Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Hearing Voices and the Borders of Sanity

Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Hearing Voices and the Borders of Sanity

by Daniel B. Smith
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Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Hearing Voices and the Borders of Sanity by Daniel B. Smith

An inquiry into hearing voices-one of humanity's most profound phenomena

Auditory hallucination is one of the most awe-inspiring, terrifying, and ill- understood tricks of which the human psyche is capable. In the age of modern medical science, we have relegated this experience to nothing more than a biological glitch. Yet as Daniel B. Smith puts forth in Muses, Madmen, and Prophets, some of the greatest thinkers, leaders, and prophets in history heard, listened to, and had dialogues with voices inside their heads. In a fascinating quest for understanding, Smith examines the history of this powerful phenomenon, and delivers a ringing defense of the validity of unusual human experiences.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101202128
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/22/2007
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 377,111
File size: 277 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Daniel B. Smith is a New York–based journalist and author. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, Granta, and n+1.

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"Articulate, engaging, and deeply researched."
-Dr. Jerome Groopman, The Boston Globe

-Peter D. Kramer, The New York Times Book Review

"An eloquent writer."
-San Francisco Chronicle

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Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Rethinking the History, Science and Meaning of Auditory Hallucination 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To explain how people hear disembodied voices, the author starts with a lengthy account of the normal anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing. Speech turns out to be exciting but tragic, air traversing the 8-inch rigid shower hose nozzle of the trachea, passing through vocal chords "reminiscent of labia,"' and rushing through the auditory canal only to bounce off the taut tympanic membrane. Unfortunately, like the military history of Joan of Arc later in the book, not all of it is relevant. Partially overlapping territory is covered by Oliver Sacks's "Hallucinations," Simon McCarthy-Jones's "Hearing Voices," and Wilson Van Dusen's older and odder "The Presence of Other Worlds," all of them better reads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In an articulate, and thought provoking manner, Smith breaks open the topic of hearing voices. Previously linked with schizophrenia, Smith reveals that many people, including his father, who do not have the symptoms of schizophrenia also hear voices. His research is groundbreaking, and his writing is easy to read. Highly recommended!