William Wilson

ebook

By Edgar Allan Poe

cover image of William Wilson

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Inspired by Poe's own tragic life, the short story clearly presages Freud's method of psychoanalysis. In a very Fight-club-like plot and situations, "William Wilson" is a journey within the mind. Some sixty years prior to Freud's clinical work and theoretical developments, Poe's story is an example of the rise of the psychological genre in literature. A fruitful, and at the same time paranoid, the theme of the doppelganger runs strong in Edgar Allan Poe's fiction. From "The Fall of the House of Usher" to "Morella" and "Ligeia", Poe's characters are constantly harassed by conscious entities that mirror the chaos within the protagonists' unconscious. The influence of "William Wilson" can be felt in the proliferation of contemporary movies exploring the idea of the double, such as Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (1958), Basil Dearden's "The Man Who Haunted Himself" (1970) or Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" (2010).
William Wilson