Seeing Double: The Doppelgänger in two interpretations of the ballet classic, The Nutcracker by John Neumeier and Marco Goecke

Publisher:
Peter Lang
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
German Visual Culture Series: The Doppelgänger, 2016, 1st, 3 pp. 93 - 118 (31)
Issue Date:
2016
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The essays in German Visual Culture: The Doppelgänger explore the phenomenon of the double in multiple aspects of German visual culture. The Doppelgänger, or double, is an ancient and universal theme that can be traced at least as far back as Greek and Roman mythology but is particularly strong in German literature and culture since the Romantic Movement in the 18th century. Literally the “double walker” or “double goer,” the Doppelgänger is an exact duplicate of the living person, indistinguishable from the original. It can be a true double, twin, mirror image, portrait, split personality, alter ego, mechanical doll, or ghostly shadow. The double historically represented evil, misfortune, and death, presaged them, or forecast supernatural phenomena but also represented the dual nature of human beings and human society as well as the split between reality and fantasy contained in every artwork. Since the advent of modern psychology, artists, writers and filmmakers increasingly use the double to symbolize mental and spiritual trauma and struggles with identity and the ego.
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