The Land of Remorse: A Study of Southern Italian Tarantism

: De Martino, Ernesto

The Land of Remorse (La Terra del Rimorso, first Italian edition 1961) is a classic work by Ernesto De Martino, the founding figure of Italian cultural anthropology and ethnopsychiatry. Based on fieldwork conducted in the Salentine peninsula of Southern Italy in 1959, the study deals with the phenomenon of Apulian tarantism, a form of possession related to the belief in the bite of a mythical tarantula and its ritual cure in the tarantella dance. De Martino draws together the contributions of various specialists who participated in the fieldwork, including a psychologist, a psychiatrist, an ethnomusicologist and a social anthropologist. As both an ethnologist and classically-trained religious historian, the author reviews the fieldwork data through the lens of tarantism’s historical analysis. Never losing sight of his own relationship to the subjects of his study, he is able to restore the connection between the “history-less” peasants of the Salentine and the elites who wrote about tarantism in learned treatises from the Middle Ages on. The result is a compassionate and compelling account of tarantism, which no longer appears as mere mental illness or as a “survival” of shamanistic irrationality, but as a product of a cultural history defined from above, endowed with its own forms of rationality. The Land of Remorse offers an excellent introduction to Ernesto De Martino’s theoretical and methodological perspective. It will be of interest to a wide range of academic fields, including cultural anthropology, folklore, medical anthropology, ethnopsychiatry, ethnomusicology, semiotics, classics, religious studies and the history of philosophy and science. Along with appendices featuring essays on tarantism by specialist members of De Martino’s research team, this annotated edition includes the fieldwork photographs of those afflicted by tarantism as they perform the ritual exorcism, an example of the author’s early use of visual methods in ethnographic research. Read more…

The Cry of Mute Children: Psychoanalytic Perspective of the Second Generation of the Holocaust

: Kogan, Ilany

Ilany Kogan has written a powerful and astute book on the psychoanalytic treatment of the offspring of Holocaust survivors, drawing on her experience of being an analyst to some of their sons and daughters. Through an in-dept, sensitive presentation of eight analyses conducted with children of survivors, the author shows how the shadow of the Holocaust sets the stage for the intrapsychic drama played out by the second generation during the course of their analytic journey. These patients grapple with the meaning of the Holocaust – conscious and unconscious – in their own lives as well as the lives of their parents … Illany Kogan’s style is unique. She provides a depth and richness of detail in her patients’ fantasy words, as well as her own experience of countertransference. She invites the reader to participate in the vicissitudes of the analytic process, including moments of frustration, analytic impasses and ruptures in the therapeutic alliance. Through her open, unassuming style, her well-organized writing and the judicious use of verbatim material, the author breathes life into these analytic stories … The important insights revealed in this book can inform us not only in the realm of this particular group of patients but all those whose lives are touched by the reality of war, violence and trauma.’ Dr Ann Adelman, Yale University ——- ‘Ilany Kogan’s vivid description of the psychological fate of children of the survivors of Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps alert us to the long-lasting effects of severe trauma and its transmission from one generation to the next. Dehumanisation is a constant feature of human history, and this book reminds us of our need to be vigilant in the defence of civilisation.’ Dr Dinora Pines, London ——— ‘Ilany Kogan has written a book with so many truths in it that it should be required reading for all those colleagues who might be consulted by members of the second generation. Read more…

Mister Swatch: Nicolas Hayek and the Secret of Success

: Wegelin, Jurg

After the global economic collapse, creative entrepreneurs are once more seen as the solution to the business of making commerce pay, and there is no doubt that one of the most capable and successful of them all is Nicolas G. Hayek. But how did this self-made man’s flamboyant career begin? How did he go about the challenge of achieving his extraordinary success? What precisely is his relationship with the Swatch Group? All these questions, and more, are explored in a biography by Jurg Wegelin that is as critical as it is entertaining. Hayek has the Midas touch. He is considered the wunderkind of free enterprise; Franco Cologni, former head of luxury-goods brand Richemont, called him the god of the watch Industry; he is a living legend about whom, on average, at least two articles are published each day in the Swiss press. But his public image is largely Hayek’s own creation. Important chapters in his life have remained a mystery until now: his birth and upbringing in the Lebanon, his ascent from penniless immigrant to in-demand managerial consultant, his true role in the success of Swatch. Jurg Wegelin has kept track of Hayek’s business affairs for thirty years. He has travelled to the Lebanon, interviewed many of his competitors, along with politicians and former colleagues, and has closely examined Hayek’s public relations machinery and leadership style. The result is the first comprehensive biography of one of the most charismatic entrepreneurial personalities of our times. Read more…