and threatened by monacial [sic] or baronial lubricity [...] Gothic has, to me, that special eighteenth-century flavour, which attaches itself to ruined castles and abbeys, either examined from a distance with Gilpin's Lorrain Glasses, or fearfully explored with Burke's Inquiry [sic] in hand."[18]


4. Theory

4.1 Habermas and the Division of Spheres

      Through his life the German social scientist Jürgen Habermas has written immense amounts of books and papers concerning different issues. Apart from the social sciences, he has also dealt with philosophy and mass media. Here, the main concern lies within the frame of Habermas' social science, namely, the theory concerning the emergence of the bourgeois public sphere.

      Habermas commences his significant work The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere by discussing from whence "public" derives and in which connections it is used. Furthermore, a historical outline spanning from the Greek city-state, up until the emergence of the public sphere in the middle of the 18th century, is given. It is this development of society, which is of importance to this study, and as one of the scopes is, to link Habermas' theory of the emergence of the public sphere to the Gothic genre, a somewhat detailed presentation of this theory is deemed necessary.

4.1.1 Defining the Terms

      To look at, and try to understand, the meaning connected to "public", it is important to find out how the word or expression came to be. Habermas states that in the 18th century only one expression was used to describe the "public sphere", a word which had not yet been invented. In Germany it was called "öffenlichkeit", in France "publicité" and the English word was "publicity".[19]

      It is then argued that if no such expression existed before the 18th century, it is highly questionable whether the "public sphere" existed at all before the beginning of the century.[20] One could argue that such a way of reasoning, is very questionable in itself, because if the argument should hold, it would mean that no matter what new inventions or societal changes etc. was made, it could not exist before the word or term was defined and vice versa. This is the old question of what came first, the hen or the egg?

      As the public sphere emerged during the 18th century, so did the words, which had to describe these new societal changes, "public" and subsequently "public sphere" became expressions used to define these changes.

      Today their use is still connected to, and used in, the original coherence, they are however, often used in a variety of situations, "public" and "public sphere" thus connotes different perceptions, the following will contain a discussion of the conception of the word public.

      Public, public opinion, public servant, public building, public person - all these expressions contain the word public, but they do not contain the same meaning regarding "public". It would then be fair to ask what "public" is/means. Habermas has the following description:

      "We call events and occasions 'public' when they are open to all, in contrast to closed or exclusive affairs - as when we speak of public places or public houses. But as in the expression 'public building', the term need not refer to general accessibility; the building does not even have to be open to public traffic. 'Public buildings' simply house state institutions and as such are 'public'. The state is the 'public authority'."[21]

      With this in mind, it is still difficult to recognise where the line is drawn between the different meanings of "public", the main difference lies in, what is "public" to the public, and what is "public" to the public authorities. This means, that the usage of "public" has spread to contain meaning of something, which is not "public", at least not in the sense that the public, as such, has access to, or influence on public building/affairs.

4.1.2 Historical Outline

- From the Greek City-state to the Late 18th Century

      The historical foundation of the public sphere is, crucial in understanding the use of "public", from its emergence in the 18th century until today. The first knowledge we have of a separation between the private domain and the public is from the Greek city-state. The public consisted only of men, a phenomenon existing through to the late 18th century (see 4.1.4), men who were masters of their own household, and were free in the sense that they owned slaves that would do all the hard labour. A man depended on his freedom to be accepted as a part of the public life in the city.[22]

      What took place in the "public" then, was discussions between equal citizens about different issues concerning the society. These discussions had the purpose of solving political as well as more leisure-based problems, but they also enabled the individual to prove his ability to speak his cause and thus excel to a position, in which he would be 'more equal' than his equals.[23] Habermas says that; "In the competition among equals the best excelled and gained their essence - the immortality of fame".[24]

      Ancient Greece does not only show a separation of the home from the public life, but as the public life is lived, so to speak, a polarisation of the public begins to take form. On the one hand there is the 'ordinary' citizens and on the other the citizens who master rhetorical tools. Even though this polarisation is evolving, there are no apparent differences between the two groups except, honour. The citizens who enjoy more honour, may be in a position, in which their influence in the public is stronger, as a result of their rhetoric skills, but as far as it goes for the structure of society, they are equal to other men.

      Moving forward in time, it is not until slavery ceases to exist and the feudal society emerges that the demarcation between the social layers becomes apparent in, what was later to be known as: Representative publicness.

4.1.3 Representative Publicness

      In medieval Europe it was, according to Habermas, difficult to detect any difference between public and private. Habermas argues that it is not sociologically possible, which means by institutional criteria, to prove that the public was a separate sphere, divided from the private. The nobility; the princes, the court, the landowners and also the Church, or in other words, the feudal powers, were the Country instead of its representatives, thus they were not considered as belonging to a separate private sphere. They constituted themselves as a Representative Publicness, and exercised this representativeness by means of attributes: Ways of dressing, behaving, speaking, etc. These ways were displayed to the "Public" in public places by means of feasts and tournaments. One can say that the Representative Publicness exercised its representation, not for the people, but in front of the people.[25]

      This Court representation reached its peak in the 15th Century and then slowly, it started to deteriorate. Habermas says:

       "The major tendencies that prevailed by the end of the 18th century are all well known. The feudal powers, the Church, the prince, and the nobility, who were the carriers of the representative publicness, disintegrated in a process of polarisation; in the end they split into private elements, on the one hand, and public ones on the other."[26]

      It would be very plausible to believe that one of the first, and indeed important, examples of the emergence of a private sphere, would be the secularisation of religion, as a consequence of the Reformation - the conception that religion was now a private matter, between man and God, and not something that had to be administrated by an institution like the Church. It appears a little peculiar that Habermas does not lend more space to this issue, than is apparently the case. Habermas only notes that "[...] religion - became a private matter. The so-called freedom of religion historically secured the first sphere of private autonomy".[27]

4.1.4 The Bourgeois Public Sphere

      The bourgeois public sphere emerged as a part of a society that was created as a result of finance and trade capitalism dating back to 13th century Northern Italy. One the one hand, capitalism stabilised the power structure, and on the other, "It unleashed the very elements within which this power structure would one day dissolve".[28] These elements of the new commercial relationships were the traffic in commodities and news. Along with the increasing exchange of goods, or commodities, a need for mercantile correspondence developed. These trade-related areas were still confined within a closed circuit of merchants, but as these areas evolved, the need for a public authority also emerged.

      As the court had increasingly secluded itself from its representative 'duties', the upper bourgeoisie, who had previously been a part of the representative publicness, soon adopted the role as administrators, the Public Authorities. These authorities "[...] addressed their promulgations to 'the' public, that is in principle to all subjects. Usually they did not reach the 'common man' in this way, but at best the 'educated classes'".

      Along with the apparatus of the modern state, a new stratum of 'bourgeois' people arose, which occupied a central position within the "public". "The officials of the rulers' administrations were its core".[29] This new stratum consisted of mostly jurists, but also doctors, professors, and others, who were considered to be at the top of the social hierarchy. The 'classical' bourgeois of craftsmen and shopkeepers slid down the social ladder, but joined in a kinship with another class, which was not really "burghers" in the traditional sense but a stratum of merchants, bankers, and entrepreneurs that was also secluded from the upper bourgeoisie. Habermas calls this stratum of "bourgeois" the "[...] real carrier of the public, which from the outset was a reading public".[30] This stratum is also called publicum. The publicum identified itself as the opponent to the public authorities because these had developed to the extend "[...] to which the public concern regarding the private sphere of civil society was no longer confined to the authorities but was considered by the subjects as one that was properly theirs".[31]

      The new publicum, of the 18th century, now generated a demarcation between the state and the public. The state that, this far, could have been considered the public sphere, which was the sphere that encompassed the social and the private sphere of the "burgher" and the common man, would retreat into an isolated sphere of a public authority. This consequently lead to a forming of a "bourgeois social sphere" which would act as the foundation of the opposing public sphere.

      As a development of this opposition, publicum would meet in coffee houses and salons in which they would engage in discussions of topics that were considered problematic, and of importance, the first of three criteria that were to govern these meetings. The two other criteria for participation were that everybody should be allowed to attend, and furthermore, this attendance should be granted, regardless of status and position. The aim was to increase the number of educated people that would partake in these discussions in search of the 'truth'. In other words, the coffee houses were the places in which knowledge of the world was obtained.

      Habermas primarily defines the bourgeois public sphere as the sphere in which private people gather into a publicum. This publicness, which is governed by the public authorities, is claimed, and used to confront the latter. The media for this political confrontation is extraordinary and without historical precedents: The public reason.[32]

      Habermas states that the self-understanding of the public reason, is specifically governed by private experiences, originating from the publicum-oriented subjectivity in the social sphere of the nuclear family. This appears somehow contradictory, as he later claims that the main criteria for participating in the debates in the coffee houses, was that the private sphere was supra public sphere, meaning that private issues were not supposed to have any influence on the discussions of matters concerning the general society.[33] Of course one can say that, it can be regarded as unrealistic not to bring into any discussion the experiences one has obtained through life in the private and social sphere.

4.1.5 The Development of the Family Home

      Along with the development of the bourgeois public sphere, the family home underwent significant changes in terms of the interior architecture.

      During the time of the city-states, the families, or more precisely the patriarchs, who were not as fortunate as to be owners of enough slaves and property to be able to feed themselves through these, had only hard labour as a means to support the family. These labourers, had their small shops in connection with the family home - two inseparable entities that kept the family closely tied together, as every family member took part in the tasks of everyday life.

      With the emergence of the before mentioned trade capitalism, bigger companies and factories mushroomed in the cities and were able to employ many of the people who hitherto had survived by their family businesses. These societal changes were mirrored through changes in housing. The size of the rooms within the city houses was cut down to a minimum, giving space to more rooms, in which each family member could have his or hers own "private domain", an isolation of the individual family members from the others, is taking place.[34] Habermas quotes W.H. Riehl, who says that: "The process of privatising makes the house more liveable to the individual, but narrower and less valuable to the family".[35]

      Having thus presented the theoretical framework concerning the emergence of the public sphere, and a beginning isolation of the individual, within the family, the following diagram provides an instant overview of this theory.

Bourgeois Society
Private DomainPublic Domain
Name:

Object:

Location:

Institution:

Private Sphere

Feelings, sexuality, religion

The home

The family

Cultural Publicness

Art, literature

Coffee house

The association, the club

Name:

Object:

Location:

Institution:

Social Sphere

Private economy and production

The workplace, shops

The company

Political Publicness

Politics, societal economy and production

The city

The state

      What must be regarded, as a very important aspect in the division of the spheres, especially concerning the Gothic genre, and its supposed coherence with this phenomenon, is the division of the private domain.

      As hopefully evident from the above, the private domain now consisted of two spheres; the private and the social. These spheres each constituted family interests, but as the consensus of the coffee house discussions dictated a separation of the private domain from the public domain, there were no relations between the home and the public. As the public domain was predominantly, if not totally, dominated by the male representative of the bourgeois population, a strong division between the home and the surrounding society resulted in a profound isolation of the private sphere. As the woman was confined to the private sphere, she became similarly isolated. This is an issue that Habermas paid very little attention to in his Structural Transformation. According to J.B. Thompson in his critical essay The Theory of the Public Sphere: A Critical Appraisal:

      "Habermas was not unaware of the marginalisation of women in the bourgeois public sphere and of the patriarchal character of the bourgeois family; but it could be argued very plausible that, at the time of writing Structural Transformation, he did not appreciate the full significance of this issue."[36]

On further critique of the gender issue, see 4.1.6.

      It is interesting, though, to note that Thompson mentions Habermas' lack of concern for the patriarchal character of the bourgeois family. Habermas does touch upon the subject, however briefly. He argues that the change to a one-sided system, with the man as the supplier of the economical means, turned the family into an authoritative construct, which made, what Habermas calls, the alleged consent of voluntariness, an illusion. A family with the man making money and the woman depending on these.[37]

      To this study the seclusion of the woman from the public sphere, is believed to be of great importance as this means that apart from serving the family's needs, she did not partake in public life at all. Habermas does in fact make a note that women were excluded, not only in actual fact, but also legally, from the political public sphere.[38] It is then interesting to see that at a time of huge separation between the spheres, with the public sphere controlled by men, it was the women who constituted the lesewelt. It was women who read and wrote. One of the popular means to exercise this literacy, was to meet in small groups and write letters to each other.[39] This correspondence developed into the extreme as even married couples started communicating by writing letters consisting of inquiries on the other party's well-being, the condition of the children, proclamations of love, etc. The 18th century would also be known as the century of letter writing.[40] This graphical correspondence in its extreme does, quite illustratively, emphasise the gendered division of the private sphere.

      Having said that it was women who were banished to live within the four walls of the house, it is equally important to note; this also meant that men became more alienated from the family life. What was present then, was a patriarchal system within which both genders were polarised and somewhat estranged to each other. A polarisation manifested by the increasingly smaller rooms in the family house, with their significant role as 'isolators' of each family member in his/her own space. Generally spoken, the internal family structure consisted of parents who did not talk to each other, or to their children for that matter, but left messages through letters. In addition hereto, it could be said that the bourgeois family lived separate lives within their private sphere.

4.1.6 Critique of The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

      Even though The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, hereafter Structural Transformation, enjoys the position of being one of, if not the most easily accessible of Habermas' works, it is still a tremendous task to figure out the essence of his theory.

      The reason why the text is accessible is because Habermas' includes the historical foundation of the emergence of the public sphere, thus enabling the reader to follow his point, at least to some extent. These historical outlines, also gives way for moments of confusion, in the sense that it is not always easily transparent arguments, which are given by Habermas.

      As J.B. Thompson writes in The Theory of the Public Sphere:

      "Undoubtedly part of the rhetorical force of Structural Transformation stems from the way that Habermas weaves together historical analysis and normative critique - a feature that has bothered some commentators over the years."[41]

      On the one hand, then, it is an advantage that there are historical anchor points that aids the reader in following the argumentation, but on the other, it creates a lot of confusion when trying to filter the essential theory from the historical analysis. Habermas does write in the preface to Structural Transformation that he is operating with a limited edition, a "liberal model of the bourgeois public sphere", and that he would leave out what he called "the plebeian public sphere".[42] But despite Habermas' explanatory preface, one is often left to wonder if the "common man" is existent in the Habermas universe.

      The profound lack of female presence in Structural Transformation has been a major point of critique. Several feminist scholars have examined the public sphere from a gendered point of view, and have taken the critique beyond the, rather vague, explanation put forward by Thompson in the above. Especially Joan Landes' Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the French Revolution has been of particular interest. Landes' central argument is that...

      "[...] the exclusion of women from the public sphere was not simply a contingent historical circumstance, one of the many respects in which the public sphere in practise fell short of the ideal; rather, the exclusion of women was constitutive of the very notion of the public sphere. For the notion of the public sphere, as it was articulated in the political discourse of the time, was juxtaposed to the private sphere in a gender-specific way".[43]

4.2 Freud and the Uncanny

      It can hardly be contested that one of the most central agents in the Gothic maelstrom of excess and emotion is that of terror. It is an imposing feeling still familiar to us; never quite quenched or domesticated, in spite of what we must regard as an essentially continued process of that which we ourselves, perhaps self-righteously, have termed Enlightenment.

      From whence does it originate, then, this 'emotional sublime'?

      Interestingly, this subject has remained a relatively little explored one. In the 'Gothic era', Edmund Burke studied the subject from a very Enlightened, almost mechanical angle (1757)[44] - however, with the emergence and advancement of psychoanalysis around the first part of the 20th century, pioneered largely by Sigmund Freud, a new tool for gaining insight to this matter was forged.

      In 1919, Freud published his renowned paper Das Unheimliche - or The 'Uncanny' as it is rendered in English - exploring the possible (and to Freud obvious) psychological ancestry of the eerie and terrible, or more precisely - as his title says - of what he termed the 'uncanny'.[45] Having appreciated this concept, it soon becomes apparent that the Gothic genre seems to rely overwhelmingly on this particular feeling;[46] indeed, its ties to the Gothic genre appear so close that one might suggest the genesis of the one depends on the other. This view will be discussed further in our thesis, chapter 5.

      Though certain conclusions drawn by Freud in his essay have later been disputed (and some aspects refined or abandoned by Freud himself), this paper is generally accepted as authoritative on the subject. Whereas the paper may or may not sufficiently explain all it strives to do, it certainly shed - and continues to do so - new light on the matter, providing an essential foundation for further investigation. The essay might even be considered quite uncanny itself, in its capacity for provoking thought.

4.2.1 Identifying the Uncanny

      One of the first observations made by Freud is the - perhaps delicate - distinction between the feeling of the uncanny and that of terror, horror and other members of that paradigm. He regards the uncanny as a distinct emotion from which the latter may spring, but maintains its psychological differentiation from these.[47] If one is prepared to lend credit to personal experience, most people will probably readily agree that there is a discernible difference between the kind of overpowering dread one may feel when immediately fearing for one's life, and that of experiencing a typically uncanny situation like a déjà vu. The latter, Freud would argue, is something that has its source inside oneself, in contrast, perhaps, to the terror of the former, which we may suggest is rather a source of the 'Burkean sublime', evoked by something external.

      Freud's essential points (presented in further detail below) is that the particular feeling of the uncanny can be dissected into a perhaps surprisingly small number of essential psychoanalytical concepts.[48] He divides the potential for the uncanny into two (related) main classes; those spawned by repression (the more resistant of the two) and those spawned by the apparent demonstration of the truth of 'officially' surmounted beliefs.[49] Both are linked to childhood; in the literal, ontogenetic sense as well as in the more abstract, phylogenetic sense of mankind's 'childhood'. These are, of course, related; as Terry Castle articulates it in his book on the uncanny in 18th century culture:

      "[...] [As] ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, so the individual repudiation of infantile fantasy simply recapitulates the larger process by which human civilization as a whole - at some paradigmatic juncture in its history - dispensed with 'primitive' or 'animistic' forms of thought and substituted new, rationalized modes of explanation."[50]

       Put in another way, both categories "[...] [lead] back to what is known of old and long familiar", as Freud says.[51] This is an important observation because it differs considerably from the Burkean sublime's "[...] catalogue of wild, exotic, and overpowering dangers", as David Morris puts it in his paper on the Gothic sublimity; "For Freud, the uncanny derives its terror not from something external, alien, or unknown but - on the contrary - from something strangely familiar which defeats our efforts to separate ourselves from it".[52]

      Identifying said psychological constituents is deemed most efficiently accomplished through exemplifying situations (the same angle Freud took in his paper), in the light of the later application to the Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto (Horace Walpole, 1765).[53] Trying to more precisely define the feeling of the uncanny is a problematic attempt at best, as the uncanny by its very nature resists definition. Freud's paper, however, provides an ample number of recognisable instances of uncanniness; we will examine and summarise these, lacing the presentation with own examples and discussion:[54]

Repetition

      To most people, the experience of involuntary repetition is very uncanny indeed.[55] Prime examples of this category counts the already mentioned feeling of déjà vu, but also the in Gothic fiction so often experienced theme of the double and the doppelgänger. Also rhetorical devices like verbal or phonetic repetition, we might add, fit this category well, enabling literature to exploit this branch of the uncanny; the continuous alliterations throughout Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven[56] spring to mind as a prominent example of this. The complexly repetitive structure of this poem almost certainly contributes to the unheimlichkeit so expertly woven into it.

      Even in contemporary 'real life', one must agree that mirrors, for instance, often give rise to that eerie feeling (and it is hardly a coincidence that according to superstition, breaking a mirror is an ill omen). Another instance of the 'mirror' complex - one common to Gothic fiction[57] - is that of the uncanny (family) portrait. Identical twins, to give yet another example, appear to have an uncanny influence on us also; at least they easily provide the superstitious foundation for an endless number of faction programmes relating their supposedly supernatural attributes (like that of telepathy; another indisputably uncanny notion, as discussed later) on the Discovery channel.

      Freud explains our uneasiness about the recurrent and the double in terms of the previously mentioned questioning of surmounting beliefs. In this case, he argues, what has happened is a reversal of an original, childish and narcissistic[58] notion that through the double, one was able to preserve oneself; having a doppelgänger meant, in a sense, that one was indestructible.[59] We might relate that to the evident biological, rational sense in reproduction as the means of survival of the species. Or as Freud suggests, invoking a debatable link to the psychoanalytically important notion of castration anxiety (please refer to the section on dismemberment and loss of vision below for further discussion of this issue), this is often reflected by a multiplication of genital symbols in dreams.[60]

      But how did this 'safety in numbers' turn uncanny? According to Freud, as the ego develops - and the capacity for evaluative self-observation sets in - being reminded of this 'primitive', surmounted state becomes uncanny; even "[...] a harbinger of death".[61] We could also say that through the surmounting - and thus through the denial - of the 'primitive', a mind-contra-matter conflict is inevitable, and this repression can be projected onto the formerly reassuring double. Not until the surmounting has taken place does the 'mirror' become uncanny; observing a little child facing a mirror, we must agree that it does not at all appear ill at ease with its presence, rather thoroughly fascinated, capable - like Narcissus - of marvelling at its own appearance for lengths of time.

      Furthermore, an obsession with repetition can be observed in children (and also in neurotic people); an attribute which also fits the general category of 'bestial' instincts (with slight parody: eat, sleep, reproduce, run [...] in endless reiterations).[62] Again, in other words, repetition reminds us of 'officially' obsolete - but still integral parts - of our essence.

      We might regard the category of repetition as a superclass for several other notions of the uncanny; the later described concepts of determinism and automatism could, as it were, be seen as specialised instances of this kind.

Determinism

      The idea of something fated and of 'too' odd coincidences (which, it seems, is something mankind is particularly fond of collecting), is also regarded as something uncanny.[63] Consider an imagined incident, in which a member of one's family die at the exact same date another family member died; most people would probably readily ascribe the notion of uncanniness to such an occurrence, and nurture a secret anxiety for future occurrences of this phenomenon.

      This category is obviously related to the previously described uneasiness about repetition (please refer to the preceding section for the discussion of this aspect). Again, the recurrence of a particular - in itself innocent - event can be argued to remind us of bygone repetitive urges; thus, that there is another, surmounted (and displeasing to our self-evaluation) self in us.[64]

Automatism

      Another uncanny theme related to repetition is that of automatism; a kind of repetition that can be felt to imply that the difference between the mechanical (and thus also deterministic, cf. the previous section) and the intellectual idea of the human is not given.[65] To this class belongs also the effect of, for instance, mental disorders and epilepsy upon observers.[66]

      In the 'Gothic century', the uncanny potential of automata is, perhaps, particularly strong, as the Enlightenment's craving for regulation and well-structured taxonomy meant that the contemporaries to an increasing degree also "[...] conceptualized human nature, including the human body, with reference to our machines", as Terry Castle has it.[67] (Consider Burke's almost obsessively rational inquiry into the sublime, for example.[68]) However, the distinctly uncanny feeling invoked when a person appears totally without connection to the immediate situation or environment is quite undeniable; on most people, for example, a person talking in his sleep, perhaps sitting up, appearing wide awake but in an entirely different world, is likely to be eerie enough. Certainly, this theme has been exploited in more modern horror in the by now quite prosaic form of the robot and of the zombie. It is also manifested in the Gothic tradition; the monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) owes some of its uncanniness to this category.

      As already mentioned, Freud uses E.T.A. Hoffmann as the exemplifying foundation of his paper; Der Sandmann (1816)[69] in particular. In this tale, an acutely uncanny application of the theme of automata is found in the protagonist Nathaniel's ardent ('olympic') love of Olympia. She turns out to be a mechanical doll (actually, according to Freud, the projection of a dissociated (castration) complex of Nathaniel's);[70] thus, we may, again, connect the uncanniness of this category to repression and childhood.

      That dolls - being, as they are, splendid examples of the category of automata - do not become uncanny to us before repression has taken place can, anew, be documented by the fact that children are perfectly at ease with them, whereas most adults seem to find, for instance, wax figures somewhat uncanny. Children may even wish and fancy their dolls to be alive; this fact has inspired Freud to suggest that some of the uncanniness connected with dolls could, thus, also derive from an infantile wish, rather than a directly repressed fear.[71] Or in other words, as we have seen in earlier instances of the uncanny, from the projection of the anxiety stemming from our intellectual control over wishes (which we could regard as our 'bestial instincts' in their essential pleasure-seeking).

      Perhaps, it might also be possible to hint at a latent relation between the uncanny theme of dolls and that of the previously discussed 'double', although it is a connection not explicitly developed by Freud.

Animism & Anthropomorphism

      Experiencing apparent confirmation of the notion that non-living objects are animated, posses powers, or even human attributes, is another source of the uncanny; a category to which many conceptions of magic and sorcery also belong.[72] In literature, this effect is often employed; not least in the Gothic genre. An example from the latter can be found in the following passage from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847): "[...] the soft wind breathing through the grass [...]" (emphasis added).[73]

      Freud argues, referring to his earlier work Totem and Taboo, that the uncanniness spawned by such linguistic usage can, again, be traced to a reminder of surmounted beliefs; back to a 'primitive' time, in which our infinite narcissism applied these animistic beliefs in order to "[...] fend off the manifest prohibitions of reality".[74] He goes on to observe that apparently we all, during childhood, pass through such animistic (and narcissistic; the idea of animism springs, according to Freud, from "[...] the subject's narcissistic overevaluation of his own mental process [...]"[75]) phase, and that being reminded of the remains of this infantile notion invokes in us the uncanny - much for the same reasons earlier described in the section on repetition and its descendants.

Omnipotence of Thought & Telepathy

      This category of the uncanny is related to the previously described notion of animism,[76] but is, perhaps, particularly eerie to us because "[...] it involves the thought that your thoughts are perhaps not your own, however private and concealed you may have assumed them to be", as suggested by Bennet and Royle.[77]

      Telepathy is an instance of this category much exploited in more recent horror, but in the infant of the Gothic genre, Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, we find an incident obviously of this class: Matilda, daughter of Manfred, is lingering quietly outside the door of her much agitated father, hesitating to disturb him when, suddenly, he throws open the door demanding to know who is there.[78] His apparent impossible knowledge that she was waiting outside has, indeed, a very uncanny effect.

      Freud gives, moreover, an example which we may in particular relate to the context of the Gothic genre: that of the dreaded 'evil eye'.[79] This fear that a person is able to inflict harm upon another being merely by a glance (again, Freud states, a narcissistic overevaluation of one's mental processes, cf. the previous section on animism) we can instantly recognise in a Gothic novel like William Beckford's Vathek (1786), in which the protagonist is thus described:

      "[...] [When] he was angry, one of his eyes became so terrible, that no person could bear to behold it; and the wretch upon whom it was fixed instantly fell backward, and sometimes expired."[80]

      It may be interesting to note that in The 'Uncanny', Freud pass but lightly over the subject of 'evil eyes' (referring to the Hamburg occultist Seligmann for an exhaustive study[81]). One might, perhaps, have expected Freud to elaborate on the significance of the eye in this context, considering his vigorous assertion that the eyes are sexual symbols related to castration anxiety (he maintains the "[...] substitutive relation between the eye and the male organ [...]"[82]), particularly in the context of lost vision and dismemberment (discussed further below).

(Sexual) Identity

      Though not explicitly voiced by Freud in his essay, there is an underlying uncanny theme of uncertainty about identity; sexual identity in particular. In later Gothic fiction, this theme is employed to its full potential; indeed, a substratum of the genre - called Ambiguous Gothic - is often distinguished. The uncanniness of ambiguity seems to be a recurrent issue in Freud's essay; indeed, as will be discussed in the concluding critique (see 4.2.2), it is in itself (and Freud with it) ambiguous in several ways.

      According to Freud (who, it must be said, primarily seems to adopt a distinctly male perspective), a man encountering an unexpectedly 'male' woman recollects repressed memories of his own traumatic discovery of sexual difference (thus being forced to coming to terms with his own possible castration, after having realised that castrated people - women - really do exist).[83]

      The uncanny quality to this duality can then, using the terms of the Freudian psychoanalysis, be traced back to the legacy of the castration anxiety and Oedipus complex, before which the child is essentially an androgynous being. As formulated by Joseph Andriano in his study of feminine daemonology in male Gothic fiction:

      "The psyche appears to have been primordially androgynous, as thinkers from Plato to Freud have suspected. The psychic norm may well be androgynous, but the social norm in most cultures is hierarchically dualized. [...] [Inside] of every man and woman are drives that seek that primal unity."[84]

      The argument of anxiety about being reminded of a 'surmounted' state is, in other words, also applicable to this category. It becomes particularly uncanny when that officially obsolete state is one we still harbour a repressed longing for, one we do not want to acknowledge. The potential for projection - and thus for the uncanny - finds much nourishment here.

Dismemberment & Loss of Vision

      A subject in which Freud invests particular enthusiasm is that of loss of vision,[85] or - extrapolating - of dismemberment broadly speaking.[86] His main source for this undeniably uncanny issue is, again, E.T.A. Hoffmann and his Gothic nachtstücke of 1816: Der Sandmann.87 In other horror fiction, the uncanny theme of severed limbs is used time and again as well; one hardly needs to begin listing examples.

      According to Freud, the repression behind the strong projection onto the fear of loosing one's eyes (and other limbs) is remnants of one of the most essential concepts in the Freudian psychoanalysis, namely that of the Oedipus complex due to the childhood castration complex.[88] The uncanniness we feel is due to the re-surfacing of those 'ghosts' from the subconscious. He explicitly states:

      "[...] [The] fear of going blind, is often enough a substitute for the dread of being castrated. The self-blinding of the mythical criminal, Oedipus, was simply a mitigated form of the punishment of castration [...]".[89]

      One could, perhaps, suggest that with the vision being of the importance it is to us, essentially rational grounds for the fear of going blind can sound quite plausible. Freud is aware of this argument, and that it might, perhaps, even be used to give a rationalistic explanation of his concept of castration anxiety;[90] reproduction is, we must admit, at least as important as vision for the survival of the species. In opposition to this, he argues that such a rationalistic angle not sufficiently explains the particularly uncanny feeling tied to the notion of loss of limbs, and further maintains that the previously mentioned "[...] substitutive relation between the eye and the male organ [...] seen to exist in myths and phantasies [...]" would still remain unexplained.[91]

      It can seem as if Freud almost tenaciously refuses to consider other potential causes than castration anxiety here. The latter does remain a somewhat controversial claim between critics today. Joseph Andriano, for example, maintains (stressing other aspects than Freud) that:

      "Eyes are complex symbols; as 'windows of the soul', they are more than mere sexual symbols. They are metonymies for vision. Nathanael [sic] fails to see the [...] conflict between the maternal feminine [...] and the paternal masculine [...]".[92]

      Others have also suggested that Freud was possibly more interested in supporting his theory of Oedipal castration anxiety here, than he was in actually understanding Hoffmann's work.[93]

      Another explanation we could have expected Freud to consider is the potential psychological relationship between loss of vision and the uncanniness caused by darkness (cf. the section below). This, however, remains unsuggested in his essay on the uncanny.

      Finally, we must also acknowledge the clearly male dominated view in this part of Freud's thesis ("Male sexuality, for Freud, is never horrific, but female sexuality is always so [...]", as Hurley notes in her study of the Gothic body[94]) - albeit not necessarily a particularly incomprehensible angle, given his gender and the structure of his contemporary society.

Darkness & Silence

      On the subject of silence and darkness as a source of the uncanny, Freud is somewhat vague in his essay, contending to make a fleeting reference to his - elsewhere - discussions of children's fear of the dark[95] in the concluding words of his essay.[96] The essence of this discussion is that children foster an apprehension for loosing contact with their parents; thus, being engulfed in darkness (and the same should be applicable for silence), we are reminded of our childhood fear of being left alone.[97]

      Its uncanny potential we can probably all recognise: an example could be walking in the woods, listening to the wind's hushed rustling of the leaves on the trees, and suddenly everything becomes silent. Adding darkness to the recipe certainly does not serve to make it less uncanny. In the in Gothic fiction almost canonical dungeon or labyrinth, we experience this theme applied as well; e.g. in The Castle of Otranto in which Isabella makes her escape through the foreboding, dark and quiet castle vaults.[98]

      Freud has shown the potential of employing linguistic analysis as a possible means for gaining more insight to immediately obscure concepts;[99] we might also, perhaps, successfully follow the same route here. Sayings like "silent as the grave" and "quiet as the night" could suggest a possible coupling of silence, darkness and death (see below). Additionally, as already mentioned, one might also have expected Freud to argue a possible relation between the 'loss of vision' caused by darkness and his earlier argued relation between castration anxiety and dismemberment/loss of vision, but such association is never made in his study of the 'uncanny'.

Death & Premature Burial

      The final instance of the uncanny mentioned here is, perhaps, also one of the strongest: that of death. We all 'know' we must eventually die, as Freud says, but this is a truth, and a concept, so abstract to us, that it lies well beyond the human mental capacity to truly grasp it.[100]

      On this point, Freud's argumentation seems somewhat hesitant and arguably less convincing than on the majority of the previously discussed. Basically, he suggests our anxiety about death may, again, be a projection due to strict repression of the unpleasant fact of inevitable death; this has a likely air to it and converges with the overall argumentation seen thus far.[101] However, he reverts to the suggestion he initially rejected in critique of Jentsch; namely that the anxiety could be caused by intellectual uncertainty, by "[...] the insufficiency of our scientific knowledge about it".[102] If this should be the case here, we may ask, why would that argument not be applicable to the other categories of the uncanny? Freud seems himself somewhat torn between the rigid rationality of the scientific world, and the inarguably more loosely defined field of psychology (cf. concluding critique in section 4.2.2).

      It is interesting to note that in spite of the uncanniness of death, it is a generally accepted fact in psychology that we have among our most impelling instincts one of the thanatotic.[103] This 'death drive' can be regarded as a subliminal desire of regression to the prenatal stage, according to Freud.[104] Thus, he argues, much of our fear of death can possibly be ascribed to the transformation of the originally pleasant feeling of being in utero; the distaste of being confronted with our subliminal yearning for this surmounted state is, again, the alleged cause - a cause whose extreme projection can appear in the shape of fear of premature burial (Poe certainly seemed to find this particularly uncanny[105]).[106] The denial of the thanatotic in ourselves is, thus, the source of its uncanniness.

4.2.2 Concluding Critique of Freud's Uncanny

      Having now examined the most common manifestations of the uncanny, along with Freud's central explanation for them, it becomes apparent that, basically, there are but two factors at work. These, as already hinted in 4.2.1, are the (potentially very strong) uneasiness about being confronted with surmounted beliefs and modes (including childhood instincts and behaviour), and encountering the projections spawned by the repression of these surmounted beliefs.

      We must note, however, that Freud's argumentation for these psychological roots can, at times, appear somewhat singular and repetitive. Also, a comment like ...

      "[...] I would not recommend any opponent of the psychoanalytic view to select [Der Sandmann] to support his argument that anxiety about the eyes has nothing to do with the castration complex."[107]

... is perhaps not of the most objectively analytic characteristics. This brings us to the in the previous section briefly noted 'two Freuds' of the essay. As Bennet & Royle has suggested - and we have, by now, witnessed ourselves - we can detect a rather ambiguous Freud; torn, as it were, between the Enlightenment-rooted scientific call for rationality and adherence to well-defined rules, and his developing, irrefutably inexact science of psychoanalysis. Bennet & Royle puts it this way, stating that we can see in The 'Uncanny':

      "[...] a Freud who did not fully realize what he was saying, who was for various reasons (historical as much as personal) unable to see or develop the implications of what he was saying, not least because these implications regularly run counter to his own proposed themes and assumptions."[108]

      That said, there can be little doubt that a lot of Freud's theories have proven sound; particularly, if one does not adopt the same rigidity Freud himself, and many of his critics, have a tendency to do. As Terry Castle notes, "The 'Uncanny' is first and foremost a sort of theme-index [...]";[109] implying that the paper is indeed a very important contribution to the theory of the emotional sublime, but that it - like any other theory - has its limitations.

      As a final note (something also touched briefly upon in 4.2.1), we must acknowledge the primarily masculine angle Freud adopts in his paper; a fact often criticised. Though Freud e.g. developed his important theories of castration anxiety and Oedipus complex to include women (cf. the Electra complex), these clearly stem from theories on male sexuality (women envying, according to Freud, the male sexual organ that they lack due to their 'castration'[110]). This view, however, we will ascribe primarily to Freud's historical and societal context; after all, Freud did, in fact, strive to make his theories applicable to women as well as men, rather than merely ignoring or toning down the former. As Terry Castle remarks, it was, indeed, Freud who universalised hysteria and neurotic symptoms to apply to both sexes equally.[111]


5. Thesis

      Having been introduced to the two potential angles to the Gothic genre presented in chapter 4.1 and 4.2, the theoretical foundation for a discussion of the perceived relationship between the two is now present. This chapter is, thus, dedicated to an assessment of the potential connection - and consequences hereof - between the uncanny and the separation of spheres.

      Freud devotes considerable space in his study of the uncanny to an etymological examination of the genesis of the curiously ambiguous notion of das unheimliche. The essence of this is that - etymologically - the two German words heimlich and unheimlich have actually had a synonymous semantic meaning; heimlich, we might say, can be regarded as a hyponym of unheimlich. That what is now regarded as 'unhomely' ("Uncomfortable, uneasy, gloomy, dismal, uncanny, ghastly [...]"[112]) was actually once termed 'homely' ("[...] belonging to the house, not strange, familiar, tame, intimate, friendly, etc."[113]) - the 'un' prefix, as Freud says, is the token of repression.[114] In other words, the feeling of the uncanny can be traced back to the home; it is that which "[...] ought to have remained secret and hidden[115] but has come to light".[116]

      Interestingly, we may also note that this - indeed uncanny - ambiguity of the concept of the uncanny can also be found in the Danish etymology of the word 'hemmelig' (meaning kept hidden, secret, concealed). It's etymological relationship with the word 'hjemlig' (safe, familiar, etc. - cf. 'homely') seems obvious (and upon consulting a Danish etymology this is confirmed[117]). Also in our mother tongue is the potential uncanny secrecy linked to the home.

      This repeatedly invoked notion that something best confined to the home has an uncanny potential inevitably suggests a relation to what Habermas later defined as the "private sphere".[118] The constituents of this sphere - feelings, sexuality, religion, even woman herself - were quite explicitly confined to it. Locking someone up, however, also means that someone is locked out; even if it is the key holder. In this sense, man, we might suggest, became as much isolated from feelings and sexuality as woman became incarcerated[119] in them. Both sexes, in other words, were beached in their respective spheres; spheres that had become increasingly separated, even to the degree that the man and wife of a household would communicate through letters to one another.[120]

      Women were secluded, but this fact did not necessarily mean that they remained ignorant. As previously mentioned, women actually constituted the majority of the lesewelt, and regarding the Gothic genre, they even produced some of its foremost writers (like Radcliffe and Shelley).[121] In contrast to this, the public, or 'male', sphere was self-appointedly preoccupied with shedding light on Important Matters like science and politics and explaining the unexplainable, while the women were left at home, with ample time to meditate on their present situation and the matters which by definition were excluded from the public sphere; namely, feelings and sexuality.

      Does this shed new light on our understanding of the uncanny, then? Appreciating one of Freud's central points, we must say it does. According to Freud, recalling chapter 4.2, the uncanny can, in essence, be explained through the psychoanalytical notions of repression and projection. For Freud, the things subjected to repression generally have to do with early (sexual) complexes of the child, and the apparent confirmation of officially surmounted beliefs. These repressed agents revisit us through the uncanny in distorted shapes. But if we choose not to regard Freud's thesis so rigidly, and focus instead on the repression - broadly speaking - as the central cause of the uncanny, an enormous potential for the uncanny becomes apparent in the separation of spheres: Woman's confinement to the private sphere, and subsequently exclusion from the public sphere, as argued by Joan Landes previously in this paper, was constitutive of the very notion of the public sphere. Also, the man must potentially have felt the isolation spawning repression (and thus the uncanny): he was the one moving in the circles of the public sphere, thus per definition having to leave out the private sphere when engaging in the infamous 'coffee house discussions'[122]; here, his private sphere would have to be concealed. It then becomes obvious that this gendered isolation could very well provide the foundation on which a, perhaps repressed, subconsciouness could begin to surface. In fact, it becomes possible to regard the special feeling of the uncanny - so essential, it seems, to the 18th and early 19th century culture - as projections of withheld anxiety spawned by the inflexible spherification of the new bourgeois society.

      This possibility has some fascinating consequences. If the feeling of the uncanny does indeed rely substantially on the firm division of society so apparent in the period in question, could we go on to suggest that the genesis of the uncanny as an important influence in our lives[123] can be traced back to this period, to the 18th century?

      We are actually able to support this notion further when we retreat another step, and let not only the division of spheres in the bourgeois society, but the entire Age of Reason slide into our field of vision as well. The former could, as we have seen, be suggested to produce an immense potential for repression - and, thus, for the uncanny - but the latter can, most certainly, also be regarded as contributing tremendously to the nourishing pool of repression on which the uncanny feeds.

      With the Enlightenment's rigid code of Rationality, with its strict adherence to neo-classicistic aesthetic ideals, it seems inevitable that a large part of what are actually integral parts of human beings had to be repressed. In a sense, the Enlightenment's aim of liberation from ignorance and superstition can be seen as quite oppressive; if the left, analytic side of the brain was Enlightened, this indirectly designates the right, emotional side as a thing of darkness, something to be scorned. Hence, the Enlightenment ideal can be seen to breed bewildered people, half of whose being is subjected to strong repression - and such repression, as we have learned from Freud, produces strong projection; a strong sense of the uncanny. As Terry Castle has it, in a sense the 18th century could, perhaps, thus be regarded as having 'invented' the uncanny:

      "[...] [The] very psychic and cultural transformations that led to the subsequent glorification of the period as an age of reason or enlightenment - the aggressively rationalist imperatives of the epoch - also produced, like a kind of toxic side effect, a new human experience of strangeness, anxiety, and intellectual impasse."[124]

      This issue certainly deserves a separate study in itself; further discussion in this context is, however, deemed beyond the scope of this paper.


6. Analysis of "The Castle of Otranto"

      This chapter contains two analyses of Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto from 1765, with focus on the prime aspects of the previously presented (cf. 4.1 and 4.2) theories.

6.1 A Habermas Approach

      The Gothic genre has, by some, been seen as a critique of the division of the spheres. To try to analyse Otranto in the light of this schism could appear more than difficult, mainly because of two obvious reasons such as, one; it was the first gothic novel, and even though it is regarded as a template for the Gothic novels that were to come, it must be considered questionable, as to which extent it deliberately set out to deal with the issue in question. Second; it was written by a man.

      The latter of these two reasons does perhaps, unjustifiably, wrong Walpole. In the study of the Gothic genre, especially female scholars have argued that the Gothic novel could be read as a "[...] potentially radical form through which women have been able to discuss and criticise the sense of alienation and loss of control which they felt in relation to their own bodies as a result of the separation of spheres".[125] This view is generally directed towards the close of the 18th century female writers like Anne Radcliffe, but one must not forget that Clara Reeves specifically revealed that she owed the inspiration for The Old English Baron to Walpole. So Walpole may, after all, have been more visionary than one might first have expected.

      Nevertheless, one must bear in mind that a novel often, if not always, in one way or the other reflects the time in which it is written, meaning of course that Walpole might not necessarily have realised that he, perhaps subconsciously, touched upon matters that were not intended to be within the scope of his novel.

      As argued previously in this paper,[126] Walpole's intentions were to create a combination of the old romance and the new novel, a combination of the marvellous and the realistic where the characters would respond in a realistic and believable way to unrealistic circumstances, or as David Morris puts it in his essay on Gothic Sublimity: "Walpole's conscious protest against the Richardsonian model in fiction, with its realist techniques of narrative and its bourgeois attitudes toward marriage and social relations".[127]

      Viewing Otranto in the light of this ambition, it would, then, be plausible to argue that Walpole had written a novel where the setting was laid in the "marvellous time of the dark ages", but in which the characters were supposed to display feelings and actions according to the contemporary 18th century.

6.1.1 'The Castle of Otranto' and the Emergence of the Public Sphere

      The narrative of Otranto is set in the middle ages and hence the historical view of the emergence of the public sphere,[128] this would mean the times of public representativeness. The castle constitutes a sphere of representation in which Manfred can be seen displaying his power in front of the people as, evident in the representative execution of the wedding of Conrad and Isabella,[129] and later when a mob has gathered to witness the bloody remains of the unfortunate Conrad.[130] At the same time, there are, indeed, several indications that the public representation of Manfred is drawing towards an alteration, and subsequently the end.

      That it finally will end, is indicated already on the very first page of the novel where it is emphasised "[...] that the castle and lordship of Otranto should pass from the present family, whenever the real owner should be grown to large to inhabit it".[131] This could be read metaphorically as the emergence of the public sphere. The present family would then symbolise the representative publicness, and later, the public authorities, whereas the real owner would be a symbol of the emergence of the new public sphere.

      Manfred's position is being threatened by the interruption of the family lineage caused by the death of Conrad, and he is increasingly secluding himself from his surroundings. The castle is similarly confined within its own locked and guarded sphere. It is mentioned several times that the Castle's gates are locked and guarded.[132] Manfred has not been installed as the ruler of Otranto, but has actually usurped the title. The public authority that succeeded the representative publicness was not inaugurated either, it could perhaps thus be argued that it "usurped" the power from its predecessor.

      It could, of course, be argued, and indeed questioned, if this kind of interpretation is reading things into Otranto that are not there, but it is interesting to note that on two occasions, Theodore, who must be regarded as the true heir of the castle and the opposition to Manfred, and thus as a personification of the emergence of the public sphere, confides to the lady Isabella that he is unacquainted with the castle.[133] The way to obtain acquaintance could now be to constitute oneself, in an opposite sphere, fortified by knowledge gained in enlightened discussions in search of the truth.

6.1.2 Lady Isabella and the Separation of the Private Sphere

      If we lend Walpole the credit of being a visionary, and disregard the fact that this perhaps might be more than can be justified, but takes a thorough look at the heroine, the lady Isabella, in the light of the separation of the spheres, it is possible to detect passages within the novel which could, indeed be read as a protest against this separation.

      In addition to the discussion above, concerning the "feminist" reading of the Gothic genre, it would be interesting to note that some have chosen to render the ideology of the separate spheres as a means to encourage middle-class females to identify with their own oppression as a form of power.[134] In the late 18th century, Britain feared a revolution à la the French, and the female bourgeoisie was encouraged to constitute itself as a fence against this danger, but only, paradoxically, by remaining ignorant of it.[135] "Ironically, women were encouraged to believe that they would gain power by giving up knowledge and rendering themselves inactive. They were taught to value their own passivity."[136] Within this context the Gothic novel would cause great concern, and as it was the women who constituted the readers, or the lesewelt,[137] the Gothic novel was often seen as misleading and corruptive to, especially, young women. "It was claimed that these novels acquainted the female reader with the very matters and materials of which she should remain ignorant."[138]

      In Otranto, Isabella is by no means ignorant; on the contrary, she appears very bright when she with a cunning manoeuvre distracts Manfred and escapes.[139] When she recollects the secret subterraneous passage that leads from the castle to the church, she displays a profound self-consciousness when she determines that if no other way out were to be found, she would rather confine herself to the convent than succumb to Manfred.[140] A division of the spheres, and in particular a feminist reading of this passage, is indeed very plausible. The escape from Manfred, and the search for the secret tunnel, would thus be seen as an attempt to flee from her incarceration in the private sphere. The decision to opt for the convent as an alternative, but perhaps just as restrictive confinement, can be interpreted, as a repulse of the conception that the female body was a means that belonged to the husbands and children - to live off and use.

      When Isabella escapes from the castle she is assisted by Theodore, but it is she, who possesses the knowledge of the secret lock[141] and when he tries to follow, it is in vain. "[...] the door slipped out of his hands [...] He tried in vain to open it [...]"[142] Again, the heroine is breaking out of her sphere, and in addition, she is equipped with the knowledge of knowing how. One can argue that if contemporary 18th century encouraged female passivity, obedience, and ignorance, Isabella's escape can, most certainly, be viewed as the diametrically opposed. She is, indeed, active, disobedient and clever.

      The Gothic genre is, it has been argued, often about people being locked in and shut out. It has already been argued, previously in this chapter, how the escape of the lady Isabella could be read as protest against the restraining limitations and conformity that were inflicted on the 18th century female resident of a male orientated society. The separation of the spheres would leave the woman grounded in the shallow waters of the private sphere. A sphere that would leave her with very few opportunities to lead a life, in which she could consider herself as being a significant player. Apart from the already mentioned example with foci put on the heroine Isabella, there are, indeed, several other incidents in Otranto in which the incarceration of the woman in the private sphere is evident.

      Having already centred the attention on the female role in the separation of the spheres, another angle of examination becomes intriguingly interesting. If the woman were confined to the domestic area of the four walls of the home, it would, then, be within the scope of plausibility to regard the man as shut out of the private sphere, as a result of his engagement in the public sphere. The bourgeois public sphere was the domain in which reason and argumentation would rule, and as, continuously implied through this paper, the Enlightenment, or the age of reason, demanded rational explanations to the irrational and the unexplainable, the public sphere was the ideal playground for the thoughts of the Enlightenment. Keeping in mind that the private sphere was constituted of feelings and sexuality, matters that could be regarded as, if not irrational, then at least to some extent, complicated, the private sphere could then be seen as a counterpoint to the public sphere. With man confined to the public sphere, it becomes evident that he would find himself secluded from the irrational, and thus, confusing world of sexuality and feelings.

6.1.3 Manfred and the Separation of Spheres

      If we are to look at Manfred, in the light of man's confinement in the public sphere, Otranto, again subjects itself to an interesting reading. We must try to understand Manfred, and centre our attention on his logic.

      In order to continue the family lineage, reverse the criminal act of usurpation, and, subsequently, scorn the prophecy that predicts the fall of the family of Otranto, Manfred has to marry Isabella. This is his logic. If we then regard Manfred as the constituent of the public sphere, it becomes clear that he often finds himself in a confusing, and perhaps claustrophobic, no-man's land between the private and the public sphere. On the one hand, he has to convey to the expectations of being a man of enlightening and reason, and on the other hand, he is equipped with feelings that are identified as belonging to the private sphere.

      In the beginning of the narrative we find a very interesting passage which brilliantly illustrates the ambiguity of Manfred's torn world; a world in which reason and feelings are engaged in a constant wrestle. The puny Conrad has been crushed under the gigantic helmet and Manfred, along with his domestics, have rushed to the fatal site to behold the accident.

      "The horror of the spectacle, the ignorance of all around how this misfortune had happened [...] He fixed his eyes on what he in vain wished to be a vision; and seemed less attentive to his loss than buried in meditation on the stupendous object that had occasioned it."[143]

The ignorance, which should of course be seen as the counterpoint to the age of reason, is related to the domestics, and would thus, converge with a stratified world of enlightenment and ignorance (poverty). The, indeed, very interesting point is the rather uncanny reaction of Manfred, who seems more concerned with what caused the incident - hence a scientific explanation of the unfathomable - than with the fact that his son has been reduced to bloody remains.

      As initially stated, concerning Manfred's position between the two spheres, he has a logic that tells him that he has to marry Isabella. This is the logic he is deemed (or perhaps doomed) to follow through with, as this is his reason. But on several occasions, is this reason challenged by the feelings of Manfred. On one occasion, he pushes Hippolita off in an rudely manner, and cries out for Isabella.[144] Later he repents...

      "[...] ashamed too of his inhumane treatment of a princess, who returned every injury with new marks of tenderness and duty, he felt returning love forcing itself into his eyes - but not less ashamed of feeling remorse towards one, against whom he was inwardly meditating a yet more bitter outrage, he curbed the yearnings of his heart, and did not dare to lean even towards pity."[145]

      The quotation above can be seen a an example of the split personality of Manfred, realised by his baffled state of mind as to where he actually belongs. He does have feelings towards Hippolita, but the trammels of the public sphere are instrumental in keeping him out of the private sphere, and thus, at bay its residents, his wife and daughter. The Manfred of the private sphere, so to speak, is able to comprehend the wrong he is doing when he pursues Isabella, and hurts and offends Hippolita, but again, the yoke of reason commands him to ignore the private sphere and, consequently, his feelings.

      Another example of the 'schizophrenic' Manfred would, again, be his ambiguous relationship to the question of religion. Before the Enlightenment, or at least before the reformation, the unexplainable would be accounted for by means of the church. The Secularisation altered this conception, and religion now became a private matter. The questions of religion, and how one was supposed to administer this, became a matter between man and God. Religion became attached to the private sphere. In Otranto, Manfred confronts father Jerome on a number of occasions. In one incident, Jerome bids Manfred to "[...] submit himself to the church [...] and learn to respect the holy character I wear".[146] And later Manfred, in a most profane manner, questions whether heaven notifies its will through friars.[147] Both are incidents of Manfred's seclusion from the church. He does not need the church as he is a man of reason.

      An extended, or perhaps exaggerated, reading of Manfred and his indecisiveness concerning his sense of belonging in the two spheres, can be seen in the sequence, in which Manfred retreats to his room, which is of course the private sphere. He utters to his servant "[...] take away the light and begone". Manfred's order could be seen as an urge to escape from the public sphere with its emphasis on reason and enlightenment, into the private sphere of feelings. Take away the light, meaning take away reason; Let me rest in my private sphere.

6.1.4 Patriarchal Power in 'The Castle of Otranto'

      As mentioned above, the public sphere emerged with the breakdown of the feudal society, in which the whole family took part in their duties as copyholders. In the bourgeois public sphere it was only the man who worked and earned money to support the home-going family. Within Otranto, both societal tendencies exist. The remains of the feudal society can be seen in the domestics, who are described as servants to Manfred's will,[148] and the Bourgeois public sphere can be identified in his family life.

      During the shift from feudal to bourgeois society, the family moved from being a unity, to becoming a fragmented institution, with women and men isolated from each other's spheres. This new family structure gave rise to a patriarchal system, in which a crucial issue was, total interdependence between man and wife. An interdependence in which women had to rely on the man to handle the domestic economy, through work in the public sphere, and similarly, men had to rely on women to handle the domestic life of nursing the children, keeping the house, etc., in the private sphere.

      In Otranto, the patriarchal authority is vested in Manfred as being the castle's representative outside its walls, hence he is capable of venturing to get hold of and later marry Hippolita, who then establishes (with Manfred's help) the private sphere of the family. With these spheres in place, it is possible to see their presence in the novel together with a strong patriarchal respect.

      When Conrad is killed, Manfred realises that with his present family situation, he has no way of keeping his name immortal (or perhaps keeping the patriarchal authority alive, see below) and he has to divorce Hippolita and marry a fertile woman (in this case Isabella). And even though it is Isabella, he summons after Conrad's death, Hippolita does not react with disappointment - she respects her master's wish. further on, she even says: "[...] but it is my duty to hear nothing that it pleases not my lord I should hear".[149] Here the patriarchal authority is present in Hippolita's mind, and it shows that Manfred still enjoys respect from others, regarding his position as head of the castle.

      Within the private sphere is also religion, in Otranto this is partially personified in Jerome, and as Manfred's control over matters which can lead to Hippolita's acceptance of the proposed divorce, is very calculated, he tries to talk Jerome into convincing Hippolita that the dissolution of their marriage is a good idea, stating that "She is, I allow, a faultless woman: her soul is set on heaven, and scorns the little grandeur of this world: you can withdraw her from it entirely".[150] A direct appeal to Jerome's professional approach, as it describes Hippolita's notion of her life on earth, as opposed to spiritual life - according to Manfred.

      Besides the interdependence between man and wife, the love of one another was, as might have been suspected due to the absence of the father during most of the day, not of great importance in the bourgeois public sphere. However, it seems as if the emotional side of family life, was limited to a minimum. What was important, was the economy on which the very existence of the family was founded, and a relationship founded on sense and sensibility rather than on love among family members.

      By looking at the persons occurring in Otranto, two diametrically opposites can be found. Considering the "sense and sensibility" side, it is Manfred who does not bother himself with emotional trifles, unless it serves his cause, he merely plans his life (structures his private sphere) according to the present situation. His 'immortality' is threatened to a degree that, to the best of his knowledge calls for drastic purposes, therefore he plans his divorce of Hippolita and remarriage with Isabella.

      The procedure of writing letters to each other, as described through Habermas' theory earlier, is also exercised by Manfred, though he uses a servant to deliver his messages, instead of writing notes.

      Then, with regards to love, as being a part of the family life, Manfred's opponent is Hippolita who, apart from being oppressed by Manfred's dear wish of immortality, represents a loving wife to whom, commitment and devotion is a natural part of their matrimony. She goes through a lot of efforts to please Manfred the best she can, as when she and Jerome visit the great hall so that she "[...] met her lord, and assured him that the vision of the gigantic leg and foot was all fable [...]".[151]

      It was stated above that Manfred enjoys patriarchal respect and runs the castle by his will and command, in addition hereto this does not remain as status quo; throughout The Castle of Otranto, patriarchal authority is questioned by several occasions, resulting in a final breakdown of its power, within the ruined castle.

      As briefly suggested above, the reason why Manfred so desperately wants an heir is for him to make sure that his supremacy will be secured in the future and hence continue a patriarchal lineage. However, as Conrad is crushed, he is all of a sudden lacking a "student" to educate and form in this, his own image of a patriarch. This leads to different reactions within Manfred's private sphere. Having stated that an incipient agitation towards the power of the patriarch is present, it seems that only the young women, in the shape of Isabella's escape[152] and Matilda's release of Theodore from the black tower, react against Manfred. But as Theodore more or less voluntarily helps Isabella escape, he becomes familiar with the uproar against the present norms of society, Manfred's ultimate control over the private sphere. In the light hereof, Theodore, the potential next generation patriarch, resigns this totalitarianism and goes along with the new tendencies and helps Isabella, after all, he is the one grounding Frederic when he tries to get hold of Isabella. Moreover, he is the one standing between Matilda and Manfred as he releases his wrath on her - even though Manfred manages to plunge his dagger into Matilda's chest before Theodore can react.[153]

      This situation further supports the above statement concerning Theodore. But first it is important to understand that Manfred's mind has gradually dimmed along with the failing of his authority, thus he is going slightly mad.

      When one of his domestics brings news about Matilda, whom he believes to be Isabella, and Theodore's presence in the church, their presence there, is yet another push towards the edge of Manfred's insanity. As it is his will that he and Isabella shall be united in marriage, he therefore rushes to the church and, wrongly, bereaves Matilda of her life. By this unjustly taking of Matilda's life, Manfred punishes himself, as Matilda is his last child as well as his last hope of making his blood 'survive'.

      The killing of Matilda (or in Manfred's eyes, Isabella) could be read as Manfred's fear of loosing his authority as everything he had planned has failed, he then reacts in a gruesome way by killing 'Isabella', so that if he cannot have her, no one else shall either. In the midst of all this, is a devastated Theodore, who was in love with the last of Manfred's kin, Matilda. And with Matilda's death, Manfred's last hope of getting a new patriarch placed on the throne diminishes.[154]

      Theodore is then to be seen as a liberator who, together with Isabella, settles with the old rigid spherefication between men and women in the bourgeois society.


      To be bold, one could conclusively suggest that a separation-of-spheres reading of Otranto could be compressed into this tremendous passage:

      "Father, interrupted Manfred, I pay due reverence to your holy profession; but I am sovereign here, and I will allow no meddling priest to interfere in the affairs of my domestic. If you have aught to say, attend to my chamber - I do no use to let my wife be acquainted with the secret affairs of my state; they are not within a woman's province. My lord, said the holy man, I am no intruder into the secrets of families."[155]

6.2 The Role of the Uncanny

      As we saw in chapter 4.2, the uncanny is an important agent of many faces if essentially of single origin. In this chapter, we shall examine Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto[156] (henceforth Otranto) from 1765, concentrating on the uncanny; its psychoanalytical constituents and potential interpretational importance. In order to clearly identify and discuss the central role of the uncanny, it is thought best to intentionally narrow our field of vision to focus upon some of its most prominent manifestations. This should, of course, by no means be interpreted as a suggestion that other instances of the uncanny are not an integral part of this the first Gothic novel; indeed, examples from each of the categories summarised in chapter 4.2 can be found in it.

6.2.1 Repetition, Automatism and Determinism

      Woven into the fabric of Otranto are complex and numerous variations on the uncanny theme of repetition; right from the rhetorical surface level to the deep structure with doppelgängers and recurrent links between past and present. Repetition - one of the very potent sources of the feeling of the uncanny, recalling chapter 4.2 - is, in fact, central to the story indeed.

      At the narrative level, repetition is often used to further charge the uncanny atmosphere, as evident very early in the novel where Manfred's domestics with terror shout "Oh, the helmet! the helmet! [...] the prince! the prince! the helmet! the helmet!"[157] This almost automaton-like[158] chanting even reappears in the final chapter: "Oh! the hand! the giant! the hand!",[159] contributing to the linkage between past and present. We can also regard the castle itself, remnant from the past as it is and was to the 18th century contemporaries, as a temporal link of this kind, suggesting historical repetition as well.

      It is hard to mention past and present without also considering the future; this is true for Otranto as well. On the very first page of the novel, a prophecy connects past, present and future,[160] invoking the uncanny concept of determinism.[161] The determinism thus implied right from the novel's outset is stoked throughout the novel by the recurrence of events and utterances; thus, an ominous air of something inescapable, something fated pervades the story. A detail like the fleeting description of the former tutor of Conrad, a " [...] great astrologer[162] [who] drowned himself"[163] certainly adds to this air. Manfred, we might argue, is a somewhat uncanny character in his almost manic, automaton-like raging about and his wild mood swings, but the fact that his destiny seems inescapable gives a potential for an uncanny recognition of this almost claustrophobic situation. Repeatedly, he tries to claim Isabella, and always she escapes; repeatedly he incarcerates Theodore, and always he escapes. He cannot even avoid repeating himself: e.g. twice he, in almost exactly the same words, orders Theodore to reveal what he knows lest he be killed ("Tell me truly; thy life depends on thy veracity"[164] and "Tell me [...] Thy life depends on thy answer"[165]).

6.2.2 Doppelgängers

      A closer study of the personae in Otranto makes it evident that the novel is, in fact, teeming with mirrored and split personalities; not only as 'props' (like in the obviously Hamlet-inspired 'scene' in which Manfred's grandfather descends from his portrait to forewarn his descendant[166]), but also at a more refined level with importance for the interpretation presented in this chapter.

      Manfred, the usurper of the house of Otranto, seems to correspond to the righteous Frederic of the house of Vicenzia (in spite of their seeming strong contrasts), linked in particular by the pair of Matilda and Isabella (each of the fathers desiring the other's daughter with equal fervor[167]).

      The latter are obviously linked, as suggested through numerous means; we might consider them sisters, or in fact even go so far as to suggest they are but two sides of the same person (Matilda resigned, Isabella defiant). That they are more than just young girls of equal age, heritage and comparable situation is quite explicitly suggested through exchanges like this: [Isabella] "my own mother - I never have known another!", [Matilda] "Oh! she is mother of both!", [Hippolita] "My lovely children [...]"[168] and Isabella's message to Manfred that she will always honour Hippolita and he "[...] as parents".[169] Considering Matilda and Isabella to be sisters (or even the same person) has the important impact that Manfred's lust for Isabella becomes incestuous; even Frederic's mirrored desire for Matilda becomes similarly adulterous. This important aspect of incest will be discussed in further detail in the section on incest below.

      Theodore - an historical double - can be seen as a physical re-manifestation of Alfonso the Good, his (Theodore's) goodness indeed so exaggerated that the titular suffix of 'The Good' would seem to suit no man better. He is even explicitly described as being the spitting image of Alfonso; something Manfred suddenly realises to his horror, mistaking the two.[170] Again, this has some incestuous implications (see below).

      As a final comment on the aspect of doppelgängers, we can possibly regard Conrad as a distorted (hence "sickly"[171]) projection of Manfred's repressed incestuous desires; more on this matter in the section on death and sexuality further below.

6.2.3 Incest

      By now, it has already been suggested that incest is a central agent of the uncanny in Otranto; an interesting fact, considering the clear relation between this theme and the psychoanalytically fundamental notion of castration anxiety and the Oedipus complex (refer to chapter 4.2). Though we do not seem to find Freud's colourful theory of the castration anxiety manifesting itself in a particular dread of dismemberment here,[172] it is still - it seems - very much these concepts that provide the uncanny atmosphere that so pervades Otranto, embodied in the novel's recurrent theme of incest.

      Manfred, around whom the adultery primarily centres, is no stranger to the notion of incest. This becomes apparent when he - ironically, as an excuse for his interest in Isabella - declares his marriage with Hippolita troubling, because they are in fact "[...] related within the forbidden[173] degrees".[174] This fact certainly makes further investigation of the incestuous relations in Otranto eligible.

      Initially, Manfred's craving for Isabella could, perhaps, merely appear as a frantic attempt to save the direct lineage of his house - this, however, we will suggest is merely a 'frame' at the surface level of the novel. Rather, we can propose that what is really occupying Manfred is incestuous lust for his own daughter Matilda; far fetched as it may initially sound, there are actually good foundations on which to stake that claim. In the previous section it was argued how Isabella and Manfred are inseparably linked; desiring the one thus implies desiring the other. We recollect that Manfred harbours a quite explicitly disdainful attitude towards his daughter ("Begone, I do not want a daughter"),[175] but this actually strengthens our notion of incestuous desire, if we suggest his inflamed craving for Isabella roots in the projection of a strongly repressed realisation of his feelings towards his daughter. These most illicit feelings must not surface; hence his apparent rejection of Matilda (his daughter is exactly what he wants). But as the projection is merely another form of the originally repressed lust, albeit distorted, the inclination towards Isabella remains incestuous, as numerous passages hint. Manfred himself speaks of her as "[...] lady Isabella, who is dear to me as my own blood",[176] or perhaps even more revealingly, he at one point explicitly cries out: "I am her parent [...] and demand her!"[177]

      When Frederic, (lost) father of Isabella, later enters the story, his stoic, knightly conduct lasts no longer than to his almost instant infatuation with Matilda. We have already linked Isabella and Matilda, and now we must realise that Manfred and Frederic are related too; Frederic's desire for Matilda can, thus, be considered of the same incestuous origin as Manfred's is of Isabella. Supporting this unity between Manfred and Frederic is Isabella's vow that she will always regard Manfred and Hippolita "[...] as [her] parents";[178] what she totally abhors in Manfred's adulterous suggestion of their union seems in particular to be that Manfred represents a father-figure: "You! My father in law! the father of Conrad! the husband of [...] Hippolita".[179]

      Having appreciated these loosely veiled aspects of incest, it can, in fact, be suggested that though the repressed incest is very much what causes the fall of the house of Otranto, the novel does not end by resolving this issue. The final words of Otranto strongly suggest that Isabella and Theodore are ultimately joined in matrimony; a marriage almost certainly also within 'the forbidden degrees'. Both directly in degrees (although it is not possible to exactly determine the family distance of their relationship), and in the sense that Theodore is the embodiment of Alfonso; the ancestor (forefather) of Isabella.

6.2.4 Death & Sexuality

      Death marks the very beginning of Otranto; scarcely a page has passed - a page containing but a compressed introduction to the novel's central characters - before what the reader might mistakenly have thought to be the protagonist is horribly crushed ("[...] dashed to pieces [...]"[180]) beneath a helmet of sublime proportions. The uncanniness of this opening scene is, of course, heightened further by its impossible circumstances. The fatal helmet has seemingly, indeed as death can do, 'appeared out of nowhere'; a further unsettling rhetorical device of making a figure of speech manifest itself literally is employed here too, we see, and the uncanniness invoked by the scene is quite undeniable.

      It was suggested in chapter 4.2 that death is one of the strongest repressed conceptions in the human being; thus, it is of some importance that Otranto actually opens with this unfathomable confrontation with death. We might take this as a distinct suggestion that the novel has very much to do with repression and the consequences hereof, death being an excellent embodiment of the whole concept of repression and projection.[181]

      The association between death and sexual desire does also appear to be an important theme in Otranto, one from which much of the novel's uncanniness stem. The most obvious demonstration of this is, perhaps, the consequences of Frederic's obviously carnal (and even incestuous[182]) desire for Matilda towards the end of the novel (he "[...] beheld [her] with increase of passion", his good sentiments "[...] forgotten in his desires")[183]. Rushing with almost Manfred-like recklessness (further supporting the already implied link between these two characters) to confront Hippolita and induce her to endorse Manfred's scheme of the twin (both incestuous) marriages,[184] he is confronted with a clear manifestation of Death,[185] condemning him for his "[...] pursue [of] carnal delights".[186]

      Accepting this sexuality-death relation, we can, perhaps, go on to suggest that the reason Matilda must die is actually due to Manfred's illegal desire for her (see the previous section), stabbed - 'penetrated' - as she ultimately is by her agitated father. Even Conrad's death, it can be argued, is indirectly linked to Manfred's lust, as Manfred perhaps initially projects the repressed, known incestuous desire for his daughter (whom he thus, denying his desire, "[...] never showed any symptoms of affection [for]"[187]) onto a 'clean', numinous image of his "darling"[188] son[189] (on whom he "doted"[190]) instead. To support this notion further, we note that Conrad is described as a "[...] homely youth [...] of no promising disposition";[191] as, put crudely and in the view of the norm of the society depicted in Otranto, a girl, as a replacement for his daughter. This, of course, he can never be; hence, his health is faltering until he finally perishes, crushed by the giant bred on Manfred's strong repression. Another way to regard Conrad could be to simply consider him nothing but the projection of his father's illegal desires for Matilda; hence, as Manfred finds a more suitable target for his projection in Isabella, his initial projection constituting the sickly Conrad is withdrawn and, thus, ceases to exist.

      It would, of course, be possible to regard this event as merely the promotion of established 18th century ideas of virtues and morality ('if you seek forbidden pleasure your certain doom awaits you'), but these small, overtly vague manifestations of morale notable in many Gothic works are so absurd in contrast to the excessive context in which they appear that we must question this view.

      Rather, we could suggest another reason for the apparent fact that sexuality evokes death in Otranto (a reversible statement, in fact - even if the theme of necrophilia is not explored in this novel (though certainly in other Gothic novels[192]) it is based on the same sexuality-death kinship). It is, in fact, not that difficult to appreciate this connection, when addressing the aspect from a Freudian angle. Acknowledging the notion of a thanatotic drive essential to the human being (see 4.2), spawned by our repressed yearning for the comfort of our early intra-uterine existence,[193] sexuality and death become intermingled as sources of 'forbidden' pleasure from surmounted instincts. Death is, as already mentioned, strongly repressed, and as such provides a great potential for projection (and hence also for the feeling of the uncanny, as experienced in the novel). Given the societal norms of the 18th century, sexuality was also a heavily isolated element of the human nature, rigidly defined and relegated to the 'homely' sphere.[194] In terms of repression and potential for projection the two subjects are, then, not that far from each other either; one obvious way of addressing the strong anxiety caused by this repression could thus be to link sexuality - of which one surely did not write explicitly - with death.

      In this way, the uncanny - as guised in Otranto's play on death and sexuality - can even be regarded as a liberating abstraction through which the contemporaries could explore and question the things left repressed by the Enlightenment. Keeping Freud's assertion that the uncanny - a feeling often invoked through these aspects in Otranto - is something within ourselves, the reader confronted with these strong, 'forbidden' emotions could perhaps through the reading of such Gothic works - works than can themselves be seen as projections - be prompted to investigate the roots of these. And interestingly, we could note that a great deal of these repressions seem to be with us still, as we can still feel the uncanny invoked by a story like Otranto.


7. Conclusion

      Having analysed Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, it becomes apparent why so considerable and diverging an amount of theories have been applied to the Gothic genre; the excess so central an attribute of these novels can justifiably be said to include their potential for fertile contextualisations and readings of many an aspect.

      Regarding the initially voiced doubt as to whether or not the social theory of Habermas and the psychoanalytical theory of Freud would soundly apply to this very first manifestation of the genre, the conclusion must be that, perhaps a little surprisingly, there is in fact a good foundation for both readings.

      Concerning the Habermarsian reading, it demonstrated how the situation of the newly Enlightened society - populated as it was, by the new 'race' of the burghers - was really not the balanced, liberated society its own ideology dictated. Looking at the 'ideal' nuclear family as an image of society as a whole, the inherent separation of spheres forged a movement away from the previously feudal society, in which the family was unified in one single sphere. With the new structure, the family would find itself inside sharply defined, isolated spheres, with the patriarchal authority moving primarily in the social and public spheres (hence, losing contact with the private sphere), whereas the woman became entirely incarcerated within the private sphere. Otranto is believed to display a clear critique of this separation of spheres, by demonstrating how a patriarch out of touch with his private sphere, is capable of bringing down his own house; the house, in this case, symbolising society. By creating an exaggerated parody of the contemporary times, Walpole thus alerted the reader to what he considered an unreasonable and untenable societal situation.

      A Freudian reading based on the 'uncanny' proved quite applicable as well, shifting the focus to themes not identified hitherto. This analysis probed the origins of the emotionally sublime so central to the Gothic genre, tracing its ancestry to the psychoanalytical concept of repression and projection. In this view, the House of Otranto ultimately collapses, just as the prophecy goes, because "... the real owner has grown too large to inhabit it".[195] The "real owner", the giant, here being the ever growing Repression, feeding on the unrelenting denial of sexuality and feelings; these representing all those things scorned by the split Enlightened society. This theme proved to be very central in Otranto, and the uncanny can thus be seen as an agent of the veiled critical voices of the time. By invoking the intense feeling of the uncanny in the readers, it provided a scene on which to act out plays embodying all which the contemporary society scorned; a means through which to implicitly discuss and question the new norms.

      In spite of the apparent topical distance between Habermas' sociological approach and Freud's psychoanalytical approach to the emotional sublime, it has proven quite possible to link these. The inherent separation of the spheres provided an immense potential for the repression from which the whole notion of the uncanny stems. This potential was strengthened further by the Enlightenment's rigid evaluative norms, creating together, as it were, the perfect habitat for the development of the projections we have later come to recognise as 'uncanny'. Thus, it even becomes possible to suggest that the genesis of the uncanny as an important factor in our lives, which we must admit it still is, can be traced back to this century.

Hence, the Gothic genre right from its outset established itself as an exquisite medium through which 'illicit' societal debate could be conducted. Regarding Otranto as exemplary of the early Gothic, it seems unjust to merely write off the genre as nothing but a semi-random blend of stock props derived from arbitrary passages of Burke's Enquiry, as some critics have done.[196]

      Indeed, the early Gothic novel proves an invaluable tool for gaining insight into the 18th century, just as its descendants, e.g. Horror and Science Fiction, continues to reflect the major issues of the society and time from whence they originate.


8. Bibliography

8.1 Literature

Andriano, Joseph: "Our Ladies of Darkness - Feminine Daemonology in Male Gothic Fiction",
      Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993

Bennet, Andrew & Royle, Nicholas: "An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory - Key Critical Concepts",
      Prentice Hall, 1995

Botting, Fred: "Gothic",
      Routledge, 1996

Boyd-Barret, Oliver & Newbold, Chris (eds.): "Approaches to Media",
      Arnold, 1995

Castle, Terry: "The Female Thermometer - 18th Century Culture and the Invention of the Uncanny",
      Oxford University Press, 1995

Clery, Emma: "Against Gothic"

Cohen, Ralph (ed.): "New Literary History - A Journal of Theory and Interpretation", vol.XVI, 1984-1985, no.2
      Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984

Disney, Walt: "Jumbobog 84 - Tågefyrsten vender tilbage", { For the first time, this joke was detected... :-) }
      Gutenberghus, 1990

Fairclough, Peter (ed.): "Three Gothic Novels",
      Penguin Classics, 1986

Freud, Sigmund: "Art and Literature", The Pelican Freud Library, vol.14,
      Penguin Books, 1985

Calhoun, Craig (ed.): "Habermas and the Public Sphere",
      The MIT Press, 1992

Habermas, Jürgen: "Borgerlig offentlighet",
      Fremad, 1974

Hurley, Kelly: "The Gothic Body - Sexuality, materialism, and degeneration at the fin de siècle",
      Cambridge University Press, 1996

Kilgour, Maggie: "The Rise of the Gothic Novel",
      Routledge, 1995

Koenig, Linda R.: "Ann Radcliffe and Gothic Fiction"
      Michigan University Press, 1977

Levy, Maurice: "Gothic and the Critical Idiom"

McLoughlin, T.O. & Boulton, James T. (eds.): "The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke", vol.1, "The Early Writings",
      Clarendon Press, 1997

Møller, Lis: "Freuds litteraturteori",
      Akademisk Forlag, 1984

Nasio, Juan-David: "En præsentation af 7 hovedbegreber i psykoanalysen",
      Hans Reitzels Forlag, 1995

Nielsen, Niels Åge: "Dansk Etymologisk Ordbog", 4th ed.,
      Gyldendal, 1989

Polity Press: "The Polity Reader in Cultural Theory",
      Polity Press, 1994

Rasmussen, Henrik Risager: "Václav Havel - fra dissident til præsident",
      Speciale, Samfundsfag, AUC, 1992

Winter, Kari J.: "Subjects of Slavery, Agents of Change",
      University of Georgia Press, 1992


9. Notes & References

1Koenig, Linda R.: "Ann Radcliffe and Gothic Fiction"
2Botting, Fred: "Gothic", Routledge, 1996, p.22
3ibid. - p.23
4Clery, Emma: "Against Gothic", - p.34
5Fairclough, Peter (ed.): "Three Gothic Novels", Penguin Classics, 1986 - p.43
6Levy, Maurice: "Gothic and the Critical Idiom" - p.1
7Botting, op.cit. - p.32
8ibid.
9Koenig, op.cit. - p.5
10Fairclough, Peter (ed.): "Three Gothic Novels", op.cit. - pp.44-45
11Koenig, op.cit. - p.6
12ibid. - p.8
13Botting, op.cit. - p.38
14Morris, David: "Gothic Sublimity" from Cohen, Ralph (ed.): "New Literary History - A Journal of Theory and Interpretation", vol.XVI, 1984-1985, no.2, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984 - p.301
15Koenig, op.cit. - p.10
16ibid.
17Botting, op.cit. - "The End of Gothic"
18Levy, Maurice, op.cit. - p.2
19Polity Press: "The Polity Reader in Cultural Theory", Polity Press, 1994 - p.82
20ibid. - p.82
21ibid. - p.81
22ibid. - p.83
23ibid. - p.83
24ibid.
25Habermas, Jürgen: "Borgerlig offentlighet", Fremad, 1974 - p.7
26Polity Press, op.cit. - p.84
27Habermas, op.cit. - p.11
28ibid. - p.13
29Polity Press, op.cit. - p.89
30ibid.
31ibid.
32Habermas, op.cit. - p.25
33Rasmussen, Henrik Risager: "Václav Havel - fra dissident til præsident", Speciale, Samfundsfag, AUC, 1992 - p.11
34Habermas, op.cit. - p.25
35ibid. - p.42 (translated by author)
36Boyd-Barret, Oliver & Newbold, Chris (eds.): "Approaches to Media", Arnold, 1995 - p.253
37Habermas, op.cit. - pp.44-45
38ibid. - p.52
39ibid. - p.47
40ibid. - p.46
41Boyd-Barret, Oliver & Newbold, Chris, op.cit. - p.252
42Polity Press, op.cit. - p.92
43ibid. - p.9
44Burke, Edmund: "A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful" (1757) from McLoughlin, T.O. & Boulton, James T. (eds.): "The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke", vol.1, "The Early Writings", Clarendon Press, 1997 - pp.185-320
45Freud, Sigmund: "The 'Uncanny'" from "Art and Literature", The Pelican Freud Library, vol.14, Penguin Books, 1985
46Freud actually derives the bulk of his examples from the Gothic works of E.T.A. Hoffmann.
47Freud, op.cit. - p.339
48The field of psychoanalysis has, of course, widened considerably, and split into several branches, since Freud's pioneering works. This chapter concerns itself with Freud's theories; hence, references like "essential psychoanalytical concepts" are to be understood in what we would now call a Freudian view.
49Freud, op.cit. - p.375
50Castle, Terry: "The Female Thermometer - 18th Century Culture and the Invention of the Uncanny", Oxford University Press, 1995 - p.10
51Freud, op.cit. - p.340
52Morris, David: "Gothic Sublimity" from "New Literary History", Winter, 1985 via http://www.engl.virginia.edu/~enec981/Group/zach.sublime1.html
53Fairclough, Peter (ed.): "Three Gothic Novels", Penguin Classics, 1986
54Freud, op.cit. - passim & Bennet, Andrew & Royle, Nicholas: "The Uncanny" from "An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory - Key Critical Concepts", Prentice Hall, 1995 - pp.34-37
55Freud, op.cit. - pp.356-361
56Poe, Edgar Allan: "The Raven" from "The Complete Illustrated Works of Edgar Allan Poe", Chancellor Press, 1994 - pp.915-920
57For instance the weeping portrait in Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764), see Fairclough, Peter (ed.): Three Gothic Novels, Penguin Classics, 1986
58Not to be understood in a particularly negative sense, rather as a stadium surmounted with the devclopment of the person; and, phylogenetically speaking, of the race.
59Freud, op.cit. - pp.356-357
60ibid. - p.357
61ibid.
62ibid. - pp.360-361
63ibid. - pp.359-360
64Freud does not go into particular detail on this point in The 'Uncanny', but rather refers to one of his other works: Beyond the Pleasure Principle.
65Freud, op.cit. - p.347
66ibid. - p.366
67Castle: "The Female Thermometer", op.cit. - p.23
68Burke, Edmund: "A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful" (1757), op.cit.
69Hoffmann, E.T.A.: "The Sand-Man" (1816) from "Eight Tales of Hoffmann" (originally from "Night Pieces" 1817) Pan Books, 1952 via http://www.mtroyal.ab.ca/programs/arts/english/gaslight/sandman.htm
70Freud, op.cit. - p.354
71ibid. - p.355
72Freud, op.cit. - pp.362-363
73Brontë, Emily: "Wuthering Heights" via Bennet & Royle, op.cit. - p.35
74Freud, op.cit. - p.363
75ibid.
76ibid. - p.362
77Bennet & Royle, op.cit. - p.36
78Walpole, Horace: "The Castle of Otranto" (1765) from Fairclough (ed.): "Three Gothic Novels", op.cit. - p.57
79Freud, op.cit. - p.362
80Beckford, William: "Vathek" (1786) from Fairclough (ed.): "Three Gothic Novels", op.cit. - p.151
81Freud, op.cit. - p.362
82ibid. - p.352
83Hurley, Kelly: "The Gothic Body - Sexuality, materialism, and degeneration at the fin de siècle", Cambridge University Press, 1996 - pp.145-146
84Andriano, Joseph: "Our Ladies of Darkness - Feminine Daemonology in Male Gothic Fiction", Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993 - pp.6-7
85Cf. Freud's famous psychoanalytical reading in The 'Uncanny' of E.T.A. Hoffman's Der Sandmann, in which he interprets Nathaniels's obsessive fear of loosing his eyes as castration anxiety due to a strong Oedipal complex.
86Freud, op.cit. - p.366
87Hoffmann, op.cit.
88The father becomes the disturber of love to the mother, threathening the child with castration; a very real threat, the child discovers, as the father has apparently already castrated the mother.
89Freud, op.cit. - p.352
90ibid.
91ibid.
92Andriano, op.cit. - pp.51-52
93ibid. - p.51
94Hurley, op.cit. - p.146
95Cf. Freud's Three Essays (1905)
96Freud, op.cit. - p.376
97A thorough discussion of this issue is deemed beyond the scope of this paper, please refer to Freud's essays on this matter for elaboration.
98Walpole, Horace: "The Castle of Otranto" (1765) from Fairclough (ed.): "Three Gothic Novels", op.cit. - pp.62-63
99Cf. Freud's elaborative comments in the initial part of The 'Uncanny' on the etymology of the German word "unheimlich".
100Freud, op.cit. - p.364
101ibid. - p.365
102ibid. - p.364
103Andriano, op.cit. - p.3
104Freud, op.cit. - p.367
105We see in several of Edgar Allan Poe's works a preoccupation with this theme; cf. The Premature Burial, The Cask of Amontillado and The Fall of the House of Usher to mention but some.
106Freud, op.cit. - pp.366-367
107ibid. - p.353
108Bennet & Royle, op.cit. - p.38
109Castle, op.cit. - p.4
110Nasio, Juan-David: "En præsentation af 7 hovedbegreber i psykoanalysen", Hans Reitzels Forlag, 1995
111Castle: "The Female Thermometer", op.cit. - p.40
112Freud, op.cit. - p.341
113ibid. - p.342
114ibid. - p.368
115In the home, we might thus suggest.
116Freud, op.cit. - p.345
117Nielsen, Niels Åge: "Dansk Etymologisk Ordbog", 4th ed., Gyldendal, 1989
118Please refer to chapter 4.1 for details.
119Hence the often invoked relation between woman's body and the Gothic castle.
120Cf. chapter 4.1.
121Indeed, it is often said that Gothic fiction was written by and for women.
122The quest for Truth and Enlightenment, that is.
123An influence we must say can still be felt to be an essential part of our lives.
124Castle, op.cit. - p.8
125"Gender and Power in the Gothic Novel"
126Cf. chapter 3.
127Morris, op.cit. - p.301
128Cf. chapter 4.1.4.
129Walpole, Horace: "The Castle of Otranto", op.cit. - p.51
130ibid. - p.55
131ibid. - p.51
132ibid. - p.56, 60, 72
133ibid. - p.63, 65
134"Gender and Power in the Gothic Novel"
135ibid.
136ibid.
137Cf. chapter 4.1.
138ibid.
139Walpole, op.cit. - p.60
140ibid. - p.61
141ibid. - p.63
142ibid. - p.64
143ibid. - p.53
144ibid. - p.70
145ibid. - p.76,77
146ibid. - p.93
147ibid. - p.94
148ibid. - pp.104-105
149ibid. - p.83
150ibid. - p.84
151ibid. - p.71
152Cf. chapter 6.1.2.
153Walpole, op.cit. - p.141
154Notice that Frederic, also a patriarch, was to marry Matilda, which probably would result in children and a new apprentice to the fine art of patriarchy.
155Walpole, op.cit. - p.82
156All references to the edition of Fairclough, Peter (ed.): "Three Gothic Novels", Penguin Classics, 1986
157Walpole, Horace: "The Castle of Otranto", op.cit. - p.52
158Automatism in itself another agent of the uncanny.
159Walpole, op.cit. - p.135
160The castle and house of Otranto is destined to fall when the real owner has grown too large to dwell in it.
161Walpole, op.cit. - p.51
162Whose very job, we must assume, was to predict the future.
163Walpole, op.cit. - p.76
164ibid. - p.65
165ibid. - p.88
166ibid. - p.60
167See the section on incest below.
168Walpole, op.cit. - p.124
169ibid. - p.82
170ibid. - p.116
171ibid. - p.51
172Even if we should regard the dispersed surfacing of various parts of the uncanny giant (the helmet, the sword, the foot) as owing its eeriness to its faint relation to dismemberment, it is not a central theme.
173Manfred and Hippolita are related in the fourth degree.
174Walpole, op.cit. - p.102
175ibid. - p.57
176ibid. (emphasis added) - p.102
177ibid. (emphasis added) - p.83
178ibid. (emphasis added) - p.58
179ibid. - p.59
180ibid. - p.52
181The mere fact that we have an imagined - projected - image of Death, the Grim Reaper, demonstrates our inherent mechanism of projection of ideas we cannot, or will not, confront.
182Cf. the previous section in which we argued that Matilda and Isabella can be seen as one.
183Walpole, op.cit. (emphasis added) - p.139
184Manfred divorcing Hippolita in favour of Isabella and Frederic marrying Matilda.
185In shape of the hermit from the wood of Joppa.
186Walpole, op.cit. - p.140
187ibid. - p.51
188ibid.
189The choice of words, 'a darling son', hardly conincides with the typical masculine mode of relations.
190Walpole, op.cit. - p.57
191ibid. (emphasis added) - p.51
192Undeniably in the much later Gothic work of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897), for example.
193Here we could note how, whenever Isabella escapes/hides, it seems to be through narrow passages into the darkness of either a dungeon or cavern; stretching our interpretative willingness, we might see this exactly as being examples of said 'regression' to the safety of the pre-natal state.
194Cf. chapter 4.1.
195Walpole, Horace: "The Castle of Otranto", op.cit. - p.51
196See chapter 3.