1st Edition

Double Trouble The Doppelgänger from Romanticism to Postmodernism

By Eran Dorfman Copyright 2020
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    The double, doppelgänger, is mostly understood as a peculiar figure that emerged in nineteenth-century Romantic and gothic literature. Far from being a merely esoteric entity, however, this book argues that the double, although it mostly goes unnoticed, is a widespread phenomenon that has significant influence on our lives. It is an inherent key element of human subjectivity whose functions, forms, and effects have not yet gained the serious consideration they merit.

    Drawing on literature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis, and combining a personal story with theoretical interventions, Double Trouble develops a novel understanding of the double and human subjectivity in the last two centuries. It begins with the singular and narcissistic double of Romanticism and gradually moves to the multiple doubles implicated by Postmodernism. The double is what defies unicity and opens up the subject to multiplicity. Consequently, it gradually emerges as a bridge between the I and the Other, identity and difference, philosophy and literature, theory and praxis.

    IntroductionChapter One: The Double That Takes My Breath AwayChapter Two: The Shadow’s GazeChapter Three: The Double's Lesson of LoveChapter Four: Islands of DoublesEpilogue: The Double in Contemporary Politics


    Eran Dorfman is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Literature at Tel Aviv University, and a former Directeur de programme at the Collège International de Philosophie, Paris. He is the author of Foundations of the Everyday: Shock, Deferral, Repetition (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2014); Learning to See the World Anew: Merleau-Ponty Facing the Lacanian Mirror (Phaenomenologica series, Springer, 2007, in French); and the co-editor of Sexuality and Psychoanalysis: Philosophical Criticisms (Leuven University Press, 2010).

    "The double is not the same. This is the lesson of Double Trouble, which revises and expands the concept of the double into a theory of multiple identity. It is actually two books in one, a biographical essay and a theoretical essay, which resonate with one another, producing allegorical sparks. This doubled book is a fascinating new entry on a topic that may well be the key to modern European thought."

    Paul North, Yale University

    "Double Trouble provides subtle and sophisticated readings of a wide-ranging variety of literary and theoretical resources, along with soul-searching reflections on personal experience. Particularly, it addresses the issue of the double in a way that does not stop with academic speculation, but demands that the reader confront the practical implications of these reflections."

    Duane H. Davis, University of North Carolina