The Atlantic offers a superb and surprising Gothic metaphor in an article this week. A discussion of a slang term's decline (the word is bae) offers this imaginative comparison:
At that point, the term bae had already been used by the official social-media accounts of Olive Garden, Jamba Juice, Pizza Hut, Whole Foods, Mountain Dew, AT&T, Wal-Mart, Burger King and, not surprisingly, the notoriously idiosyncratic Internet personas of Arby’s and Denny’s. Each time, the word was delivered with magnificently forceful offhandedness, the calculated ease of the doll that comes to life and tries to pass herself off as a real girl but fails to fully conceal the hinges in her knees. (“What hinges? Oh, these?”) (emphases added)
We're back in Kleist land, suddenly, with the term lurching into semihuman, uncanny life. Well done, James Hamblin.
"Grace appears most purely in that human form which either has no consciousness or an infinite consciousness. That is, in the puppet or in the god."
"Does that mean", I said in some bewilderment, "that we must eat again of the tree of knowledge in order to return to the state of innocence?"
"Of course", he said, "but that's the final chapter in the history of the world."