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The DoppelgängerDouble Visions in German Literature$
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Andrew J. Webber

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198159049

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159049.001.0001

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Gothic Revivals: The Doppelgänger in the Age of Modernism

Gothic Revivals: The Doppelgänger in the Age of Modernism

(p.317) 6 Gothic Revivals: The Doppelgänger in the Age of Modernism
The Doppelgänger

Andrew J. Webber

Oxford University Press

The turn of the 19th century saw a widespread Gothic revival, a cult of Romantic fantasy, which rehearsed the attitudes and forms of Romanticism. This chapter gives a synoptic account of the resurgence in the cult and culture of chronic dualism, focusing on a series of writers who exhibit forms of Doppelgäanger rapport with Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Otto Weininger represents a case of chronic dualism which can be viewed as symptomatic of contemporary divisions in cultural identity and of the desire to salvage a categorical sense of self. In his thesis on sex, race, and identity — Geschlecht und Charakter (Sex and Character), the questions of otherness in race and gender emerge here as projections of alienation. The figure of the Doppelgäanger, which visits both Weininger's theoretical texts and his journal, embodies this alienation as ‘the ensemble of all evil characteristics in the self’.

Keywords:   Gothic revival, Romanticism, chronic dualism, Doppelgänger, Freud, Otto Weininger, Geschlecht und Charakter, Sex and Character, alienation

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