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The Madness of Prince Hamlet and Other Extraordinary States of Mind

Robert M. Youngson

27 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0786706244 / ISBN 13: 9780786706242
Published by Carroll and Graf Publishers, 1999
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Madness of Prince Hamlet and Other ...

Publisher: Carroll and Graf Publishers

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

About this title


Among this stimulating book's questions and surprising answers, The Madness of Prince Hamlet asks, Was the Prince of Denmark suffering from Ganser Syndrome (also known as the syndrome of the almost correct answer)? Whether analyzing the tics of Tourettes's Syndrome, male phantom pregnancy, or "demonic possession" or explicating the extremes of ordinary behavior such as love, anger, or jealousy, Dr. Robert Youngson astonishes, entertains, and informs readers about the extraordinary processes of the mind.

From Kirkus Reviews:

According to Youngson, a little learning is a delightful thing, and its a point he demonstrates repeatedly in this engaging and opinionated compendium of essays on the amazing peculiarities of the human mind. Youngson, a former department head in the British Army Medical Service, aims to provoke as well as to entertain and enlighten. Among those sure to be offended are believers in homeopathy (his example of mass delusional insanity); British psychiatrists, whose tidying-up function he equates more with that of the police and the judiciary than that of the medical profession; the Roman Catholic Church, which he criticizes for giving respectability to a superstitious belief, i.e., demonic possession; and Freudians, for his description of Freud as not in any sense a scientist, but a creative literary man and psychoanalysis as a pseudoscience. These erudite essays, which are filled with literary and historical examples and personal observations, are mostly quite short and neednt be read in any particular order, which makes this work perfect for casual browsing. There are nearly 60 essays, and the range of topics is enormousnymphomania, dj... vu, phantom pregnancy, brainwashing, Ganser syndrome (simulated madness, ... la Hamlet), hypnotic states, amnesia, autism, hypochondria, idiot savants, belief in alien abductions, multiple personalitiesplus a series of pieces on the minds of criminals, mathematicians, musicians, writers, and the aging. Appropriately enough, the final one is on the dying mind, which introduces the question of near-death experiences. Throughout, skeptic Youngson is a skilled debunker and a greater detector of irrationality, but he acknowledges that for most people, there is simply too much science around and not enough mystery. Psychology 101 was never such great fun. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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