"Unintended Repetition"

Much of Freud's The Uncanny is about repetition. The repression of "frightening elements" often leads to their return, for example (147). Furthermore, in Freud's discussion of "doubleness" he notes that there is a "constant reccurring of the same thing, the repetition of the same facial features, the same characters, the same destinies..." (142). These are all intentional things, or so it would seem, since in the latter example Freud says that a person may choose that identification with someone else (142). This makes the idea of unintentionally repeating something--like when Freud wanders back to the little Italian houses (admitedly without asking for directions)-- an interesting contrast to this notion of an "instinctual" compulsion to repeat, and to many of his examples of uncanniness that stem from intentional repetition. Still, he says that whatever reminds us of our "inner compuslsion to repeat" makes us feel that uncanniness, and his examples of unintended repetition remind us of that (144;145).

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