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Chasing PhantomsReality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11$
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Michael Barkun

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834701

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877692_barkun

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The Imagery of the Landscape of Fear

The Imagery of the Landscape of Fear

(p.68) Five The Imagery of the Landscape of Fear
Chasing Phantoms

Michael Barkun

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter defines the landscape of fear as an inner mental landscape, constructed of sense perceptions, memories, and the images our culture provides. As a result, the interpretation we give to new data can be skewed by the imagery and predispositions we already possess. For example, on October 31, 1938, the War of the Worlds radio broadcast terrified millions. It was supremely a work of the imagination, the channeling of one Wells—the author, H. G.—by another Welles—the director and actor, Orson.— The bizarre aspect of the phenomenon was that many who believed that the broadcast dealt with an actual event did not believe that it was about an invasion from Mars. Instead, over a quarter of those frightened by Welles' Mercury Theatre production and subsequently surveyed believed that it was really a report of an invasion by a foreign power, Germany or perhaps Japan.

Keywords:   landscape of fear, inner mental landscape, sense perceptions, memories

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