Jewishness and the (Un)Canny

Diane Jonte-Pace

in Speaking the Unspeakable

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780520226005
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927698 | DOI:
Jewishness and the (Un)Canny

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This chapter turns to the notion of the “uncanny Jew” as a widespread trope in Central Europe and as a subtext in Freud's essay “The Uncanny.” Freud initiated a fragmentary analysis of the unconscious intersections of Jewishness, assimilation, death, and the mother in which the (un) canniness or (Un) Heimlichkeit of Jewishness to Jews is a central theme. This becomes evident in Freud's writings on his own Jewish identity, especially through an analysis of two presentations to a Viennese Jewish men's group, the B'nai B'rith, to which Freud belonged for many years. This article pursues excavation of Freud's notion of the uncanny at another set of sites. Along with this, a brief survey of the literature on psychoanalysis, Judaism, and gender establishes a foundation for an analysis of the emergence of these elements of the counterthesis in Freud's texts on his Jewish identity.

Keywords: Jewishness; uncanny Jew; death; Jewish identity; Judaism

Chapter.  8583 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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