By Ian Hacking
"It all all started one morning final July after we spotted a tender guy of twenty-six crying in his mattress in Dr. Pitre's ward. He had simply come from a protracted trip taking walks and was once exhausted, yet that used to be no longer the reason for his tears. He wept simply because he couldn't hinder himself from departing on a visit while the necessity took him; he abandoned kin, paintings, and way of life to stroll as quick as he might, immediately forward, occasionally doing 70 kilometers an afternoon walking, till in any case he will be arrested for vagrancy and thrown in prison."--Dr. Philippe Tissie, July 1886Thus starts the recorded case background of Albert Dadas, a local of France's Bordeaux area and the first clinically determined mad tourist, or fuguer. An occasional worker of an area fuel corporation, Dadas suffered from an odd compulsion that led him to trip obsessively, frequently with no identity, now not figuring out who he was once or why he traveled. He grew to become infamous for his amazing expeditions to such far-reaching spots as Algeria, Moscow, and Constantinople. clinical studies of Dadas trigger at the time of a small epidemic of compulsive mad voyagers, the epicenter of which was once Bordeaux, yet which quickly unfold all through France to Italy, Germany, and Russia.Today we're equally besieged by way of psychological health problems of the instant, reminiscent of power fatigue syndrome and a spotlight deficit hyperactivity affliction. the talk rages approximately which of those stipulations are affectations or cultural artifacts and that are "real." In Mad tourists, Ian Hacking makes use of the Dadas case to weigh the legitimacy of cultural affects as opposed to actual signs within the analysis of psychiatric issues. He argues that mental signs locate reliable houses at a given position and time, in "ecological niches" the place brief health problems flourish.Using the documents of Dadas's medical professional, Philippe Tissie, Hacking makes an attempt to make feel of this unusual epidemic. whereas telling his attention-grabbing story, he increases probing questions on the character of psychological issues, the cultural repercussions in their prognosis, and the relevance of this century-old case research for state-of-the-art overanalyzed society.
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Extra resources for Mad Travelers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illnesses (Page-Barbour Lecture)
Tapped on the shoulder, he acted as if he were awaking from a deep sleep, groggy and confused, astonished to find himself where he was, carting umbrellas. Then began a standard pattern. He was given 100 francs to obtain coke for the gas company and woke up on the train with a ticket to Paris. How much was 100 francs? When young Tissié worked nights in the train station, he was paid 30 francs a month; when he was underlibrarian for the medical faculty, his annual salary was 1,200 francs. So 100 francs was real money, but not a lot of money.
Usually a fugue was not exactly unplanned. He would get a little money together and some identity papers. At the last moment he would drink several glasses of water or stop at a bar and order a couple of glasses of barley water (orgéat) or some other soft drink. Then off he would go. Over and over again he would lose his identity papers. 29 It is hard not to think that he sometimes wanted to lose his identity. Yet late in his journeys he knew perfectly well who he was and how to get help. Overall, there is a curious mixed quality to his trips.
1. Four photographs of Albert in different states 20 Fig. 2. Two photographs of Albert, awake and hypnotized 161 Map 1. Albert's longest journeys 142 Map 2. The Bordeaux region 164 Page ix Acknowledgments I have to thank the Hannah Foundation for the History of Medicine for a grant that supported André LeBlanc's research in Bordeaux, and which covered incidental expenses. We received help from many individuals in Bordeaux itself. Mme Avisseau and Mme Prax, Sous-directrices of the Archives Départmentales de la Gironde, and Olivier Renou, the archivist who helped locate, among other things, the birth certificate of our key patient.
Mad Travelers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illnesses (Page-Barbour Lecture) by Ian Hacking