Contents Index

Narcissism and Beyond: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Frankenstein and Fantasies of the Double

Rosemary Jackson

From Aspects of Fantasy: Selected Essays from the Second International Conference on the Fantastic in Literature and Film, ed. William Coyle (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1986), pp. 45-53

{43} I am no god. I am no demon.
I come from yourself.

Alfred de Musset, December Night1

Literary fantasy is a rich area for psychoanalytic investigation since it is a mode dealing with an expression, a manifestation, of unconscious desires and fears. Since psychoanalysis deals with the material reality of ideas in society, examining how individual human beings come to inherit and inhabit the laws which determine cultural life on an unconscious level, it can be used in the interpretation of literature -- and its perpetuation of those cultural norms -- in ways analogous to those used by Freud in interpreting dreams and neuroses. Many fantasies contain a desire to break with social conventions and betray an impulse toward transgression of cultural law, but there is almost invariably an eventual neutralizing of that impulse, resulting in its ultimate defeat or deflection into "safe" forms. In Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion, I argued that the most challenging texts are those which defer this safe resolution until the last possible moment or try to refuse it altogether.2 Unlike the utopian fantasies of fairy tale, religious myth, or romance, the modern fantastic refuses supernatural, magical explanations of strangeness and, in place of a "transcendental" reality, presents or re-presents a weird, refracted world, transformed through the mind of the perceiver and his or her unconscious projections into the world.

By imaginatively protesting against and even fantasizing the destruction of social codes, only to renew and confirm their validity, literary fantasies can dramatically articulate social tensions within themselves. This is particularly the case in fantasies of dualism, where the narrative center, often the protagonist himself, is divided into two sides, one subverting and one upholding the dominant social order. The main focus here will be on a few selected tales of the double {44} and shadow, but the argument can be extended to a wide range of texts. For stories of the double are graphic depictions of the alienation which is involved in becoming "human" at all: they protest against and then reenact that drama of insertion into human culture which is the time when, with the acquisition of identity, our many protean selves, our undifferentiated elements, are "unified" and stabilized as "one" character -- the ego, the I, the self, indivisible and integral, upon which society depends.

Recent studies of the double in literature have acknowledged its shift in the Romantic period from a supernatural motif into an increasingly self-conscious psychological function. From its appearance in Jean-Paul's Hesperus (1795) onward, the double has been recognized as originating from within the human subject.3 Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) and James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824) are particularly interesting in that they are remarkable transitional works. They represent an explicit shift from a presentation of a demonic "other" as supernaturally evil, the devil in a conventional iconography, toward something much more disturbing because equivocal, ambiguous in its nature and origins. Hogg's Confessions preserves a brilliant and puzzling ambiguity about the genesis of the demonic presence -- is it natural or supernatural? -- and the text eludes any definitive interpretation by suggesting it is both and neither. Hogg's fantasy sees the devil move from one identity to another. It "is" the sinner himself, and his brother George, and also other characters, as well as a traditional prince of darkness. Yet conventional explanations of a "supernatural" devil figure are betrayed, within the text itself, as redundant. The reader is left stranded, unable to know who or what the shadow is, forced to recognize it as a reflection of every self, a shifting and distorting mirror image of anyone, alienated or metamorphosed into a distant, unfamiliar "other." The double then comes to be seen as an aspect of the psyche, externalized in the shape of another in the world.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein operates similarly but is more explicit about the link between the self and its monstrous projections into the shape of another outside itself. Despite the apparently supernatural powers of the monster, it is literally a product of scientist Frankenstein's own ideas and actions, and it is to be located entirely within a human scheme of things. The monster functions as a parodic mirror image of Frankenstein: "My form," it mocks him, "is a filthy type of yours, made horrid even from the very resemblance." Frankenstein feels it to be demonic and laments his tragic destiny: "I was cursed by some devil, and carried about with me my external hell,"4 but he confesses that the monster is really self-generated, "the being whom I had cast among mankind . . . [was] my own vampire, my own spirit let loose from the grave, and forced to destroy all that was dear to me."5 It is no accident that the monster is anonymous or that in the popular imagination it has come to be confused with Frankenstein himself and frequently given his name, for it is his grotesque reflection, his unnamed, unformed selves. Naming the double is impossible for both Frankenstein and Hogg's sinner since {45} it is themselves in alienated form, an image of themselves before they acquired names. At the heart of both works, as indeed of all fantasies, is the problem of identity, a problem given particular prominence in tales of the double. Hogg's convoluted narrative dramatizes uncertainty as to the coherence of the "I" and expresses the sinner's sense of loss of any viable identity: "I seemed hardly to be an accountable creature . . . I was a being incomprehensible to myself. Either I had a second self, who transacted business in my likeness, or else my body was at times possessed by a spirit over which it had no control."6 Mary Shelley's creature is similarly lost, crying out, "I had never yet seen a being resembling me, or who claimed any intercourse with me. What was I? I have no relation or friend on earth."7 Their preoccupations, indeed obsessions, with identity point to the Oedipal drama which is at their centers, though displaced. Their recurrent question is: Who am I? Where do I come from? How can I feel whole?

Despite the possibility of simplistic readings of stories of the double as simply allegories of the "good" and "evil" sides of mankind -- particularly in less complex fantasies such as Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) -- fantasies of dualism have more to do with a quest for wholeness and integration than with mere moral division. They are driven by a desire to reverse the process of alienation which occurs in the earliest stages of human development, and their quest is focused upon an ideal beyond or before the formation of the ego.

This desire is best understood in relation to Freud's theories of human growth, especially as elaborated by the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan.8 For the incredible proliferation of doubles in Romantic and post-Romantic literature points to an identical unconscious structuration lying behind them. As Marianne Wain writes, "It is astonishing, when one goes through Romantic writing generally . . . to see how this preoccupation with the lost center of personality is a veritable obsession."9 Following from Jean-Paul's novels, William Godwin's Caleb Williams (1794), Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland (1798), Heinrich von Kleist's Penthesilea (1808), Adelbert von Chamisso's Peter Schlemihl (1814), Benjamin Constant's Adolphe (1816), E. T. A. Hoffman's Doppleganger and Elixirs of the Devil (1816), C. R. Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer (1820), Edgar Allan Poe's William Wilson (1839), Feodor Dostoevski's The Double (1846), Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), Henry James's The Jolly Corner (1908), and Joseph Conrad's The Secret Sharer (1912) all share a similar psychic structure which cannot be explained away as merely literary influence or coincidence. They fantasize a fragmented or dualistic existence as part of a process of returning to a pre-Oedipal stage of being as reference to Freud and Lacan will clarify.

The Oedipal complex -- that knot of both hostile and loving wishes which the child has toward its parents and which, in its positive form, appears as a sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex -- occurs between the ages of three and five and is crucial in structuring the individual personality and its desires. However, preceding this period are equally important and determining stages. Freud {46} identified three distinct but overlapping states in the child -- and in culture as a whole. The first is a stage of primary narcissism or self-love. In a paradigm of "normal" development, this has to give way to an attachment to objects outside the self, a relinquishing of self-love, which eventually leads to the third stage, an acceptance of the laws of the world, its "reality principle" and necessities of self-repression for the sake of cultural continuity. In this tripartite scheme, the most crucial sequence is between the first and second stages, in the transition from primary narcissism (love for self) to attachment to love objects (love for other). For what the child has to relinquish here is a state of undifferentiation, in which it has not yet learned to make any difference between self and other, Lacan has termed this "le stade du miroir," the mirror stage, when the self is recognized as separate, as an object constituted by the look, the look of others. It is in the mirror phase that there is a progression from what Lacan terms an "asubjectivity of total presence" to the establishment of a coherent and unified subjectivity -- the human subject, the ego, the I. This precedes the Oedipal stage and its establishment of gender difference.

With the mirror stage, there are now two I's: one to perceive, one to be perceived. The process of becoming an ego, becoming a human subject, involves acquiring duality: alienation is at the heart of identification. Prior to this, there is no sense of a whole, distinct, separate body, but fluidity, instability, incoherence, presence. Part of the notion of the pre-Oedipal is this idea of the non-whole, fragmented body, termed by Lacan "le corps morcelé," the body in pieces. It is worth extending a description of this state because of its relation to Frankenstein:

At this stage the infant has no organisation of data into those associated with its own body and those associated with its exteriority. It has no sense of its physical separateness or of its physical unity. This is the moment referred to retroactively after the "mirror phase," by the phantasy of the "body in fragments." The mirror phase is the moment when the infant realises the distinction between its own body and the outside: the "other." The infant sees its reflection in a mirror and identifies with it. . . . The image with which the infant identifies, which Lacan says can be described as the "Ideal-I," is positioned in the world exterior to the infant. . . . The ego results from the entry of the I into an identification with an object in the other (the non-infant).10
What seems to happen in fantasies of dualism is a reversal of the Oedipal drama and a reversal of the mirror stage -- a repudiation of the dominance both of the Father and of the Ideal ego, the I, formed with the subject. It is an unlearning of the distinction between body and what lies outside it, a non-identification with the reflection in the mirror, and its ego outline, a desire for that state preceding the fall into alienation. It is an attempt to loosen, or to lose, the ego and its dominance by uncovering something less fixed, less formed, less nameable, and, inevitably, less social. Lacan has termed this longing for an original state of undifferentiation as the central unconscious longing in every human being: it is "an eternal and irreducible human desire . . . an eternal desire for the {47} non-relationship of zero, where identity is meaningless."11 It is this desire which is fulfilled in the unity of mysticism and of oneness with God, but which in Western secular culture -- where all our Romantic and post-Romantic fantasies are placed -- takes more frustrated and agonized forms.

The motif of the double in literary fantasy can be regarded as a variation on a theme of alienated identity, also evident in related motifs such as the reflection, the shadow, the ghost, the monster, the magic portrait, the stranger. Behind these variants lies the idea of the mirror and its production of reflected selves, for the mirror establishes a different space in which the "real" or "normal" is inverted or broken. Behind the mirror is a space both familiar and unfamiliar: it sets up distance and difference. Leo Bersani writes that the mirror is "a spatial representation of an intuition that our being can never be enclosed within any present formulation -- any formulation here and now of our being."12 It is in precisely this metaphorical capacity that the mirror entered the language of psychoanalysis, and a reversal of the mirror stage can be seen as a metaphor for the production, or recovery, of other multiple selves.

Lacan stresses that the establishment of identity, the construction of the ego, inevitably involves a sense of loss and anxiety, in which there is an uneasy memory trace of previous union now apprehended as unattainable. A relation between the two I's, self and ideal ego, develops into one of hostility and resentment, with the ideal I, like the eye, constantly on the watch, judging, controlling, condemning, preventing any attempts of the subject to fall away from a strict coincidence with its limited, monistic, integrated social identity. Like Freud's notion of superego, this I acts as censor and judge and is the source of an internal awareness of guilt, apprehension, even paranoia. The double, a fantasy of evading this monistic I/eye, has a difficult relation to the unitary subject, haunting him/her with a reminder of all that has been excluded and amputated in the process of social formation. It is this which gives the double its subversive function, for as Bakhtin writes in his discussion of Dostoevski's version of dualism, through the double, "the possibilities of another man and another life are revealed. . . . The dialogical attitude of man to himself . . . contributes to the destruction of his integrity and finalizedness."13

The double functions as a figure onto which are externalized inadmissible and tabooed desires. They are products of projection, by which is meant "the operation whereby qualities, feelings, wishes or even 'objects,' which the subject refuses to recognize or rejects in himself are expelled from the self and located in another person or thing. Projection so understood is a defence of very primitive origin (and is at work especially in cases of paranoia)."14 It involves a defiance of the rule of the Father, an attempt to elude the threat of castration which hangs over the child, and to recover a state of union with the mother and of primary narcissism. Freud's collaborator, Otto Rank, in the first psychoanalytic study of the double, wrote that the double represents man's relationship with himself and that it "personifies narcissistic self love."15 Freud, influenced by Rank's work to investigate narcissism more deeply, realized that the double was, in its original {48} formation, "an insurance against the destruction of the ego," "an energetic denial of the power of death," the modern inheritor of the idea of the immortal soul as the double of the physical body. For the production of a reflection or of multiple gives defends against a fear of not-being, by creating a being immune to space, time, change, or mortality. The double, according to Freud, is a preservation against extinction, a product of the fear of castration and of a desire for immortality, and he finds the source of such ideas in "the primary narcissism which dominates the mind of the child and of primitive man."16

The least interesting fantasies of the double use it merely as an allegorical means of dramatizing moral assumptions. Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, for example, has Jekyll as the Ideal I, censoring and judging those aspects of himself which are socially unacceptable and projected onto Hyde. Their names signify their functions: Jekyll means I kill -- pointing to the murderous side concealed within his respectable role and projected onto Hyde, all that is hidden. Stevenson's ideological position prevented him from fully exploring the complexities of such a relationship -- though there are moments when his fantasy does open onto pre-Oedipal possibilities -- and his text is reduced to a rather simple fable. Much more complex dramatizations of subjectivity are found in Hogg's Confessions and in William Godwin's much neglected and brilliant story of paranoia and persecution, Caleb Williams. It was this tale of guilt which was a major source of inspiration to Godwin's daughter, Mary Shelley, in her writing of Frankenstein, and it is her particular version of monstrous doubling which I shall examine in more detail, since it has become such a potent and popular modern myth, lying behind many literary and film texts.

As was suggested above, Oedipal questions are at the heart of Frankenstein: the monster's tormented quest for identity is but a vast echo of the searchings of Walton -- the first narrator -- and Frankenstein, the second. "Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them."17 Frankenstein creates the monster to fill a gap -- the absence caused by the death of his mother -- and it is the quest for a lost mother which informs the whole text. By becoming an unnatural mother, "giving birth" to another, who is a reflection of himself, Frankenstein is able to be the mother he lacks, to supply to himself his own need for a mother. Behind his link with the monster -- the same sex as he -- and their love/hate relationship is a need close to the one Freud described in his essay on homosexual love as "proceeding from a narcissistic base . . . homosexuals look for a man whom they may love as their mother loved them."18 Significantly, the monster is made up of bits and pieces of corpses, dead bodies of others, reconstructed from the region of death where the mother now lies. Frankenstein's creation is a displaced desire to be at one with the mother again and through her to reattain that primary narcissism of undifferentiated existence. A drive for reunion with the mother dominates each section of Frankenstein: there are four family units and each one is characterized by the lack of a mother; and the same drive lies behind the central fantasy itself, the production of a {49} monstrous, transgressive but mirror-imaged "other," a pre-Oedipal, unnameable shade.

Soon after its genesis, the monster murders Frankenstein's intimates: the brother who displaced him in his mother's affections, the innocent girl who had taken over his mother's caring role after her death, then his bride and half-sister, Elizabeth. Elizabeth is murdered on their wedding night, at precisely that moment when the incest taboo is about to be transgressed, for Elizabeth is a replacement for the mother in Frankenstein's desires and in the family constellation. Thus the monster acts to save his maker from castration -- the punishment for breaking the taboo -- and is, on yet another level, a defense against the fear of castration.

Behind a desire for the mother, however, is a desire for that "non-relationship of zero, where identity is meaningless," the stage of primary narcissism, which the production of the double is an attempt to regain. Frankenstein's monster is a fantastic example of the idea of "le corps morcelé," the body-in-pieces, for it is actually made up of dismembered, disjointed bodies, not one but many. It is the fragmented body which precedes the unification and identification of wholeness in the mirror stage, a literal reanimation of our dead and buried selves, those pieces of our otherness from which we have been severed in the act of becoming ego-bound. Initially, this body is not evil -- it is outside moral issues, beyond good and evil -- but it has evil thrust upon it and gradually comes to assume a more conventional role as an evil monster. Frankenstein is one of the most radical and tense modern fantasies -- and it is no accident that it was produced by a woman writer, on the periphery of Romanticism and unconsciously questioning its ideals of wholeness and ego-integrity -- precisely because of its refusal to accept moral categorization of the monster. The monster is like a child, at first without form or language, and it is a fantasy version of Frankenstein's pre-Oedipal existence.

Part of the work's radical position lies in its refusal of closure. Unlike other tales of the double, where the shadow side is murdered, or reassimilated, or seen as illusory, Frankenstein insists on the creature's constant presence. There is no reconciliation of the two sides of the self, and their mutual haunting and obsession with each other in a complex symbiotic relationship never really ends. After Frankenstein's death, the monster wanders disconsolately into the ice and snow, toward an unknown vanishing point. The text itself, which had opened with a Chinese-box structure of letters within letters, is not resealed: the monster's shapeless form is the last image to be witnessed. What remains, through this refusal of closure of the narrative, is a radical open-endedness of being, of both text and reader, an opening-up made possible through the introduction of a fantasy or pre-Oedipal life. The bond between Frankenstein and monster is unresolvable precisely because of its internal origin, and in life there can be no overcoming of their condition of alienation as the two I's. As Irving Massey writes, "The monster is something completely internal. . . . The monster may be simply solipsism itself, or an unhappy form of narcissism . . . the monster is an aspect with which Frankenstein cannot or will not come to terms. . . . And so they must {50} resume their endless dialectic of conflict, until, in death, they spiral into one again."19

If the ending of Frankenstein is compared with the ending of a more moralistic and allegorical fantasy of doubling and projection, its radical position is made even more clear. George MacDonald, for example, uses shadows and reflections in his Victorian fantasies, and even in their "high" religious fantasy a similar unconscious structuration can be detected. The Golden Key (1867), At the Back of the North Wind (1871), The Princess and the Goblin (1872), The Princess and Curdie (1883), Phantasies (1858), and Lilith (1895) can all be read as fantasies of rejection of the Oedipal moment and as attempts to return to a pre-Oedipal stage. At the Back of the North Wind, a popular children's story, fantasizes a movement into a changeless, timeless zone -- really a landscape of nonbeing -- through the entrance into a woman's womb. MacDonald's proliferating shadows and doubles in his more "adult" fantasies, Phantastes and Lilith, are attempts to ward off castration and to evade the law of the Father, but there is little real struggle or conflict with or through them.

Lilith, for example, has its narcissistic hero Vane -- his name signifying his vanity -- moving from an anxious inquiry as to his origins and real identity ("What is behind my think? Am I there at all? Who, what am I? I could no more answer the question. . . . I gave myself up as knowing anything of myself or the universe") to a submission to the Father's expulsion of him from the mother's place.20 After rediscovering and lying next to his mother in a strangely dead landscape -- indeed an almost farcical scene of fantasized incest -- where he is "blessed as never was man on the eve of his wedding" (MacDonald, Lilith, p. 247), Vane is ejected by a male figure, Adam, the first man/father, and he apologizes: "I ought not to have lain down without your leave" (p. 248). Vane reenters the living world a wiser and better man, for he has accepted the symbolic castration which this scene represents. The "great shadow," which has been hovering throughout the story, is at last dispelled -- because Vane has incorporated it into himself.21

The shadow/double figure at the end of Lilith is written out of the text, not because a pre-Oedipal unity has finally been attained, but because the desire for pre-Oedipal undifferentiation has been repressed. Instead it is displaced onto a transcendental ideal of unity, a sublimated heavenly state in which dualism is unknown. This is a displacement of desire which is common to all transcendental fantasies -- a removal of contradiction from a human to a religious or supernatural scheme of things. MacDonald's words betray the unconscious wish-fulfillment behind this ideal, when his narcissistic Vane admits to his maturity in these terms: "I have never again sought the mirror" for "that life which, as a mother her child, carries this life in its bosom" (p. 274). A desire for pre-Oedipal fluidity and non-identification has been displaced here onto a more socially acceptable ideal of union with a divine mother/father.

The difference between works like Frankenstein and Lilith may have to do with the different genders of their authors, since these will have produced dif- {51} ferent formations of the social being through the Oedipal drama. However, there are further implications in their treatments of the double motif. Frankenstein suggests that there can be no satisfactory resolution of the conflict between the Ideal ego and the fragmented, protean selves outside its formation. It is an open-ended work, leaving in tension various parts of the psyche, creating a sense of contradiction and dissatisfaction with social constructs -- of identity, language, morality, law, knowledge, reason, time, and space. It subverts the notion of a unified character or ego and implies that there are unknown and unexpected forms of subjectivity, or pre-subjectivity, which are repressed and concealed in or through the normal and normalizing process of identification. Produced from the edge of the Romantic movement by a female writer, it fantasizes the continued existence of pre-Oedipal states, of pre-moral and pre-male undifferentiation. It takes a negative, almost tragic form because of Mary Shelley's positioning as she wrote from within that male culture and its ideals, but it can be interpreted as an attempt to break or dissolve the ego by un-doing the process of its formation.

MacDonald, through his fantasy of submission and of eventual sublimation of a desire for the pre-Oedipal state, reconstructs the ego. He ends by rewriting, reinscribing, patriarchal values onto the human body, producing a text which, as might be expected from a male theologian at the core of Victorian conservatism, is deeply reactionary in its equation of a preordained cosmic and social harmony. By contrast, Mary Shelley's writing takes much more cognizance of the real consequences of inhabiting a post-Romantic, secular, patriarchal culture. Frankenstein provides a tense dramatization of the problematic nature of identity, its cost, its alienation of "self" from potential selves, from others, from the world which is quite unlike the facile wish-fulfillments of magical unity found in the dream works of MacDonald and those "high" fantasy writers in his wake.22 Mary Shelley's version of dualism, which is, in effect, more of a fantasy of pre-Oedipal multiplicity, opposes itself to the idealism and the universals of Romantic and transcendental art, ultimately putting into question the very premises on which our materialistic, rational culture is based and exposing its promises of fulfillment. As Julia Kristeva writes: "The call of the unnameable . . . issuing from those borders where signification vanishes, hurls us into the void [which] appears henceforth as the solidary reverse of our universe, saturated with interpretation, faith, or truth."23


1. Epigraph of The Student of Prague (1913), an expressionistic film on the theme of the double.

2. Rosemary Jackson, Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion (London: Methuen, 1981). Other works discussing the contradictions embedded in Gothic fantasy include Robert Kiely, The Romantic Novel in England (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972) and David Punter, The Literature of Terror: A History of Gothic Fiction from 1765 to the Present Day (London: Longman, 1980).

3. See Ralph Tymns, Doubles in Literary Psychology (Cambridge, England: Bowes & Bowes, 1949); Masao Miyoshi, The Divided Self: A Perspective on the Literature of the Victorians (New York: New York University Press, 1969); Robert Rogers, A Psychoanalytic Study of the Double in Literature (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1970); and C. F. Keppler, The Literature of the Second Self (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1972).

4. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, ed. M. K. Joseph (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), p. 203.

5. Ibid., p. 77.

6. James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, ed. John Carey (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), p. 182.

7. Shelley, Frankenstein, p. 121.

8. Freud's ideas referred to in this essay can be found in "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality" (1905), vol. VII of The Standard Edition of Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, 24 vols., ed. James Strachey (London: Macmillan, 1953). The most accessible introduction to Lacan's work is Jacques Lacan, The Language of the Self, trans. Anthony Wilden (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1968).

9. Marianne Wain, "The Double in Romantic Narrative: A Preliminary Study," Germanic Review 36 (1961), 260. See also Louis Vinge, The Narcissus Theme in Western European Literature up to the Early Nineteenth Century (Lund: Gleerup, 1967).

10. Steve Bumiston, "Lacan's Theory of the Constitution of the Subject in Language," in On Ideology (London: Hutchinson, 1978), p. 212.

11. See Lacan, Écrits: A Selection, trans. Alan Sheridan (London: Tavistock, 1977), particularly the chapter "The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I," which is reprinted as "The Mirror-Phase" in New Left Review 51 (1968), 71-77.

12. Leo Bersani, A Future for Astyanax: Character and Device in Literature (Boston: Little, Brown, 1976), p. 208.

13. Mikhail Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, trans. R. W. Rotsel (Ann Arbor:. Ardis, 1973), p. 96.

14. J. Laplanche and J. B. Pontalis, The Language of Psychoanalysis, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (London: Hogarth Press, 1973), p. 359.

15. Otto Rank, The Double: A Psychoanalytic Study, trans. Harry Tucker, Jr. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1971), p. 95. See also Stanley M. Coleman, "The Phantom Double," British Journal of Medical Psychology 14 (1934), 254-73, andJ. E. Downey, "Literary Self-Projection," Psychological Review 29 (1912), 299-311.

16. Freud, "The Uncanny," Standard Edition, XVII, 217.

17. Shelley, Frankenstein, p. 128.

18. Freud's essay "On Narcissism" (1914), Standard Edition, XIV, 75-76, shows the influence of Rank's study of the double in literature.

19. Irving Massey, "Singles and Doubles: Frankenstein" in The Gaping Pig: Literature and Metamorphosis (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), p. 128. Other pertinent discussions of the unconscious drives behind Mary Shelley's work include Marc A. Rubenstein, "'My Accursed Origin': The Search for the Mother in Frankenstein," Studies in Romanticism 15 (1976), 165-94; U. C. Knoepflmacher, "Thoughts on the Aggression of Daughters," and Peter Brooks, "Godlike Science/Unhallowed Arts: Language, Nature and Monstrosity," both in The Endurance of Frankenstein: Essays on Mary Shelley's Novel, eds. George Devine and U. C. Knoepflmacher (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979).

20. George MacDonald, Lilith (New York: Ballantine Books, 1969), p. 14; hereafter cited in the text.

21. Robert Lee Woolf, The Golden Key: A Study of the Fiction of George MacDonald (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961) provides a biographical version of the formative years of MacDonald's life, relating a sense of the absent mother in his work to his early weaning and his mother's premature death.

22. Stephen Prickett in Victorian Fantasy (Hassocks, Sussex: Harvester Press, 1979) sees MacDonald's work as part of a tradition of "high" fantasy, characterized by a strongly Platonic idealism and evident in the writings of Charles Kingsley, John Ruskin, Lewis Carroll, Walter de la Mare, and Edith Nesbit. This tradition also includes C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and other contemporary fabulists.

23. Julia Kristeva, Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. x