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The Fear of the Other

Approaches to English Stories of the Double (1764-1910)


Astrid Schmid

The Gothic novel - in focussing on the villain-hero's split mind, and in projecting his fears and desires onto an antagonistic double-like character - moulded the 'Gothic' double, which was to become central to several widely read fictions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This study shows, how under the guise of the double, the subject matter of 'the unspeakable', i.e. those socially condemned areas of forbidden (homo-)sexual desire, repeatedly forces its way into literature.
Contents: A.o. Tradition and Development of the Motif of the Double - The 'Gothic' Double in a Selection of 18th/19th and Early 20th Century English Literature - Five Ways of Looking at the Motif of the Double: The Moral-Allegorical, the Socio-Psychological, the Psychoanalytical, the Psychiatric, the Existential-Philosophical Approach(es).