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PossessedHypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema$
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Stefan Andriopoulos

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226020549

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226020570.001.0001

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Staging the Hypnotic Crime

Staging the Hypnotic Crime

Chapter:
(p.66) III Staging the Hypnotic Crime
Source:
Possessed
Author(s):

Stefan Andriopoulos

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226020570.003.0004

This chapter shows that a fundamental theatricality also marked late nineteenth-century medical research into the forensic significance of hypnosis. Striving to establish the possibility of real criminal suggestions, medical researchers staged the “strange spectacle” of artificial hypnotic crimes. The physicians presented these simulations—enacted with wooden daggers and blank cartridges—as evidence for the unlimited power of suggestion. Skeptical opponents, however, criticized these “fake crimes,” denouncing them as scientifically worthless “performance” and “comedy.”

Keywords:   medical research, hypnosis, artifical hypnotic crimes, fake crimes, criminal suggestion

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