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.
View Images: Possession & Insanity
- Sigmund Freud: "The Uncanny" in The Standard Edition.
- GwenhaÎl Ponnau. La Folie dans la littérature
fantastique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1997.
- M. G. Lewis, The Monk.
- E. A. Poe, "William Wilson."
- Villiers de lIsle-Adam. "The Eleventh Hour Guest."
- Henry James. The Turn of The Scrrw
- Maupassant; "The Horla" "Him" " Who
- Bram Stoker, Dracula
- Angela Carter:"The Fall-River Axe Murders" "The
Lady of the House of Love"
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