"Case" De Ferkel e Magdeleine G.

Céline Frigau Manning


Chills, acceleration of heartbeat, convulsive movements ... In addition to the usual signs identified in listening to music in hypnosis condition, some hypnotized subjects, such as Lina de Ferkel or Emma G. (pseudonym of Madeleine Guipet) offered their viewers a true aesthetic pleasure. Experiments in which hypnosis was associated with music were not uncommon in the fin-de-siècle Paris, arousing various reactions. Some authors referred that hypnotized bodies would be forced to react automatically according to the music. Others thought that the influence was induced by the musicians talent, inducing telepathy: the hypnotized woman, empty of her own ideas and images, translated the composers or interpreters invisible thoughts. Music could also appear as a sensory environment that allowed unexpectedly creative women to self-hypnotize and free themselves from social conventions. The article reconstructs the various theoretical systems developed around the phenomenon of hypnosis and musical ecstasy and analyzes the debate of the time.


Key words: Hypnosis - Music - Ecstasy - Gesture

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