The Call of the Trance

Catherine Clément

The Call of the Trance

Catherine Clément

Distributed for Seagull Books

Translated by Chris Turner
184 pages | 5 x 8 1/2 | © 2014
Cloth $21.00 ISBN: 9780857421906 Published October 2014 World sales rights except India
The Call of the Trance is a magnificent book that takes us to the unchartered frontiers of the forbidden. From initiation ceremonies to crises of hysteria, from suicide attempts to the ecstasies of witches, Catherine Clément explores in simple but scholarly terms the responses that civilizations have offered to the humanistic need for escape from the body. These “eclipses” from life and reality, pursued by people across cultures, are elusive and invariably inexpressible.

Clément details this phenomenon through the past and the present, from the witches of Loudun to current Mongolian shamans and from the eighteenth-century convulsionaries of Saint-Médard to Greeks of today, who follow in the footsteps of their earlier practices. Along the way, she questions the countless ways humans push back the limits of the mind and body, and she shows how, from Dionysian antiquity to our own day, the ecstasy of the trance state shows up in anorexia, rock music, rap, sexual reassignment, eroticism, and even Twilight-style vampire stories.

Changing Life

1. The Coup de foudre

2. Three Drops of Blood

3. Filth

4. Rutting Reindeer

5. Cats on the End of Branches (Poitou-Charentes)

6. A-e-i-o-u (Paris and Outreau, Northern France)

7. The Little Animal

8. Dracula’s Daughters (Ireland; USA)

9. The Tarantati of Apulia (Southern Italy)

10. The Bellower (The Loire)

11. Madonna Oriente and the Animal of Ecstasy

12. Trans

13. (USA; Canada)

14. When the Body Goes into Eclipse Instead of the Mind

15. Gateways to the Body

16. The Disciplines of Fear

The Art of the New

Bibliographical Note
Review Quotes
Fredericka A. Schmadel, Journal of Folklore Research
“Scholarly readers will savor the book’s rich panoply of anecdotes, gleaned from medieval romances, modern American vampire sagas, and everywhere in between. It is this colorfully rendered catalog of trance-related events and conditions that such readers will find of greatest use. . . . Leaving the reader with a desire for more – this is a hallmark of a truly effective book. Clement’s is clearly a valuable contribution to the study of human consciousness and one of its alternatives. I recommend it highly.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from Seagull Books. RSS Feed