Landscapes of Fear
Publication Year: 2013
To be human is to experience fear, but what is it exactly that makes us fearful? Landscapes of Fear—written immediately after his classic Space and Place—is renowned geographer Yi-Fu Tuan’s influential exploration of the spaces of fear and of how these landscapes shift during our lives and vary throughout history.
In a series of linked essays that journey broadly across place, time, and cultures, Tuan examines the diverse manifestations and causes of fear in individuals and societies: he describes the horror created by epidemic disease and supernatural visions of witches and ghosts; violence and fear in the country and the city; fears of drought, flood, famine, and disease; and the ways in which authorities devise landscapes of terror to instill fear and subservience in their own populations.
In this groundbreaking work—now with a new preface by the author—Yi-Fu Tuan reaches back into our prehistory to discover what is universal and what is particular in our inheritance of fear. Tuan emphasizes that human fear is a constant; it causes us to draw what he calls our “circles of safety” and at the same time acts as a foundational impetus behind curiosity, growth, and adventure.
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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...and by the way I put this information together in accessible or-der. I believe that the book still serves a useful purpose, espe-by problems of the day in all their confining detail and specific-ity, may benefit from seeing them in a broader cultural-histori-should admit first that I simply couldn't do it today: I no longer...
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...ranging from exegeses on fairy tales to treatises on criminal law.To the authors of these specialized works I clearly owe a generalHathaway, J. M. Houston, J. B. Jackson, Jane Kelber, C. T. Kuan,...
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...social occasions; dread of corpses and of the supernatural; fearof disease, war, and natural calamities; uneasiness at the sightof hospitals and prisons; fear of muggers in desolate streets andment, others do not. Certain kinds of fears haunt children, othersfear is a theme—either covert as in stories of courage and suc-...
2. Fear in the Growing Child
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The child lives in a magical world of innocence and joy, a shel-but then argues that he has "reason to be grateful to them. Theyled the way to a veritable Eden of visual and tactile sensations."1of memory. Look casually at the baby in the crib, and "the sleepdreams. Night terrors afflict children one to two years old. The...
3. The Child as Unformed Nature
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Children have reason to fear adults, even those closest to them.fourth century A.D., neither law nor public opinion found infan-B.C.) asked, "Do we not cast away from us our spittle, lice, andsuch like, as things unprofitable, which nevertheless are engen-the fierce and savage ox we slay; sickly sheep we put to the knife...
4. "Fearless" Societies
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...of fear so explicitly, but nonetheless it is there in the midst of allorder; rulers fear dissension and rebellion; the ruled fear pun-information available but also on how we choose to interpret it.societies on the islands of the South Pacific. In the nineteenthcentury, in reaction to the horrors of the industrial revolution,...
5. Fear of Nature: Great Hunters and Pioneer Farmers
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Archaic ways of living have survived into the modern era. In therain forest as also in the desert, small bands of people with keenthe habits and livelihood of these primitive groups tell us some-unspecialized gathering and hunting in a richly diversified eco-logical niche, and the other based on specialized skills needed to...
6. Natural Calamities and Famines
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...ment does not automatically produce a sense of security: subsis-hunter-gatherers. Likewise, the move from village to state, fromculture to civilization, does not necessarily result in any signifi-by local nature spirits who require frequent propitiation; by con-A notable fact about archaic civilizations is that they evince a...
7. Fear in the Medieval World
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...times, in archaic civilizations, and in tribal and traditional soci-eties. Another was and is human nature, its fickleness, its poten-is need, however, to see how all of them appear to dovetail withsatisfy this need, we shall explore medieval Europe. A good rea-son for selecting Europe is, of course, its historical role in gener-...
8. Fear of Disease
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Signs of life are all around us, but so, if we choose to look, aretrunks; wounded, sick, dead, and dying animals. Yet, despite thetherefore must adapt or submit to its rules, nowhere in the worldnature as given, but not the alternations of sickness and health,We are biased in favor of life, particularly as it is manifested...
9. Fear of Human Nature: Witches
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It is reasonable to fear the wilder manifestations of nature. Westill see the need to protect ourselves against flood, lightning,forces of nature. We cannot, in fact, feel strongly about any ob-yond the threat of natural forces and spirits, when it is identifiedthe cause is recognizable only in the damage that comes to light....
10. Fear of Human Nature: Ghosts
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Ghosts are dead persons who, in some sense, are still alive. Theyspirits of the dead can be a force for good; if such is the belief,tributed to them, then they are ghosts to be propitiated. An an-threaten us just as beasts, monsters, and witches do. We need thesence. Such ambiguity is intensified in our attitude to the dead,...
11. Violence and Fear in the Countryside
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A sign of efficient, if not necessarily good, government is peacein the open countryside as well as in the city. Early in the fourthlested, or threatened. You have seen the natives peacefully gath-the evidence for this assertion is indirect, it is persuasive. A847. During this period he traveled extensively by boat on rivers...
12. Fear in the City
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...fect order and harmony in both its architectural setting and itsthat its root lay in a prestigious ceremonial center rather thanin a village.1 An early and essential function of the city was toity in the heavens that they could not find on earth. The Greeks,realms of nature was at least implicitly recognized. In the heav-...
13. Public Humiliation and Execution
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...within the social net, ostracism is normally sufficient to bringthey must sometimes be killed, but the killing is not justified asnent of society, social sanctions lose effectiveness. Rulers, fromFor force to be an effective deterrent, people in authority oncebelieved that it must be both severe and visible. The result was...
14. Exile and Confinement
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Complex societies are intricate codes of exchange. Some of theserebellion). Its diversified and stratified population inevitablycontains elements which, for different reasons, deviate from thevagrants and loiterers and, in general, the dispossessed and root-unstable drifters; they have no ties to place, family, and worldly...
15. The Open Circle
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...beings but all higher animals. "Security" and "curiosity" have aknow by virtue of their brain and distant sensors, that there isquisitiveness. If temporary, surprise and anxiety can be pleasantas long as we have ultimate control. The infant, from the safetyof its crib, enjoys surprise and takes pleasure in games of peek-a-...
16. Fears: Past and Present
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...ders, and about elderly residents of the inner cities so afraid thatthey are virtually prisoners within their own homes. While well-appear to be anxious about the future, their own as well as thatare getting worse"; the future promises not only further deterio-ration of the inner cities but ecological crisis, racial tension,...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2013