Il nome perturbante nella fiaba Il bambino misterioso di E.T.A. Hoffmann
The world of Hoffmann’s fairy tale, The Strange Child, is divided into the spheres of everyday life and the Supernatural. Whereas the names of the first sphere are well-chosen, normal ones, supernatural beings either have no names at all or have names which are in some way uncanny. According to Freud ‘the uncanny’ is related to strangeness. In this paper I analyze first the names of the everyday world and subsequently those of the supernatural sphere. I show that the most uncanny name of this tale, Pepser, fits in with Freud’s theory that the uncanny is that class of the terrifying which at first glance looks like something long known to us, something familiar. Another aspect of the uncanny is that it is a quality of something that ought to have remained hidden and secret and yet comes to light. This quality too can be identified in the name Pepser.