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Possession & Insanity

The self taken-over, will overcome, autonomy lost. The theme of possession in the supernatural marvelous, and subsequently in the fantastic, rarely lacks a quotient of fear. In this sense, possession helps bridge the gap between the marvelous and the fantastic, by asserting the presence of dread within the context of a supernatural acknowledged as real. As the marvelous morphs into the fantastic, however, the nature of possession changes. Demonic possession from a religious perspective fades in the nineteenth century, as the age of anxiety discovers the doppelgänger, exhumes and resurrects the Ghosts, Vampires and Werewolves of folkloric legends. These fearsome exponents of a living death are now endowed with powerful psychological and sexual connotations, which in the course of the nineteenth century, bring possession by madness and hysteria to the fore.

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  • Sigmund Freud: "The Uncanny" in The Standard Edition.
  • GwenhaÎl Ponnau. La Folie dans la littérature fantastique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1997.

Literary works:

  • M. G. Lewis, The Monk.
  • E. A. Poe, "William Wilson."
  • Villiers de l’Isle-Adam. "The Eleventh Hour Guest."
  • Henry James. The Turn of The Scrrw
  • Maupassant; "The Horla" "Him" " Who Knows?"
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula
  • Angela Carter:"The Fall-River Axe Murders" "The Lady of the House of Love"

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