Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stendhal Sydrome

Kate just sent me this. Psychosomatic? I don't think so! I totally have this. I'm going to call my mom right now and try to get some sympathy for my newly discovered condition.

Stendhal syndrome
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For the film, see The Stendhal Syndrome.

The Stendhal syndrome was named after Marie-Henri Beyle (January 23, 1783 – March 23, 1842), better known by his penname Stendhal
Stendhal syndrome or Stendhal's syndrome is a
psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to art, usually when the art is particularly 'beautiful' or a large amount of art is in a single place. The term can also be used to describe a similar reaction to a surfeit of choice in other circumstances, e.g. when confronted with immense beauty in the natural world.
It is named after the famous
19th century French author Stendhal (pseudonym of Henri-Marie Beyle), who described his experience with the phenomenon during his 1817 visit to Florence, Italy in his book Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio.
Although there are many descriptions of people becoming dizzy and fainting while taking in Florentine art, especially at the
Uffizi, dating from the early 19th century on, the syndrome was only named in 1979, when it was described by Italian psychiatrist Graziella Magherini, who observed and described more than 100 similar cases among tourists and visitors in Florence. The syndrome was first diagnosed in 1982.
The term is often used when describing the reactions of audiences to music of the
Romantic period.


batty said...

Wow. I like that. Stendhal Syndrome, now I know what to call it. Do you think it applies to music too? There is a song the guys wrote that makes me cry EVERY time I hear it. I love looking at great art, for that matter I love looking at all art - gives me a place of reference for deciding what I deem great art. I realize it's different for everyone.
Can't wait for some peanut butter!

Nasty Butler said...

Hmm...like the Florentine version of those anime shows that give you seizures.


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