You say tomato, I say uncanny.

What in our world is familiar? Unfamiliar? In “The Uncanny” Sigmund Freud discusses how these classifications dictate the uncanny. While providing us (at great length) with what defines uncanny, it is the intangible that Freud circles. Almost immediately, Freud, citing Jentsch, establishes that “people differ greatly in their sensitivity to this kind of feeling” (124). What creates these differences is not only the individual, but his or her reaction to what is both familiar and unfamiliar. After finishing his laundry list of classifications of the term, Freud states: “The uncanny (das Unheimliche, ‘the unhomely’) is in some was a species of the familiar (das Heimliche, ‘the homely’) (134). What this does is muddy the distinction between familiarity and unfamiliarity, as what is both known and unknown can be classified (albeit in different ways) as the uncanny. To come back to the title of my post, reading this, for whatever reason, I thought of the debate between TOE-MAY-TOE and TOE-MAH-TOE. We know what we are discussing, yet the question exists. People may differ in their "sensitivity" but there is still general understanding of the concept, or in the case of uncanny, that weird feeling you just can't put your finger on.

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