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Fear of the in-between: Interstitial space in Edgar Allen Poe's "William Wilson"

By Christopher Joseph Gerrick

Abstract

"You have conquered, and I yield. Yet, henceforward art thou also dead---dead to the World, to Heaven and to Hope! In me didst thou exist---and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself." -William Wilson in Edgar Allen Poe's "William Wilson" This quote marks a moment of palpable horror as the reader discovers that an apparent murder is actually a suicide. "William Wilson" is a story about boundaries: the distinction between the self and the other, between William Wilson and his doppelganger, but also in the way these boundaries break down. In many of Poe's stories, such as "The Tell-Tale Heart," we are enthralled by the building of suspense until the repressed becomes revealed. The vehicle of study will be a re-presentation/re-construction of "William Wilson" the text/character. This architectonic double suggests multiple readings of the interstitial spaces, events, sounds, characters, and objects featured in "William Wilson." The product of this investigation cannot be divorced from a process of production which explores the concept of doubling---such as printing, xeroxing, photography, casting---and what the ramifications of these methods have for the design of space

Topics: Modern literature, American literature, Architecture
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:scholarship.rice.edu:1911/17591
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