Uncanny Quotes

Quotes tagged as "uncanny" Showing 1-19 of 19
Thomas Ligotti
“From the earliest days of man there has endured the conviction that there is an order of existence which is entirely strange to him. It does indeed seem that the strict order of the visible world is only a semblance, one providing certain gross materials which become the basis for subtle improvisations of invisible powers. Hence, it may appear to some that a leafless tree is not a tree but a signpost to another realm; that an old house is not a house but a thing possessing a will of its own; that the dead may throw off that heavy blanket of earth to walk in their sleep, and in ours. And these are merely a few of the infinite variations on the themes of the natural order as it is usually conceived.

But is there really a strange world? Of course. Are there, then, two worlds? Not at all. There is only our own world and it alone is alien to us, intrinsically so by virtue of its lack of mysteries. If only it actually were deranged by invisible powers, if only it were susceptible to real strangeness, perhaps it would seem more like a home to us, and less like an empty room filled with the echoes of this dreadful improvising. To think that we might have found comfort in a world suited to our nature, only to end up in one so resoundingly strange!”
Thomas Ligotti, The Nightmare Factory

Thomas Ligotti
“We are aberrations—beings born undead, neither one thing nor another, or two things at once … uncanny things that have nothing to do with the rest of creation, horrors that poison the world by sowing our madness everywhere we go, glutting daylight and darkness with incorporeal obscenities. From across an immeasurable divide, we brought the supernatural into all that is manifest. Like a faint haze it floats around us. We keep company with ghosts. Their graves are marked in our minds, and they will never be disinterred from the cemeteries of our remembrance. Our heartbeats are numbered, our steps counted. Even as we survive and reproduce, we know ourselves to be dying in a dark corner of infinity. Wherever we go, we know not what expects our arrival but only that it is there.”
Thomas Ligotti, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race

Sigmund Freud
“In general we are reminded that the word heimlich is not unambiguous, but belongs to two sets of ideas, which, without being contradictory, are yet very different: on the one hand it means what is familiar and agreeable, and on the other, what is concealed and kept out of sight. Unheimlich is customarily used, we are told, as the contrary only of the first signification of heimlich, and not of the second. [...] On the other hand, we notice that Schelling says something which throws quite a new light on the concept of the Unheimlich, for which we were certainly not prepared. According to him, everything is unheimlich that ought to have remained secret and hidden but has come to light.”
Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny

“For Zola, as for Huysmans, nature itself is uncanny because it is the domain of the feminine, a domain that is constitutionally defective, lacking, even pathological.”
Charles Bernheimer

“Supernatural fiction contains its own generic borderland: a neutral territory, which Tzvetan Todorov calls 'the fantastic,' between 'the marvelous' and 'the uncanny.' According to Todorov, 'The fantastic is that hesitation experienced by a person who knows only the laws of nature, confronting an apparently supernatural event.' Once the event is satisfactorily explained (and sometimes it is never explained), we have left the fantastic for an adjacent genre - either 'the uncanny,' where the apparently supernatural is revealed as illusory, or 'the marvelous,' where the laws of ordinary reality must be revised to incorporate the supernatural. As long as uncertainty reigns, however, we are in the ambiguous realm of the fantastic.”
Howard Kerr, The Haunted Dusk

“In any event, whether a supernatural tale remains altogether fantastic or eventually modulates to the uncanny or the marvelous, the reader is faced with disconcerting ontological and perceptual problems.

Indeed, the disorienting effect of the supernatural encounter in fiction seems to reflect some deeper disorientations in the culture at large.”
Howard Kerr, The Haunted Dusk

E.T.A. Hoffmann
“I wished I could read in their shrivelled faces and watery eyes, I wished I could hear in the bad French which came half through their pinched lips and half through their pointed noses, how the old ladies had got at least on to good terms with the uncanny beings which haunted the castle.”
E.T.A. Hoffmann, Tales of Hoffmann

Laura   Gentile
“For example, the gaze of a painted woman's face following the viewer around the room would be an appreciated accomplishment for the Zweighaupt Powerhouse, but for the Vienneses there would be something wrong with it, and the attention should not be returned.”
Laura Gentile, Within Paravent Walls

Kresley Cole
“What are the Hanged Man’s powers?” I tried to remember more about that player.

“I don’t know,” Aric admitted. “I’ve never faced him, nor seen him mentioned in any chronicles I’ve read. The Star had his icon in the last game. But did the Arcane Navigator take it himself, or harvest it from another?” Aric rotated his shot glass on his desk blotter. “The Hanged Man remains a mystery. That is why he’s called uncanny. In this game, all have been accounted for, but for him.”

“Then he’s the inactivated card?” One Arcana was dormant—until he or she killed another player. “Matthew told me to beware of that player but wouldn’t reveal an identity.”
Kresley Cole, Arcana Rising

Nikki Rowe
“Dejavu' is a subconcious reminder of the contract your soul signed long before you chose the body you would reside in on earth. Trust the timing of uncanny moments, synchronicity and your gut instinct.”
Nikki Rowe

Marjorie Bowen
“They were all people whom I either knew too well or whom I didn't wish to know at all...”
Marjorie Bowen, The Prescription

Megan Giddings
“She suddenly understood the thought experiments better based on this feeling, the uncanniness of someone you love being able to abruptly articulate a single feeling. Friendship, family, and romance breed a telepathy that comes from kinship.”
Megan Giddings, Lakewood

David Mura
“We know this world intimately and that is its uncanniness. We cannot bear our knowledge.”
David Mura, A Male Grief: Notes on Pornography and Addiction: An Essay

“In telling a story one of the most successful devices for easily creating uncanny effects is to leave the reader in uncertainty whether a particular figure in the story is a human being or an automaton and to do it in such a way that his attention is not focused directly upon his uncertainty, so that he may not be led to go into the matter and clear it up immediately.”
Ernst Jentsch, Zur Psychologie des Unheimlichen

Marcus Speh
“Gerbert, by the window, shuddered; his mouth contorted. The witch began to twist faster and faster while her twin was talking to Gisela, mumbling to her, marching old holy words straight through the child’s ear into her skull, where they entered the bloodstream and looked for the enemy. The monk’s fingers twitched in the same rhythm and he found himself falling into a trance. He knew it would be dangerous to witness the witches brewing and dancing but there was an energy in it that he’d missed badly since he’d been asked to educate the young princess. Gerbert didn’t even notice when the hags stopped, tucked the girl in, rubbed the concoction on her lips and left for the unseen place from which they had come. Gisela healed quickly thereafter: The fever fell that same night and she asked for solid food the next morning. She had no memory of what had happened, but when she bounced on one leg across the meadow in the castle yard, she chanted a little melody that had not been heard in church, an odd melody that made Gerbert’s ears prick up because he sensed the uncanny in it.”
Marcus Speh, GISELA

Julian Barnes
“But the very action of naming something that subsequently happens—of wishing specific evil, and that evil coming to pass—this still has a shiver of the otherworldly about it.”
Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

Iris Murdoch
“It had all been quite uncannily painless. I was left with a sense of not having suffered enough. Only sometimes in dreams did I experience certain horrors, glimpses of punishment which would perhaps yet find its hour.”
Iris Murdoch, A Severed Head

“A house that is unheimlich is a house where you lose yourself, lose your way, literally or figuratively.”
Christoph Grafe, Oase 70: Architecture and Literature

Sol Luckman
“Do you ever have the sense you’re living someone else’s life?”
Sol Luckman, Cali the Destroyer