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Landscapes of fear

Author: Yi-fu Tuan
Publisher: Oxford : Blackwell, 1980, ©1979.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Fear is important to us: deprived of it we would soon die. It is, too, one of the most potent weapons employed by church and state in spiritual and social control. As an emotion it differs little whether inspired with reason or without: bathroom spiders excite similar feelings either English black or Australian red. This book is an examination of fear among different cultures and people from prehistory to the  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Yi-fu Tuan
ISBN: 0631128212 9780631128212 0631128611 9780631128618
OCLC Number: 16496036
Notes: Originally published: New York : Pantheon Books, ©1979.
Includes index.
Description: 262 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Fear in the growing child --
The child as unformed nature --
"Fearless" societies --
Fear of nature: great hunters and pioneer farmers --
Natural calamities and famines --
Fear in the medieval world --
Fear of disease --
Fear of human nature: witches --
Fear of human nature: ghosts --
Violence and fear in the countryside --
Fear in the city --
Public humilitation and execution --
Exile and confinement --
The open circle --
Fears: past and present.
Responsibility: Yi-fu Tuan.

Abstract:

Fear is important to us: deprived of it we would soon die. It is, too, one of the most potent weapons employed by church and state in spiritual and social control. As an emotion it differs little whether inspired with reason or without: bathroom spiders excite similar feelings either English black or Australian red. This book is an examination of fear among different cultures and people from prehistory to the present. Professor Tuan begins by comparing animal and human fear and by tracing its development in children. He examines the roles of fantasy, superstition, magic and religion in creating and counteracting fear. The author then discusses Man's fear of Man. He describes, for example, the association of witchcraft with 'landscapes of the cursed' and of ghosts and spirits with the haunted realm. He shows that it is a short step from these dreaded places to the fears associated with the everyday landscapes of town and countryside. Our physical and mental surroundings may not only excite fear but be shaped by it. The author argues that every human construction is a component in a landscape of fear in that it exists to keep out chaos: walls, fences and frontiers on the one hand and fairytales and philosophical system on the other are all shelters within which we can, we hope, be at rest, if only temporarrily, from the siege of inimical experience and of doubt. -- Book jacket.

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