Doppelgänger: German, ca. 1830, ‘double’ + ‘goer’; from its origin it carries ghostly associations as a double or apparition of a living person, a specter of the living (not of the dead, hence not a ghost), occasionally blurs into the notion of an evil twin and carries the notion of being the spiritual negative of the living original, and almost exclusively interpreted as a harbinger of ill-fortune:
Double: from the Latin duplus, ‘twofold’ or ‘twice as much,’ from the simple compounding of duo + -plus, ‘two more’; then, ca. 10th c. Old French, into doble, which, by the early 13th c., became the adjective ‘double,’ ‘two-faced’ and ‘two-fold,’ ‘deceitful.’ About the same time it gained its verb-form, a ‘making double’; then, by the mid-14th c., the noun form took on the positive connotation of being an ‘amount twice as great,’ and also ‘duplicate copy.’ The bodily addition of another, as ‘double up,’ is ca. 1814, with 26 years later the attribution of ‘doubling up’ as what happens when, as Donald Walker’s “Defensive Exercises” has it, the ‘doubling up’ of a boxer subsequent a blow that has him “gasping and crowing;” while the eerie-meets-alienating is hinted by the 1920’s circus slang meaning to work another job in addition to one’s regular job.
[das/die Doppel]: ‘duplicate,’ ‘twin,’
Goer: in the mid-13th c., it stood as a surname, a century later, an agent noun of the verb ‘to go,’ hence ‘one who goes on foot,’ ‘a walker’; over three centuries later, the agency was frequently applied to animals, namely horses, and their speed, with ca. 1810 signaling a transference back to humans to designate he or she who ‘lives loosely,’ of course, becoming a positive American trait in the 1910’s as naming one who is a ‘go-getter.’
[-gänger] Gang: the proto-Indo-European root, ghengh, meant ‘to step,’ influencing the Sanskrit, Avestan, and Lithuanian ‘shank,’ ‘ankle,’ and ‘I stride,’ respectively, and directly becoming the proto-Germanic gangaz leading to the Old Norse gangr, ‘a group of men’ and ‘a set,’ and the Old English gang, ‘a going,’ ‘journey,’ ‘way,’ and ‘passage’—altogether suggesting that the root is unrelated to of ‘go,’ whose PIE root is ghe-, ‘to release’ or ‘be released’ and ‘let go’—leading into the mid-14th c.’s ‘a set of articles that usually are taken together in going,’ specifically, the tools of one’s trade, and two centuries later, the tools being humans, hence ‘a company of workmen,’ with the 1630’s acquisition of the moral reprobation in ‘roving bands,’ ‘gangs of thieves or roughs,’ which persisted through the 1850’s for criminal-to-mischievous city boys, while still also including animal herds and flocks, and the unfortunate American adoption, around the 1720’s, for groups of plantation slaves. The verb sense, ‘to gang up on or together,’ developed around the 1850’s, leading to the 1920’s ‘gang-shag’ and then the 1950’s noun of ‘gang-bang’ designating consensual or consent-less group sex, usually of a single female and many males.
“Doppelgänger’s” first citation is in Jean Paul’s 1796-97 novel Siebenkäs as Doppeltgänger, footnoted as being his coinage and meaning the “people who see themselves.” The idea, however, of a doppelgänger is a fairly common theme of German folklore as an invisible spirit double of every living creature. The term’s use has had a dramatic surge since the 1950’s, peaking slightly just before 2000.
 Johann Paul Friedrich Richter; full original title: Blumen- Frucht- und Dornenstücke, oder Ehestand, Tod, und Hochzeit des Armenadvokaten Siebenkäs [Flower, Fruit, and Thorn Pieces; or, the Married Life, Death, and Wedding of Siebenkäs, Poor Man’s Lawyer]: a German romantic comedic story invoking supernatural themes of doubles (for Siebenkäs’ friend, Leibgeber, is his own Doppelgänger) and pseudocide (a faked death, here convinced of Siebenkäs by Leibgeber) and a controversial rendering of the Resurrection (albeit, Siebenkäs’ rebirth is successful, landing him the beautiful Natalie and reason for the title’s wedding to fall after his death)—illuminative passage: “Hereupon Leibgeber happened to look into the mirror. ‘It almost seems as if I beheld myself double, if not treble,’ said he: ‘one of me must have died,—the one there within, or the one outside. Which of us, then, in this room, is dead, and appears afterwards to the other? or do we only appear to ourselves? Eh! you my three I’s, what do you say to the fourth?’ demanded he; and turning to their two images in the mirror, and then to Firmian, he said, ‘Here am I too’” (Flower, Fruit, and Thorn Pieces; or, the Wedded Life, Death, and Marriage of Firmian Stanislaus Siebenkæs, Parish Advocate in the Burgh of Kuhschnappel, trans. Alexander Ewing (London: George Bell & Sons, 1892), 286)
In Literature, Poetry:
E. T. A. Hoffmann, “Die Doppeltgänger,” 1821, and Die Exlixiere des Teufels
(latter: monk with double who is both antagonist and scapegoat).
Hans Christian Anderson, Skyggen [The Shadow], 1847
(fairytale of man’s shadow becoming his actual double, yet opposite in moral and physical traits, and then replacing him).
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859
(Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton as distinct characters noted to remarkably resemble one another).
Norman Douglas, “The Familiar Spirit,” 1890’s
(drowning man realizes a spirit presence of second self within that sought to ruin his aims).
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Double
(novella wherein a governmental clerk’s double is also his negative self, the boldly social versus the mildly antisocial, who takes over and drives the original mad).
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound
(has doppelgänger as counterpart to self; Shelley claimed this to be autobiographical, seeing his own self before his death)
Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Dichtung und Wahrheit
(autobiography, anecdote of riding on horseback past his own self, ca. 1770, Drusenheim, years later rides the same road now wearing the once unfamiliar grey coat he saw originally on his other self).
Edgar Allan Poe, “William Wilson,”
(short story, English schoolboy meets his double who is the upstanding one who ruins his lusty, greedy plans).
Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1886
(gothic novella of war between one’s inner good and evil selves—although, cf. Nabokov’s argument rejecting a simplistic good vs evil dualism as Dr. Jekyll does not fully embody good Victorian morals).
The Incredible Hulk comic books (as well as other superhero alter egos, Superman, etc.)
Georg Kaiser, The Coral, 1917
(play wherein industrialist’s male secretary look identical and the latter impersonates the former for various functions; title refers to coral watch fob word by the latter).
Charles Williams, Descent into Hell, 1939
(character Pauline Anstruther sees her own double throughout her life).
Daphne du Maurier, The Scapegoat, 1957
(novel of Englishman meeting French aristocratic visual double, swap places, former embroiled in latter’s familial intrigues).
Heinrich Heine, “Der Doppelgänger,”
(novel of Englishman meeting French aristocratic visual double, swap places, former embroiled in latter’s familial intrigues).
Philip Roth …
“Too often, for example, book-chat mandarins would consider Roth a writer whose only concern were the vagaries of personal identity as he used such alter egos as Nathan Zuckerman and Peter Tarnopol in what seemed autobiographical novels. He always insisted they were more fiction than documentary: ‘Am I Zuckerman? Am I Portnoy?’ he rhetorically (and coyly) asked an interviewer in 1981. ‘I could be, I suppose. I may be yet. As of now, I am nothing like so sharply delineated as a character in a book. I am still amorphous Roth.’”
“‘Making fake biography, false history, concocting a half-imaginary existence out of the actual drama of my life is my life,’ Mr. Roth told Hermione Lee in a 1984 interview in The Paris Review. ‘There has to be some pleasure in this life, and that’s it.’” & “‘Operation Shylock’ (1993), which Mr. Roth pretended was a ‘confession,’ not a novel (though in the very last sentence he says, ‘This confession is false’), involved two Roths, one real and one phony, and the real one claims to have been a spy for the Mossad. The book, with its sense of shifting reality and unstable identity, partly stemmed from a near-breakdown Mr. Roth experienced when he became addicted to the sleeping pill Halcion after knee surgery in 1987 and from severe depression he suffered after emergency bypass surgery in 1989.”
 Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, The Autobiography of Goethe: Truth and Poetry, From My Own Life, trans. John Oxenford (London: George Bell and Sons, 1881), cf. 2nd Part, 10th Bk., esp. pp. 368-87 re: impersonating others (and, paralleling his present engagements to the cast of characters in Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield, which has its own pseudonymity and impersonations key to its storyline), and 3rd Part, 11th Bk., esp. pp. 433-36 re: doppelgänger scene: Ï now rode along the footpath towards Drusenheim, and here one of the most singular forebodings took possession of me. I saw, not with the eyes of the body, but with those of the mind, my own figure coming towards me, on horseback, and on the same road, attired in a dress which I had never worn;--it was pike-grey (hecht-grau) with somewhat of gold. As soon as I shook myself out of this dream, the figure had entirely disappeared. It is strange, however, that eight years afterwards, I found myself on the very same road, to pay one more visit to Frederica, in the dress of which I had dreamed, and which I wore, not from choice, but by accident. However it may be with matters of this kind generally, this strange illusion in some measure clamed me at the moment of parting. The pain of quitting for ever the noble Alsace, with all that I had gained in it, was softened, and having at last escaped the excitement of a farewell, I found myself on a peaceful and quiet journey, pretty well recovered” (Ibid., 434-35).
 Gene Seymore, “The Single Greatest Punch Line in Our Nation’s Literary History,” CNN.com/2018/05/23/opinions/Philip-roth/index.html.
 Charles McGrath, “Philip Roth, Towering Novelist Who Explored Lust, Jewish Life and America, Dies at 85,” New York Times, May 22, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/22/obituaries/philip-roth-dead.html.
Charlie Chaplin stars as Adolf Hitler-like Adenoid-Hynkel and identical other who is a Jewish barber, the latter replacing the former to undo antisemitism and redo democracy.
Kagemusha, 1980, Akira Kurosawa;
warlord employs brother to impersonate him, brother finds thief who also looks like warlord and employs him as shadow warrior, warlord is killed in war, thief revealed, by end, thief assumes dopplegänger’s self to become last one upholding the clan.
twin magicians in rivalry with other magician re: disappearing acts.
Luis Buñuel’s “That Obscure Object of Desire” (1977),
Starting on a train platform in Seville, a debonair man dumps a bucket of water over a battered but beautiful woman after she implores him to not leave, says he does not understand. She was right, even as the man, Mathieu (Fernando Rey), rejoins the strangers in his cabin with the remaining journey to Paris to beguile them to his side of the story: that beauty they saw (Conchita) was evil and that absurd act of his rejection was right and good. As his train journeys on, the film’s movement is a composition of flashbacks. Buñuel casts two women to play Conchita (Carole Bouquet and Ángela Molina): Carole Bouquet is a willowy French woman, cool and sophisticated, crisp features with a squarer jaw, and long, silky straight chestnut hair that hints gold; Ángela Molina is a coquettish Spanish woman, fiery and dramatic, with features that curve a little more matching the waves of her long, warm chestnut hair that hints auburn. While the two actresses embody Conchita’s inner dual nature—not so much a dichotomy as passionate, disparate leanings of one woman, switching from one to another, at times frame by frame, with no excessively strict adherence to pattern—Mathieu seems to never notice neither the external change of personages, nor the inner complexity of the figure he so aggressively and then pathetically pursues. His desire is neither merely her body, nor her spirit; it is something wholly exteriorized from the character played by two equally but diversely and strikingly physical actresses.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Despair” (1978);
Hermann Hermann (Dirk Bogarde)—an owner of a chocolate factory, an unreliably self-reported Russian living in Germany, between the World Wars and during the ascent of nationalism, and the main character of Fassbinder’s Despair [Eine Reise Ins Licht], a frenetic direction of a Tom Stoppard adaptation of a Nabokov novel—has been seeing himself as another self since the earliest scenes, but midway through the film he sees himself for the first time as a double that is not himself. He hatches a plan: to make this other into him and himself into this other. His non-identical doppelgänger is Felix: a vagabond, scruffy and filthy, a little bit slow, indeterminately in the manner of a primitive or a Saint Francis, a dolt or sage—and he doesn’t resemble Hermann Hermann in the least, except through Hermann Hermann’s own eyes. Taking leave from his wife, Lydia, (who had lately already left fidelity), the double-monikered takes Felix in as his double, bathes and shaves him, dresses him as he always did himself, makes him into himself, because he has a plan that by purification and christening his doppelgänger Hermann Hermann, he can become Felix, who will then kill Felix-cum-Hermann Hermann, so as to be reborn into how his life once was. Hermann Hermann’s journey is not just his duplication and bifurcation as shown by the camera, but though the script, as he disrupts every self-narrative through repetition and difference.
David Lynch’s “Inland Empire” (2007)–characters Nikki Grace/Sue, Devon Berk/Billy
Alain Resnais’ “Last Year at Marienbad” (1961)
Man, denominated “X” in the casting notes (Giorgio Albertazzi), feeding the Woman, “A” (Delphine Seyrig), morsels of a lurid tale, uncertainly recollections or suggestions or futural preminonitions.
Abbas Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy” (2010);
James Miller (William Shimell) and Elle [She] (Juliette Binoche) in a sense are together a Doppelgänger, as there they are strangers and a married couple.
Gerry Anderson, Doppelgänger [Journey to the Far Side of the Sun], 1969
Avi Nesher, Doppelganger: The Evil Within, 1993
American horror-thriller film starring Drew Barrymore, George Newbern, George Maharis
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Doppelgänger, 2003
Japanese black comedy film
Elaine Shemilt, Doppelgänger, 1979-81
9 min. 12 sec. art video; presented at TATE Modern 2012 (http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/film/rewind); depicts artist manipulating her body and image into its double: artist’s face in mirror applying makeup, with interruption by second image of artist’s face, then first depicted image begins to paint with makeup on mirror face; ends with superimposition of both faces overlapping then back to mirror wherein artist is replaced by other; sound running underneath: two recordings of psychological analyses on schizophrenia; more info and stills at: http://www.elaineshemilt.co.uk/artworks/doppelganger/
essay on the above: Laura Leuzzi, “Notes on Doppelgänger,” for Rewind: Artists’ Video in the 70’s and 80’s, 2012: http://www.rewind.ac.uk/documents/Elaine%20Shemilt/ES001.pdf
Other Examples In Art:
British School (17th c.), The Cholmondeley Ladies, ca. 1600-10: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/perception-symmetry.
Hagia Sophia mosaic, ca. 944, depicts Justinian I giving the Virgin Mary the Hagia Sophia (hence, a mosaic depicting a gift of the site of the very mosaic itself).
Stefaneschi Triptych, Vatican Museum, alter piece depicts Cardinal Stefaneschi gifting the same alter.
Friedrich Brandseph, ca. 1868 “Doppelgängertrickaufnahme,” manipulated photograph of a doppelgänger wherein duplication flipped of a man in long wool coat and baggy trousers and baggier moustache with cigar—oddly, the one man’s image does not look terribly similar in its two renditions.
Arthur Rackham’s engraving of Poe’s “William Wilson”
Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas, 1939 double self-portrait;
Edvard Munch, Weeping Woman, 1907 series of paintings of Olga and Rosa Meissner.
Francis Alÿs, The Doppelganger (Mexico City)m 1999–present, thirteen framed photographs and text
“When arriving in a new city, wander, looking for someone who could be you. If the meeting happens, walk beside your doppelgänger until your pace adjusts to his/ hers. If not, repeat the quest in the next city” (artist quoted in Edward Platt, “Telling stories with a life of their own: Francis Alÿs,” Tate Etc. issue 19 (summer 2010): http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/telling-stories-life-their-own)
Peter Liversidge, doppelgänger, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh 2013
(solo exhibition by London-based contemporary artist; extensive use of proposals—hence, much of his work is conceptual, written—exhibition center on fascination with Max Klinger’s 1881 etchings Ein Handschuh [The Glove], which the German Symbolist used with reference to Freud and surrealists, comprising ten etchings re: psycho-sexual adventure of a lady’s elbow length glove on a skating rink): http://www.inglebygallery.com/exhibitions/peter-liversidge-doppelganger/
Cf., “Dancing with Myself,” Pinault Collection exhibit at Punta Della Dogana:
 Stuart Whatling, “Putting Mise-en-abyme in its (medieval) place,” collected conference papers: Medieval ‘mise-en-abyme’: the object depicted within itself, 2/16/2009: web.archive.org/web/20131102033517/http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/researchforum/projects/medievalarttheory/documents/Mise-en-abyme.pdf
 Fritz Kempe, Daguerrotypie in Deutschland. Vom Charme der frühen Fotografie (Heering-Verlag, 1979), image at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FBrandseph_-_Doppelg%C3%A4ngertrickaufnahme_ca.1868_(DD233).jpg
 Arthur Rackham illustration, Russian printing of Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination, 1935, image at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:39_rackham_poe_williamwilson.jpg
Other Examples in Scholarship:
Dimitris Vardoulakis, The Doppelgänger: Literature’s Philosophy (New York: Fordham UP, 2010).
Anneke Smelik, And the Mirror Cracked: Feminist Cinema and Film Theory, Esp. pp.145ff.—esp. analysis of film Sweetie via Freudian ‘double’.
Mark Pendergrast, Mirror Mirror: A History of the Human Love Affair with Reflection (New York: Basic Books, 2003).
Patrick Stokes, Kierkegaard’s Mirrors: Interest, Self, and Moral Vision (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
Eileen Reeves, Galileo’s Glassworks: The Telescope and the Mirror (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2008).
Maps and Mirrors: Topologies of Art and Politics, ed. Steve Martinot (Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 2001).
Natasha Synessios, Mirror, KINOfiles Film Companion 6 (London: I. B. Tauris Publishers, 2001).
Joanne Maguire Robinson, Nobility and Annihilation in Marguerite Porete’s Mirror of Simple Souls (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001).
Wendy Rachele Terry, Seeing Marguerite in the Mirror: A Linguistic Analysis of Porete’s Mirror of Simple Souls, Dissertation Manuscript, Graduate Theological Union, May 2007.
Thomas P. Brockelman, The Frame and the Mirror: On Collage and the Postmodern (Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 2001).
David Chaim Smith, The Kabbalistic Mirror of Genesis: Commentary on Genesis 1-3 (Glasgow: Daat Press, 2010).
François Hartog, The Mirror of Herdotus: The Representation of the Other in the Writing of History, trans. Janet Lloyd (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988).
Jean Baudrillard, The Mirror of Production (St. Louis: Telos Press, 1975).
Christopher Peacocke, The Mirror of the World: Subjects, Consciousness, and Self-Consciousness (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
Rodolphe Gasché, The Tain of the Mirror: Derrida and the Philosophy of Reflection (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1986).
Linda L. Williams, Nietzsche’s Mirror: The World as Will to Power (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2001).
Jacqueline Klooster, Poetry as Window and Mirror: Positioning the Poet in Hellenistic Poetry (Leiden: Brill, 2011).
Tiina Arppe, “Sorcerer’s Apprentices and the ‘Will to Figuration:’ The Ambiguous Heritage of the Collège de Sociologie,” Theory, Culture & Society 26, 4 (2009): 117-145.
Critical Psychiatry: The Limits of Madness, ed. D. B. Double (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).
Dario Grossi, Andrea Soricelli, Marta Ponari, Elena Salvatore, Mario Quarantelli, Anna Prinster, and Luigi Trojano, “Structural connectivity in a single case of progressive prosopagnosia: The role of the right inferior longitudinal fasciculus,” Cortex 56 (2014): 111-120.
Lucy Yardley, Lisa McDermott, Stephanie Pisarski, Brad Duchaine, Ken Nakayama, “Psychosocial consequences of developmental prosopagnosia: A problem of recognition,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research 65 (2008) 445–451.
Ebony Murray, Peter J. Hills, Rachel J. Bennetts, Sarah Bate, “Identifying Hallmark Symptoms of Developmental Prosopagnosia for Non-Experts” Scientific Reports 8 (2018):
Philip I. N. Ulrich, David T. Wilkinson, Heather J. Ferguson, Laura Smith, Markus Bindemann, Robert A. Johnston, and Laura Schmalzl, “Perceptual and Memorial Contributions to Developmental Prosopagnosia,” Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (2016).
Joseph DeGutis, Sarah Cohan, and Ken Nakayama, “Holistic face training enhances face processing in developmental prosopagnosia,” Brain: A Journal of Neurology 137 (2014): 1718-1798.
Markus Bindemann and Robert A. Johnston “Understanding how Unfamiliar Faces become Familiar: Introduction to a Special Issue on Face Learning,” Psychology, 70, 5 (2017): 859-862.
Jeremy B. Wilmer, Laura T. Germine and Ken Nakayama, “Face recognition: a model specific ability,” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8 (2014):