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Possessed – Hypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Possessed: Hypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema

Stefan Andriopoulos


Silent cinema and contemporaneous literature explored themes of mesmerism, possession, and the ominous agency of corporate bodies that subsumed individual identities. At the same time, critics accused film itself of exerting a hypnotic influence over spellbound audiences. This book shows that all this anxiety over being governed by an outside force was no marginal oddity, but rather a pervasive concern in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Tracing this preoccupation through the period's films—as well as its legal, medical, and literary texts—the author pays particular attention ... More

Keywords: silent cinema, mesmerism, possession, murder, medical researchers, hypnotized subject, violent crimes, hypnotist, unlimited power, modernist fiction

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780226020549
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226020570.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stefan Andriopoulos, author