Otto Rank (1884-1939) the early disciple and colleague of Freud, who later broke with him and developed his own psychoanalytic school, was a many-sided man whose genius found expression beyond the strictly psychoanalytic field in contributions to the criticism of art and literature, and the history of myth and religion.The Double, inspired partially by H.H. Ewer's silent film classic 'The Student of Prague', is primarily a study of the Doppelganger theme as it appears in European and American literature, exemplified in the works by such authors as Goethe, Hoffman, Dostoevsky and Wilde. By integrating psychoanalytic concepts with insights from poetry and myth, the investigation is extended to examine issues at the core of human existence: identity, narcissism, the relation of past to present, and the fear of death.In his book 'Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank', Rank's biographer E. J. Lieberman has described The Double as a "seminal Work on the relation of shadow, reflection, ghost and twin to the idea of soul and immortality".