The Uncanny

Freud in his famous essay mentions “the constant recurrence of the same thing” as a symptom of “the Uncanny.” In [Idris] Khan’s picture of every page of the recent Penguin edition, the black gutter at the centre throbs like a premonition of an op art void. It makes you wonder if, as well as psychoanalysis, Freud also invented the Rorschach blot. In the background, two of the paintings discussed by him, Leonardo’s Mona Lisa and The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, peer through a shifting sleet of type like emanations of the unconscious or something. It’s only a book-only a photo of a book-but it pulses like a living thing.

Idris Khan by Geoff Dyer

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