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Muses, madmen, and prophets : rethinking the history, science, and meaning of au
Daniel B. Smith
Adult Nonfiction RC553.A84 S65 2007

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From Library Journal:

Inspired by a desire to understand the interior voices that tormented his father, freelance journalist Smith delivers an eloquently written and extensively researched treatise on auditory hallucination. Studied by the scientific community, voice hearing is a historically well-documented, relatively common phenomenon known to every culture. Auditory hallucinations run the gamut from the mundane-hearing one's name or the voice of a loved one-to the sublime (the muses claimed by great poets Rainer Maria Rilke and William Blake). Often, voices are perceived and cherished as a direct connection to God, as with the divine and mystical revelations of the Old Testament prophets or of St. Teresa of Avila. Western culture today predominantly characterizes auditory hallucination as the relentless, debilitating chatter that defines schizophrenia; Smith, however, is quick to point out that not all voice hearers are mentally ill. In fact, auditory hallucination only recently moved from being an accepted mystical experience to being seen as a pathological first step to madness. Including a compassionate exploration of the motivations and efficacy of modern psychiatric treatment, this study is highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-Janet Tapper, Western States Chiropractic Coll. Lib., Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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