Poe’s “Metzengerstein” – Untangling the SkeinsJournal: International Journal of English, Literature and Social Science (Vol.7, No. 6)
Publication Date: 2022-11-11
Authors : Vikram Krishan Koshal;
Page : 117-121
Keywords : Gothic; Imagination; Fears & Desires; Doppleganger;
Poe's “Metzengerstein” stands in a class of its own. It is first and foremost, a Gothic tale but, at the same time, it is much more as well. The Gothic mores embedded in the narrative are open to all the usual interpretations associated with Gothicism. Fear induced by the uncanny in the Freudian sense of unheimliche is an integral part of the text under consideration. What makes this tale special is the fact that the Gothic conventions have been used as an allegory for the decline and disintegration but ultimate vindication of creative imagination. The contemporary commodification of literature makes a writer's journey a tight ropewalk as he traverses the precarious path marked by the breakdown of ‘Imagination' in the Coleridgean sense of the term but culminating in its definitive exoneration. Viewed from a modern standpoint, “Metzengerstein” can be looked upon as a projection of Poe's own fears and desires. It is also a repository of our apprehensions of being a ‘Doppleganger'
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