Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some Historic, Some Hysteric Esoterica

Maybe you saw this coming, maybe you did not, but I am not completely done with The Napoleon of the Neuroses, Jean-Martin Charcot, who by the way, was given this nickname for his public hypnosis sessions. Apparently a man of decent charisma and demeanor, the nickname stuck.

And so, we enter this Saturday's esoteric bout with
Some Historic, Some Hysteric. How fitting for a Napoleonic character to have a play written about the going-ons in one's practice. This particular play, taken from some of Charcot's transcripts of his famous "Tuesday Lectures," Invention of Hysteria: Charcot and the Photographic Iconography of the Salpetriere, The Diaries of Hannah Cullwick, Victorian Maidservant (Douglass Series on Women's Lives & the Meaning of Gender), and quotes by Freud, portrays the hysterics that Charcot induced hypnotically and observed at the Salpêtrière Hospital, the largest hospital in the world at that time. In this production he is called "The Caesar of the Salpêtrière." His lectures were open to the public. I really think Charcot may have been the beginning of stage hypnosis.

Though this play has closed, hopefully someone will revive it again.

New Stage Theatre Company

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