Uncanny  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Uncanny means strange, and mysteriously unsettling (as if supernatural); weird.

He bore an uncanny resemblance to the dead sailor.

The Uncanny (Ger. Das Unheimliche -- literally, "un-home-ly") is a Freudian concept of an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange.

Because the uncanny is familiar, yet strange, it often creates cognitive dissonance within the experiencing subject due to the paradoxical nature of being attracted to, yet repulsed by an object at the same time. This cognitive dissonance often leads to an outright rejection of the object, as one would rather reject than rationalize.

The state was first identified by Ernst Jentsch in a 1906 essay, On the Psychology of the Uncanny. Jentsch defines the Uncanny as: "doubts whether an apparently animate being is really alive; or conversely, whether a lifeless object might be, in fact, animate" (unheimliche). The term was adopted by Freud in a 1919 essay titled Das Unheimliche (Eng: The Uncanny).


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Uncanny" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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