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Medium 9781628872309


Brewer, Stephen FrommerMedia ePub

Cathedral Santa Maria Nuova of Monreale.

As with any destination, a little background reading can help you to understand more. Many Italy stereotypes are accurate—children are fussed over wherever they go, food and soccer are like religion, the north–south divide is alive and well, bureaucracy is a frustrating feature of daily life. Some are wide of the mark—not every Italian you meet will be open and effusive. Occasionally they do taciturn pretty well, too.

The most important thing to remember is that, for a land so steeped in history—3 millennia and counting—Italy has only a short history as a country. In 2011 it celebrated its 150th birthday. Prior to 1861, the map of the peninsula was in constant flux. And you'll find Sicily to be very different than other parts of Italy.

A Brief History of Sicily

Sicily’s tenuous position—strung between North Africa and the European mainland, just 160km (100 miles) from Cap Bon in Tunisia on one side and 3km (2 miles) from Calabria in Italy on the other—has made it a natural stepping stone for settlers and invaders throughout its long history. The earliest-known inhabitants were the Sicanians, who most likely came from somewhere in the eastern Mediterranean in the 3rd millennium b.c. A Latin people called the Sikels arrived around 1200 b.c., and the Elymians from Asia Minor came to the island around 1100 b.c. The merging of these three early peoples formed the basis for the uniquely Sicilian ethnicity; it was added to, of course, over the next 3,000 years.

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Medium 9781782201984

Introduction: Fear of music

Wilson, Scott Karnac Books ePub

“I was walking along a path with two friends—the sun was setting—suddenly the sky turned blood red—I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence—there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city—my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety—and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature”

(Edvard Munch, Journal, Nice, 22 January 1892)

Whether it was the volcanic eruption that burst from Krakatoa to leave a blood-red sky from 1883–1884, the scream of nature red in tooth and claw, or the dying agonies of God, the strange figure in Edvard Munch's famous painting presses its hands against its ears in horror and agony. The Scream is not just a single image created in 1893, of course, but a series of images produced between 1893 and 1910. It is a series of repetitions of the same image of profound dissonance with one's sonic environment. One of the most resonant images of the twentieth century and beyond, The Scream reverberates in aspects of culture from the exalted to the disposable. Among many other things, it is a powerful statement that the heavens no longer resound with the music of the spheres, but are rent by a primal scream that fulminates from the dawn of time. While in this muddy vesture of decay we cannot hear the harmony of immortal souls, and neither do we believe in them any more; we do sense an inhuman voice: a scream passing through nature, and the more we cover our ears against its background radiation, the more loudly it echoes throughout inner and outer space like cosmic tinnitus.

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Medium 9781628871586

5 Isla Mujeres & Cozumel

Christine Delsol FrommerMedia ePub


Isla Mujeres & Cozumel

by Maribeth Mellin

These two Caribbean islands are among the most peaceful beach destinations in Mexico, both easy jaunts from Cancún and the Riviera Maya. Although day-trippers and cruise-ship visitors come ashore, the islands rarely feel overrun, and come evening the uncrowded streets and relaxed energy of the residents epitomize their enduring tranquility. Neither Isla Mujeres nor Cozumel is particularly large, and they each still have that small island feel—pristine beaches, bumpy roads that don’t go far, and a seemingly timeless setting.

Fish-shaped Isla Mujeres lies 13km (8 miles) northeast of Cancún, a quick boat ride away. Despite this proximity, Isla Mujeres remains a little-known gem filled with regional and rustic charm, a world removed from its glittery neighbor. During pre-Hispanic times, Maya women would cross over to the island to make offerings to the goddess of fertility, Ixchel. Today’s pilgrims arrive on passenger ferries from Cancún’s Puerto Juárez and the Hotel Zone’s Embarcadero at Playa Linda; car ferries arrive from Punta Sam. Hotels range from rustic to boutique, and the value of accommodations and dining are among the best one can find in this part of Mexico.

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Medium 9781855757820

Chapter Ten - “Tears are Better than Blood; Words are better than Tears”: Can we Address Current, Ongoing Conflict?

Karnac Books ePub


“Tears are better than blood; words are better than tears”: can we address current, ongoing conflict?

M. Fakhry Davids


The map of the Middle East today is indelibly marked by two large-scale migrations in the twentieth century. The first is the influx into the region of large numbers of Jews during and immediately after the Nazi era in Europe. The second is the movement from their homes of large numbers of Palestinians during the events involved in the establishment of the state of Israel.

Physical migration from one location to another can be tracked with relative ease. However, the process of locating oneself psychically within a new geographical space is more complex. It takes longer, is harder to track reliably, and varies from person to person, yet these internal shifts are vital if the individual is to inhabit their new home fully (Grinberg & Grinberg, 1984). Psychoanalytically, this involves mourning for the lost world, a process that is painful and stirs up anxiety, even under optimal conditions, stemming from the way in which earlier inner migrations were managed at the individual level. The work of mourning can be complicated by the presence of excessive conflict between self and lost object (Freud, 1917e). Both the above migrations involve conflict in the relationship between the migrant and an “other” implicated in that migration—the Nazi/German for the Israeli, and Israeli/Jew for the Palestinian—and it is self-evident that in both cases their inner relationship remains a locus of intense conflict which, it can be argued, stands in the way of these groups being able to mourn and thus to settle fully into the new external situation in which they find themselves (Hadary, 2007).

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Medium 9781855755048

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Trauma and psychosis

De Masi, Franco Karnac Books ePub

“The aetiology common to the onset of a psychoneurosis and of a psychosis always remains the same. It consists in a frustration, a non-fulfilment, of one of those childhood wishes which are for ever undefeated and which are so deeply rooted in our phylogenetically determined organization”

(Freud, 1924b, p. 151)

This chapter is concerned with the complex relationship between trauma and the psychotic state. After examining infantile emotional trauma as an experience conducive to the onset of illness in adult life, I shall discuss the traumatic effect of psychosis on the psyche, and, last, describe the inability to tolerate frustration in the psychotic state.

Emotional trauma

Piera Aulagnier (1975) links psychotic illness to maternal violence, the violence practised in normal circumstances by a mother on herchild to structure his reality sense. In the case of a psychotic patient, excessive violence has the effect of an intrusive action that creates an object with the same characteristics in the child’s mind. To rid himself of the pressure of the intrusive object, the child must construct a self-representation contrary to the mother’s will by violent methods. The violence inflicted by one mind on another is repeated in the analytic process: the patient feels compelled to believe in his delusion, and the analyst likewise feels invaded by a distorted and alien kind of thinking.

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