The Evil Eye: A Casebook

Couverture
Alan Dundes
Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1992 - 318 pages

The evil eye—the power to inflict illness, damage to property, or even death simply by gazing at or praising someone—is among the most pervasive and powerful folk beliefs in the Indo-European and Semitic world. It is also one of the oldest, judging from its appearance in the Bible and in Sumerian texts five thousand years old. Remnants of the superstition persist today when we drink toasts, tip waiters, and bless sneezers. To avert the evil eye, Muslim women wear veils, baseball players avoid mentioning a no-hitter in progress, and traditional Jews say their business or health is "not bad" (rather than "good").
Though by no means universal, the evil eye continues to be a major factor in the behavior of millions of people living in the Mediterranean and Arab countries, as well as among immigrants to the Americas. This widespread superstition has attracted the attention of many scholars, and the twenty-one essays gathered in this book represent research from diverse perspectives: anthropology, classics, folklore studies, ophthalmology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, sociology, and religious studies. Some essays are fascinating reports of beliefs about the evil eye, from India and Iran to Scotland and Slovak-American communities; others analyze the origin, function, and cultural significance of this folk belief from ancient times to the present day. Editor Alan Dundes concludes the volume by proffering a comprehensive theoretical explanation of the evil eye.
Anyone who has ever knocked on wood to ward off misfortune will enjoy this generous sampling of evil eye scholarship, and may never see the world through the same eyes again.

 

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Table des matières

Or Folklore Without
3
Praise and Dispraise in Folklore
9
An Incantation in the House of Light Against the Evil
39
The Evil Eye in South Indian Folklore
55
The Evil Eye in Iran
66
The Shilluks Belief in the Evil
78
The Evil Eye and Infant Health in Lebanon
86
The Evil Eye in Some Greek Villages of the Upper
107
The Evil Eye Among EuropeanAmericans
150
A Survey
169
Reflections on the Evil Eye
181
Forms and Dynamics of a Universal
192
The Evil EyeEnvy and Greed Among the Patidar
201
The Evil Eye
211
An Essay
223
An Essay in IndoEuropean
257

The Evil Eye in Roumania and Its Antidotes
124
The Jettatura and the Evil
130
Defeating the Evil
143
Bibliographical Addendum
313
Droits d'auteur

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À propos de l'auteur (1992)

Anthropologist and folklorist Alan Dundes was born in 1934 in New York City. He received his BA in English in 1955 and his MAT in English in 1958, both from Yale University. He received his Ph.D in Folklore from Indiana University in 1962 and in 1963 he joined the teaching staff at the University of California, Berkley. He wrote over 250 journal articles and12 books and co-wrote more than 20 other books. In 1993, he became the first American to win the Pitre Prize's Sigillo d'Oro, which is an international life-time achievement award in folklore and ethnography. He died of a heart attack on March 30, 2004 at the age of 70.

Informations bibliographiques