JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 310
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collective interest.... Each spirit is vehicle for a history that is preserved, in part,
through relations between contemporary hosts and the figures from the past who
possess them. .... They are thus 'living history' in a strong sense; they bring
forward and force people to acknowledge the commitments of and to the past"
11. Interpreting Freud's notion of the uncanny, Neil Hertz observes that
whatever formally reminds us of this compulsion to repeat is perceived as
12. For the notion of ghosts as what is inadequately symbolized, see
13. Alun Kenwood writes of this "Manichean" tendency (30). See also, in
the same volume, Kevin Foster's description of this as a "versus" rhetoric.
14. Freud speaks of fears of death/disintegration transformed into narcis-
sism in Civilization and Its Discontents, SE XXI: 119.
15. The term is from Langer's Holocaust Testimonies.
16. In an interview, del Toro commented that he avoided using any music at
this climactic moment so that the film would not seem to "approve the act of
violence" (Chun 28-31).
17. In his reflections on the sublime-for which he employs a gothic
vocabulary of darkness, obscurity, and terror-Edmund Burke notes that words
representing privation are especially suited to the sublime. Pictorial moments are
not as efficacious because they make that which lacks a literal referent too iconic.
Showing how sublime thoughts or objects unleash a breakdown in representa-
tion, Burke proves himself interested in the representational consequences of
darkness. Further, Burke speaks tellingly of the fear occasioned by the mind's
inability to represent its own experience to itself. Del Toro uses a gothic film
vocabulary-especially the literal and figurative meanings ofthe ghost-to find
a language for such absences (57-87).
18. Caruth speaks of how the notion of accident is a way of expressing what
cannot be precisely grasped about trauma (Unclaimed 6).
19. For traumatic testimony as containing a lacuna or core of impossibility,
see Agamben 13.
Agamben, G iorgio. Remnants ofA uschw itz: The Witness and the Archive. Trans.
Daniel Heller-Roazen. New York: Zone, 1999.
Aguilar, Paloma. Memory andAmnesia: The Role ofthe Spanish Civil War in the
Transition to Democracy. Trans. Mark Oakley. New York: Berghahn, 2002.
Brantlinger, Patrick. Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism,
1830-1914. Ithaca. Cornell UP, 1988.
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Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition (U.S.). JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004, periodical, 2004; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28644/m1/56/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .