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Forging the PastSeth and the Art of Memory$
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Daniel Marrone

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496807311

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496807311.001.0001

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date: 19 January 2019

Return, Repetition, and Other Ambivalent Impulses

Return, Repetition, and Other Ambivalent Impulses

(p.41) 2 Return, Repetition, and Other Ambivalent Impulses
Forging the Past

Daniel Marrone

University Press of Mississippi

Beginning with Zygmunt Bauman’s account of ambivalence – which depends on the “master-opposition” between inside and outside – this chapter delineates the relation of ambivalence to modernity and ambiguity. It also elaborates the role of Freud’s thinking in the overall investigation of Seth’s work through a consideration of the uncanny, especially with regard to his character Simon Matchcard. The uncanny is considered as part of a family of ambivalent phenomena that includes nostalgia, obsession, compulsion, and the return of the repressed. This chapter relies heavily on Linda Hutcheon description of ambivalence as “the desire to be on both sides of any border, deriving energy from the continual crossing.” In comics, this continual crossing takes a particularized form in the movement from panel to panel. Seth subtly fosters ambiguity, arousing a generative ambivalence in the reader, which in turn reciprocally animates the text.

Keywords:   Ambivalence, Ambiguity, Borders, Uncanny, Modernity

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