The origin is already haunted: Greece as the uncanny of modernity
In (Western) modernity “Greece” has always been associated with the concepts of repetition and return. Greece’s appearance in modern times is always already a re-appearance, problematizing the very ideas of originality, continuity and metaphysical presence it had come to reinforce in the lineage of the West. From this perspective, its appearance can rather be said to represent an apparition haunting the process of European self-definition.
The construction of the new Greek nation, first in theoretical Philhellenism and then in political practice, is directly related to this logic of spectrality. As an implicit reverse of the beneficial re-generation it was intended to bring to European culture, this restoration also evoked the disturbing notion of resurrection and “undeadnesss”. In this sense, Greece embodied the (displaced) return of the same as other inherent in the Freudian theory of the uncanny.
This paper explores such unsettling connections by analyzing the mutually constitutive and reciprocal haunting between Europe and Greece through some narrative and discursive structures that allegorize repetition and uncanniness in figures and forms of revenance.