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Titel: Flying (human) bodies in the fine arts - dreams and daydreams of flying
Autoren: Schönhammer, Rainer
Erscheinungsdatum: 2000
Zusammenfassung: In a lecture given in the year 1882 the Vienna Physiologist Sigmund Exner considered "The physiology of flying and floating in the fine arts" (Exner, 1882). In this still fascinating paper Exner reflects in a phenomenological approach on the experiental foundation of the depiction of flying human (respectively superhuman) bodys in classic artworks (e.g. Giorgione, Giotto, Masaccio, Michelangelo, Rubens and Titoretto). Referring to Fechner Exner basically assumes that pictorial suggestions of flying and floating bodies correspond to the recollection of wake human perception. Once in the lecture he mentions his own experience of flying in dreams and ascribes his sensations during these dreams to the wake experience of swimming. My paper follows Exner's hint and analyses the role of dreams in the (artful depicted) imagination of flying and floating bodies. It is based on a qualitative content analysis of flying dreams (collected by interviews and by review of cases reported in the scientific and popular literature on dreams) and daydreams of flying (spontaneous or evoked during an interview). The results suggest that dreams of flying involve sensations in their own right even if mentation in dreams recurs to the recollection of wake perception. Further there is some evidence that certain stiles/aspects of depicting flying and floating bodys are rooted in flying dreams, whereas others are more common to typical aspects of daydreams of flying. In the paper I will discuss the phenomenological findings of my research in the context of recent results in the field of psychobiology of dreaming.
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