Download Bright Colors Falsely Seen: Synaesthesia and the Search for by Kevin T. Dann PDF

By Kevin T. Dann

In a talk along with his health practitioner, a 19th-century resident of Paris who lived close to the railroad defined sensations of color generated by way of the sounds of trains passing within the evening. This sufferer - a synaesthete - skilled "colour listening to" for letters, phrases and such a lot sounds. Synaesthesia, a phemomenon referred to now to technology for over a century, is a unprecedented kind of conception within which one experience could reply to stimuli got via different senses. This booklet offers an old therapy of synaesthesia and a heavily comparable mode of belief known as eideticism. Kevin Dann discusses divergent perspectives of synaesthesia and eideticism over the past a hundred years and explores the controversies over the importance of those strange modes of notion. Celebrated on the flip of the century as a uniquely inventive type of awareness, synaesthesia turned embroiled in a debate among Romantics who championed it as a fascinating harbinger of a brand new, extra religious age, and positivists who denounced it as primitive and irrational. the writer debunks Romantic notions of the transcendental nature of synaesthesia and indicates that even if novelist Vladimir Nabokov used to be a real synaesthete and eidetic, different contributors the Romantics thought of synaesthetes weren't. Drawing on experiences of autism and hallucinogenic medications, Dann bargains views on synaesthesia and eideticism and the way they relate to the evolution of human cognizance.

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Additional info for Bright Colors Falsely Seen: Synaesthesia and the Search for Transcendental Knowledge

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The association that grew to be almost universal-of synaesthesia with Baudelaire, and of Baudelaire with Swedenborg, that legendary visionary-only increased the mystique synaesthesia of as a form of supreme perception. The associative tendency moved forward in time as well as back. By 1890, it was a commonplaceto linkBaudelaire’s “Correspondances” (citing in particular the line “Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se rtpondent”), Rimbaud’s “Voyelles,” and synaesthesia. The two poems were spoken of as if they were both motivated by the desire to celebrate synaesthesia, and the unseen world summoned by it, in poetic language.

ButBabbitt’s complaint was the commonly voiced one that thecorrespondences were ultimately hermeticin effect, cutting off each symbol-maker fromothers: “We may indeed say of the whole tendency in its extremer forms, that ‘that way madness lies’” (p. Though Babbitt admitted to the empirical reality of chromaesthesia, he suspected that it wasless a specialcase of “heightened (p. He seized on Huysmans’s sensibility” than a “sign of nervous disorder” Des Esseintes, who ends up “collapsinginto the arms of a nervespecialist,” as the symbol of the fate of the synaesthetic impulse in the arts: “In reducing everything to suggestionDes Esseintes merely expressesin his own way what is 36 Fascination with Synaesthesia in France more and morea universal tendency.

Millet’s exhaustive review of the range of manifestations of color hearing made no real effort to distinguish between artistic attempts to create “color music” or “synaesthetic theater” and the scientific reports on individual chromaesthetes. This was not because he had no command of the scientific literature; indeed, his review of that literature wasas thorough as any up until that point. The degree to which these two realms overlap in his book in truth reflects the situation in France, where the debate Fascination with Synaesthesia in France about synaesthesia became a debate about the future of French culture.

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