Essais sur l'histoire de la mort en Occident : Du Moyen Âge by Philippe Ariès

By Philippe Ariès

Dans cette série d'essais visant à retracer l'évolution des attitudes devant los angeles mort de l'homme occidental, Philippe Ariès se situe à l. a. limite du biologique et du culturel, au niveau de l'inconscient collectif. L'ouvrage start à l'époque du Moyen Âge, au temps de los angeles "mort apprivoisée", où aucune crainte n'accompagnait son spectacle chez les vivants et où le cimetière servait souvent de lieu de sociabilité, de danse et de trade. Puis, l'art et los angeles littérature des débuts de l'époque moderne commencent à associer Éros et Thanatos, dans une complaisance extrême à l'égard de los angeles souffrance et de los angeles mort, jusqu'à ce que le romantisme ne laisse subsister que l. a. seule beauté sublimée du mort, en l. a. dépouillant de ses connotations érotiques. Au tournant du XVIIIe et du XIXe siècle, begin alors ce vaste mouvement de refoulement qui mène jusqu'à nous, où l. a. mort se voit frappée d'interdit, n'étant plus que très rarement représentée. --Hervé Mazurel

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This differentiation appeared to be important to Doris and to the others who saw the sessions as an opportunity for creating their own kind of small society, attending to aesthetic features as well as to functional aspects as a way of transforming the space into a place that would be less austere and better suited  Personal names and some other details have been changed to protect confidentiality. ‘It’s Not Really Like a Hospice’ 29 to their needs. This transformation, almost entirely enacted by women coming to the drop-in, was only marginal and it was only possible to achieve a temporary ‘masking’ of the essential shabbiness of the setting through these superficial adaptive measures, but these appeared to be sufficient for the group’s purpose.

He recommends that space be considered as that which allows movement while place be understood as pause. Working from Tuan’s (2001) thesis, the interplay between space and place has a temporal dimension with time for transformation implicit in his model. In the case of people with life-limiting illness this is set against a backdrop of consciously time-defined lives (Small 2009). The concepts of physical space and personal space are two further ‘categories’ of space that have received considerable attention in the health and social care literature (see, for example, Lawson and Phiri 2003).

This ‘homely effect’ was reproduced in this non-clinical space that temporarily assumed the status of a simple but safe afternoon retreat. On more than one occasion I observed some attendees bringing small plants or a vase of flowers for the coffee tables, contributing to the aesthetic and ritual life of the drop-in sessions. As a response to a remark from me about how good it was to have the pleasure of flowers, one attendee, Joan, commented: ‘it brightens the place up’. One regular attendee, Doris, would bring candles for the window ledge and on one of my earlier visits to the sessions she told me ‘You see, it’s not really like a hospice’, indicating that this community setting was clearly perceived as non-clinical/anti-hospice space which resonates with the way in which naming is one way that place is given meaning and imparts a certain character (Tuan 2001, Cresswell 2004).

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