phantasmagoria


phantasmagoria
   The term phantasmagoria is indebted to the Greek noun phantasma (ghost, spectre). It is used primarily to denote a shifting series ofillusions or dream images occurring in * dreams, * daydreams, and fantasies, but it is also used as a synonym for 'trip' (as in *LSD trip). The origin of the term has been variously attributed to the Belgian physicist Étienne-Gaspard Robert (1764-1837), also known as Etienne Robertson, and the German or Flemish magician Paul Philidor, also known as Paul M. de Philipstahl, who ran a magic lantern show entitled Phantasmagoria in Western Europe around 1800. An alternative meaning of the term phantasmagoria is the raising or perceiving of spirits of the dead. As noted in 1883 by the British scientist Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911), "A common form of vision is a phantasmagoria, or the appearance of a crowd of phantoms, sometimes hurrying past like men in a street. It is occasionally seen in broad daylight, much more often in the dark; it may be at the instant of putting out the candle, but it generally comes on when the person is in bed, preparing to sleep, but by no means yet asleep." The latter passage would seem to suggest a conceptual and phenomenolog-ical kinship with *hypnagogic hallucinations, also known as * faces in the dark.
   References
   Eyries, J.B. (1812). Fantasmagoriana, ou Recueil d'histoires d'apparitions de spectres, revenans, fantomes, etc. Traduit par un amateur. Paris: Lenormant et Schoell. Galton, F. (1883). Inquiries into human faculty and its development. London: J.M. Dent & Sons.
   Robertson, É.-G. (1831). Mémoires récréatifs, scientifiques et anecdotiques. Tome 1 et 2. Paris: Chez l'auteur et à la Librairie de Wurtz.
   VandenBos, G.R., ed. (2007). APA dictionary of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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  • phantasmagoria — n. pl. phantasmagories [fan taz΄mə gôr′ē ə] n. [Fr fantasmagorie < Gr phantasma,PHANTASM + agoreuein, to speak in public < ageirein, to assemble (see GREGARIOUS): prob. infl. by Fr allegorie,ALLEGORY] 1. an early type of magic lantern show… …   English World dictionary

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