The Culture of Pain
This is a book about the meanings we make out of pain. The greatest surprise I encountered in discussing this topic over the past ten years was the consistency with which I was asked a single unvarying question: Are you writing about physical pain or mental pain? The overwhelming consistency of this response convinces me that modern culture rests upon and underlying belief so strong that it grips us with the force of a founding myth. Call it the Myth of Two Pains. We live in an era when many people believe--as a basic, unexamined foundation of thought--that pain comes divided into separate types: physical and mental. These two types of pain, so the myth goes, are as different as land and sea. You feel physical pain if your arm breaks, and you feel mental pain if your heart breaks. Between these two different events we seem to imagine a gulf so wide and deep that it might as well be filled by a sea that is impossible to navigate.
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A tour de force.This book has to be amongst the best books to understand what pain is all about. The author has made painstaking efforts to understand pain from the time of the ancient greeks to modern times. His knowledge about and command of the many traditions from religion to philosophy to medicine to modern culture makes this a must have for those wanting to understand pain from a historical and cultural perspective. In addition, the person in pain can learn from the many insights throughout history that the author shares.
They don't make books like this anymore and for people in pain or those who are passonate about understanding pain this book has no parallel.
THE MEANINGS OF PAIN
AN INVISIBLE EPIDEMIC
THE PAIN OF COMEDY
HYSTERIA PAIN AND GENDER
VISIONARY PAIN AND THE POLITICS OF SUFFERING
PAIN IS ALWAYS IN YOUR HEAD
THE USES OF PAIN
Emotion and Social Theory: Corporeal Reflections on the (Ir) Rational
Limited preview - 2001