Anonymous Connections asks how the Victorians understood the ethical, epistemological, and biological implications of social belonging and participation. Specifically, Tina Choi considers the ways nineteenth-century journalists, novelists, medical writers, and social reformers took advantage of spatial frames-of-reference in a social landscape transforming due to intense urbanization and expansion. New modes of transportation, shifting urban demographics, and the threat of epidemics emerged during this period as anonymous and involuntary forms of contact between unseen multitudes. While previous work on the early Victorian social body have tended to describe the nineteenth-century social sphere in static political and class terms, Choi’s work charts new critical terrain, redirecting attention to the productive—and unpredictable—spaces between individual bodies as well as to the new narrative forms that emerged to represent them. Anonymous Connections makes a significant contribution to scholarship on nineteenth-century literature and British cultural and medical history while offering a timely examination of the historical forebears to modern concerns about the cultural and political impact of globalization.
Pope John Paul's Theology of the Body catecheses has garnered tremendous popularity in theological and catechetical circles. Students of the Theology of the Body have generally interpreted it as innovative not only in its presentation of the Church's teaching on marriage and sexuality, but also as radically advancing that teaching. Aquinas and the Theology of the Body offers a somewhat different interpretation. Fr. Thomas Petri argues that the philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas substantially contributed to John Paul's intellectual formation, which he never abandoned. A correct interpretation of the Theology of the Body requires, therefore, a thorough understanding of Thomistic anthropology and theology, which has been mostly lacking in commentaries on the pope's important contributions on the subject of marriage and sexuality.
In 1987 poet and physician Jon Mukand published Sutured Words, a volume of contemporary poems to help patients, their families and friends, and all health care professionals embrace the complexity of healing, illness, and death. Robert Coles called the collection “a wonderful source of inspiration and instruction for any of us who are trying to figure out what our work means”; Norman Cousins was impressed by the “discernment and high quality of the selections.” Now, in Articulations, Mukand adds more than a hundred new poems to the strongest poems from Sutured Words to give us a lyrical, enlightened understanding of the human dimensions of suffering and illness
In Back to the Dance Itself, Sondra Fraleigh edits essays that illuminate how scholars apply a range of phenomenologies to explore questions of dance and the world; performing life and language; body and place; and self-knowing in performance. Some authors delve into theoretical perspectives, while others relate personal experiences and reflections that reveal fascinating insights arising from practice. Collectively, authors give particular consideration to the interactive lifeworld of making and doing that motivates performance. Their texts and photographs study body and the environing world through points of convergence, as correlates in elemental and constant interchange modeled vividly in dance. Selected essays on eco-phenomenology and feminism extend this view to the importance of connections with, and caring for, all life. Contributors: Karen Barbour, Christine Bellerose, Robert Bingham, Kara Bond, Hillel Braude, Sondra Fraleigh, Kimerer LaMothe, Joanna McNamara, Vida Midgelow, Ami Shulman, and Amanda Williamson.
Banking on the Body
Kara W. Swanson Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress RM171 | Dewey Decimal 362.1784
Each year Americans supply blood, sperm, and breast milk to "banks" that store these products for use by strangers in medical procedures. Who gives, who receives, who profits? Kara Swanson traces body banks from the first experiments that discovered therapeutic uses for body products to current websites that facilitate a thriving global exchange.
Selected from the country’s leading literary journals and publications—Colorado Review, Creative Nonfiction, Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, The Normal School, and others—Beautiful Flesh gathers eighteen essays on the body, essentially building a multi-gender, multi-ethnic body out of essays, each concerning a different part of the body: belly, brain, bones, blood, ears, eyes, hair, hands, heart, lungs, nose, ovaries, pancreas, sinuses, skin, spine, teeth, and vas deferens. The title is drawn from Wendy Call’s essay “Beautiful Flesh,” a meditation on the pancreas: “gorgeously ugly, hideously beautiful: crimson globes embedded in a pinkish-tan oval, all nestled on a bed of cabbage-olive green, spun through with gossamer gold.”
Other essays include Dinty W. Moore’s “The Aquatic Ape,” in which the author explores the curious design and necessity of sinuses; Katherine E. Standefer’s “Shock to the Heart, Or: A Primer on the Practical Applications of Electricity,” a modular essay about the author’s internal cardiac defibrillator and the nature of electricity; Matt Roberts’s “Vasectomy Instruction 7,” in which the author considers the various reasons for and implications of surgically severing and sealing the vas deferens; and Peggy Shinner’s “Elective,” which examines the author’s own experience with rhinoplasty and cultural considerations of the “Jewish nose.” Echoing the myriad shapes, sizes, abilities, and types of the human body, these essays showcase the many forms of the genre: personal, memoir, lyric, braided, and so on.
Contributors: Amy Butcher, Wendy Call, Steven Church, Sarah Rose Etter, Matthew Ferrence, Hester Kaplan, Sarah K. Lenz, Lupe Linares, Jody Mace, Dinty W. Moore, Angela Pelster, Matt Roberts, Peggy Shinner, Samantha Simpson, Floyd Skloot, Danielle R. Spencer, Katherine E. Standefer, Kaitlyn Teer, Sarah Viren, Vicki Weiqi Yang
Body and Nation interrogates the connections among the body, the nation, and the world in twentieth-century U.S. history. The idea that bodies and bodily characteristics are heavily freighted with values that are often linked to political and social spheres remains underdeveloped in the histories of America's relations with the rest of the world. Attentive to diverse state and nonstate actors, the contributors provide historically grounded insights into the transnational dimensions of biopolitics. Their subjects range from the regulation of prostitution in the Philippines by the U.S. Army to Cold War ideals of American feminine beauty, and from "body counts" as metrics of military success to cultural representations of Mexican migrants in the United States as public health threats. By considering bodies as complex, fluctuating, and interrelated sites of meaning, the contributors to this collection offer new insights into the workings of both soft and hard power.
Contributors. Frank Costigliola, Janet M. Davis, Shanon Fitzpatrick, Paul A. Kramer, Shirley Jennifer Lim, Mary Ting Yi Lui, Natalia Molina, Brenda Gayle Plummer, Emily S. Rosenberg, Kristina Shull, Annessa C. Stagner, Marilyn B. Young
For years the subject of human disability has engaged those in the biological, social and cognitive sciences, while at the same time, it has been curiously neglected within the humanities. The Body and Physical Difference seeks to introduce the field of disability studies into the humanities by exploring the fantasies and fictions that have crystallized around conceptions of physical and cognitive difference. Based on the premise that the significance of disabilities in culture and the arts has been culturally vexed as well as historically erased, the collection probes our society's pathological investment in human variability and "aberrancy." The contributors demonstrate how definitions of disability underpin fundamental concepts such as normalcy, health, bodily integrity, individuality, citizenship, and morality--all terms that define the very essence of what it means to be human.
The book provides a provocative range of topics and perspectives: the absence of physical "otherness" in Ancient Greece, the depiction of the female invalid in Victorian literature, the production of tragic innocence in British and American telethons, the reconstruction of Civil War amputees, and disability as the aesthetic basis for definitions of expendable life within the modern eugenics movement. With this new, secure anchoring in the humanities, disability studies now emerges as a significant strain in contemporary theories of identity and social marginality.
Moving beyond the oversimplication that disabled people are marginalized and made invisible by able-ist assumptions and practices, the contributors demonstrate that representation is founded upon the perpetual exhibition of human anomalies. In this sense, all art can be said to migrate toward the "freakish" and the "grotesque." Such a project paradoxically makes disability the exception and the rule of the desire to represent that which has been traditionally out-of-bounds in polite discourse.
The Body and Physical Difference has relevance across a wide range of academic specialties such as cultural studies, the sociology of medicine, history, literature and medicine, the allied health professions, rehabilitation, aesthetics, philosophical discourses of the body, literary and film studies, and narrative theory.
David T. Mitchell is Assistant Professor of English, Northern Michigan University. Sharon L. Snyder teaches film and literature at Northern Michigan University.
Mark Jarman, author of the narrative poem Iris and the lyric sequence Unholy Sonnets, is a poet associated with the revival of narrative and traditional form in contemporary American poetry. In Body and Soul he considers poetry from the Renaissance to the present in essays that touch on the importance of religion, place, and personal experience to poetry and reflect Jarman's particular interests. His focus is on the relationship between lyric and narrative, song and story, in poems of all kinds. He considers the poem as a record of both body and soul, and examines his own life, in an extended autobiographical essay, as a source for the stories he has told in his poetry.
The essays "Where Poems Take Place" and "A Shared Humanity" consider the relation between setting or situation and representation. The psychological roots of narrative are considered in "The Primal Storyteller." But the main interest of these essays is how and why narrative is used as a form. The influence of Robinson Jeffers's style of narrative is argued in "Slip, Shift, and Speed Up: The Influence of Robinson Jeffers's Narrative Syntax." In "The Trace of a Story Line" an argument is made that the poets Philip Levine and Charles Wright employ narration or storytelling in their poetry as a mode of meaning. Other essays consider Donald Davie, Philip Larkin, Herbert Lomas, Louis Simpson, Lyn Hejinian, Tess Gallagher, and Ellen Bryant Voigt.
Mark Jarman's poetry has appeared in many publications, including the American Poetry Review and the New Yorker. He has won the Lenore Marshall/Nation Prize of the Academy of American Poets, a Guggenheim fellowship, and multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is Professor of English, Vanderbilt University.
In this original contribution to Elizabeth Bishop studies, Marilyn May Lombardi uses previously unpublished materials (letters, diaries, notebooks, and unfinished poems) to shed new light on the poet’s published work. She explores the ways Bishop’s lesbianism, alcoholism, allergic illnesses, and fear of mental instability affected her poetry—the ways she translated her bodily experiences into poetic form.
A cornerstone of The Body and the Song is the poet’s thirty-year correspondence with her physician, Dr. Anny Baumann, who was both friend and surrogate mother to Bishop. The letters reveal Bishop’s struggles to understand the relation between her physical and creative drives. "Dr. Anny" also helped Bishop unravel the connections in her life between psychosomatic illness and early maternal deprivation—her mother was declared incurably insane and institutionalized in 1916, when Bishop was five years old. Effectively an orphan, she spent the rest of her childhood with relatives.
In addition to these letters, Lombardi uses Bishop’s unpublished notebooks to demonstrate the poet’s resolve to "face the facts"—to confront her own emotional, intellectual, and physical frailties—and translate them into poetry that is clear-eyed and economical in its form.
Lombardi argues that in her subtle way, Bishop explores the same issues that preoccupy the current generation of women writers. A deeply private artist, Bishop never directly refers to her homosexuality in her published work, but the metaphors she draws from her carnal desires and aversions confront stifling cultural prescriptions for personal and erotic expression. In choosing restraint over confession, Bishop parted company with her friend Robert Lowell, but Lombardi shows that her reticence becomes a powerful artistic strategy resulting in poetry remarkable for its hermeneutic potential.
Informed by recent gender criticism, Lombardi’s lucid argument advances our understanding of the ways the material circumstances of life can be transformed into art.
Through economic liberalization and the untethering of labor and production markets, masculinity as hegemon has entered a crisis stage. Renegotiated labor and familial orders have triggered a widespread cultural renegotiation of how masculinity operates and is represented. This holds especially true in Latin America.
Addressing this, Vinodh Venkatesh uses contemporary Latin American literature to examine how masculinity is constructed and conceived. The Body as Capital centers socioeconomic and political concerns, anxieties, and paradigms on the male anatomy and on the matrices of masculinities presented in fiction. Developing concepts such as the “market of masculinities” and the “transnational theater of masculinities,” the author explains how contemporary fiction centers the male body and masculine expressions as key components in the relationship between culture, space, and global tensile forces.
Venkatesh includes novels by canonical and newer writers from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Peru, and Chile. He focuses on texts produced after 1990, coinciding with what has popularly been termed the neoliberal experiment. In addition to probing well-known novels such as La fiesta del Chivo and La mujer habitada and their accompanying body of criticism, The Body as Capital defines and examines several masculine tropes that will be of interest to scholars of contemporary Latin American literature and gender studies. Ultimately, Venkatesh argues for a more holistic approximation of discursive gender that will feed into other angles of criticism, forging a new path in the critical debates over gender and sexuality in Latin American writing.
Explore metaphors in the exquisite and enigmatic poetry of Song of Songs
One of the chief difficulties in interpreting the Song's lyrics is the unusual imagery used to depict the lovers' bodies. Why is the maiden's hair compared to a flock of goats (4:1), the man’s cheeks likened to garden beds of spice (5:13), and the eyes of both lovers described as doves (4:1; 5:12)? While scholars speculate on the significance of these images, a systematic inquiry into the Song's body metaphors is curiously absent. Based on insights from cognitive linguistics, this study incorporates biblical and comparative data to uncover the meaning of these metaphors surveying literature in the eastern Mediterranean (and beyond) that shares a similar form (poetry) and theme (love). Gault presents an interpretation of the Song's body imagery that sheds light on the perception of beauty in Israel and its relationship to surrounding cultures.
Exploration of the Song's use of universal themes and culturally specific variations
Discussion of the Song's literary structure and unity
Life in Bodega Bay on the rugged, foggy coast of northern California has been pretty quiet since Alfred Hitchcock filmed The Birds there. But antiques dealer Toby Sandler learns that his new business partner Charlie has been found dead on an abandoned boat in the harbor. When the local sheriff discovers that Charlie’s newly acquired Hitchcock artifacts and a painting of an angel are missing, he enlists Toby and his wife, Nora Barnes, an art historian, in the investigation.
Local tales about Hitchcock’s famous film, and some digging into the region’s past as a Russian outpost, provide Toby and Nora with clues to the existence of a lost masterpiece. Convinced that this forgotten work may hold the key to the murder, Nora and Toby set out to find it. When Nora’s trouble-prone sister Angie arrives, events take a surprising turn, leading to the uncanny realm of angel reading and putting Nora and her family in danger. As Nora and Toby investigate matters both criminal and otherworldly, Nora realizes that some mysteries in life may be too deep to solve.
In The Body in Late-Capitalist USA, Donald M. Lowe explores the varied social practices that code and construct the body. Arguing that our bodily lives are shaped by a complex of daily and ongoing practices—how we work, what we buy and consume—Lowe contends that as a result of the commodification of these and other social practices in the late-twentieth century, what we often understand to be the needs of the body are in fact means for capital accumulation. Moving beyond studies of representations and images of the body, Lowe focuses on the intersection of body practices, language, and the Social to describe concretely the reality of a lived body. His strongly synthetic work brings together Marxist critique, semiotics, Foucaultian discourse analysis, and systems and communications theory to examine those practices that construct the body under late capitalism: habits of work and consumption, the ways we give birth and raise children, socialization, mental and physical healing, reconstructions and contestations of sexuality and gender. Lowe draws upon a wide range of sources, including government and labor studies and statistics, diagnostic and statistical manuals on mental illness, computer manuals, self-help books, and guides to work-related stress disorders, to illustrate the transformation of the body into a nexus of exchange value in postmodern society.
In The Body in Mystery, Jennifer R. Rust engages the political concept of the mystical body of the commonwealth, the corpus mysticum of the medieval church. Rust argues that the communitarian ideal of sacramental sociality had a far longer afterlife than has been previously assumed. Reviving a critical discussion of the German historian Ernst Kantorowicz’s 1957 masterwork, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology, Rust brings to bear the latest scholarship. Her book expands the representation of the corpus mysticum through a range of literary genres as well as religious polemics and political discourses. Rust reclaims the concept as an essential category of social value and historical understanding for the imaginative life of literature from Reformation England. The Body in Mystery provides new ways of appreciating the always rich and sometimes difficult continuities between the secular and sacred in early modern England, and between the premodern and early modern periods.
"There are books—few and far between—which carefully, delightfully, and genuinely turn your head inside out. This is one of them. It ranges over some central issues in Western philosophy and begins the long overdue job of giving us a radically new account of meaning, rationality, and objectivity."—Yaakov Garb, San Francisco Chronicle
From London to DC to Australia to Los Angeles, Tim Miller has sold out shows in which he addresses issues of gender, immigration, homophobia, and censorship. As one of the “NEA Four,” who successfully sued the federal government for violating their First Amendment rights when their funding was rescinded in the early 1990s, Miller has always played an important role in defending queer artistic expression on stage. His autobiographical explorations into identity, politics, and art through the lens of his own experiences lead to visceral, humorous, and poignant performances. His activism and experiences inform his newest collection of performance scripts and writings, which represent the culmination of the many struggles for rights and equality that Miller has documented, and performed, over the course of his career. A Body in the O is an important addition to Miller’s existing body of work, picking up from his show Lay of the Land and moving into his more recent piece, Rooted.
The Body of Brooklyn
David Lazar University of Iowa Press, 2003 Library of Congress F128.9.J5L39 2003 | Dewey Decimal 974.723004924009
Even before the controversy that surrounded the publication of A Million Little Pieces, the question of truth has been at the heart of memoir. From Elie Wiesel to Benjamin Wilkomirski to David Sedaris, the veracity of writers' claims has been suspect. In this fascinating and timely collection of essays, leading writers meditate on the subject of truth in literary nonfiction. As David Lazar writes in his introduction, "How do we verify? Do we care to? (Do we dare to eat the apple of knowledge and say it's true? Or is it a peach?) Do we choose to? Is it a subcategory of faith? How do you respond when someone says, 'This is really true'? Why do they choose to say it then?"
The past and the truth are slippery things, and the art of non-fiction writing requires the writer to shape as well as explore. In personal essays, meditations on the nature of memory, considerations of the genres of memoir, prose poetry, essay, fiction, and film, the contributors to this provocative collection attempt to find answers to the question of what truth in nonfiction means.
John D'Agata, Mark Doty, Su Friedrich, Joanna Frueh, Ray González, Vivian Gornick, Barbara Hammer, Kathryn Harrison, Marianne Hirsch, Wayne Koestenbaum, Leonard Kriegel, David Lazar, Alphonso Lingis, Paul Lisicky, Nancy Mairs, Nancy K. Miller, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Phyllis Rose, Oliver Sacks, David Shields, and Leo Spitzer.
The postmodern view that human experience is constructed by language and culture has informed historical narratives for decades. Yet newly emerging information about the biological body now makes it possible to supplement traditional scholarly models with insights about the bodily sources of human thought and experience.
The Body of Faith is the first account of American religious history to highlight the biological body. Robert C. Fuller brings a crucial new perspective to the study of American religion, showing that knowledge about the biological body deeply enriches how we explain dramatic episodes in American religious life. Fuller shows that the body’s genetically evolved systems—pain responses, sexual passion, and emotions like shame and fear—have persistently shaped the ways that Americans forge relationships with nature, to society, and to God.
The first new work to appear in the Chicago History of American Religion series in decades, The Body of Faith offers a truly interdisciplinary framework for explaining the richness, diversity, and endless creativity of American religious life.
The Body of John Merryman
Brian McGinty Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress KF223.M48M38 2011 | Dewey Decimal 347.735
When Chief Justice Taney declared Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus unconstitutional and demanded the release of John Merryman, Lincoln defied the order, offering a forceful counter-argument for the constitutionality of his actions. The result was one of the most significant cases in American legal history—a case that resonates in our own time.
The Body of Poetry collects essays, reviews, and memoir by Annie Finch, one of the brightest poet-critics of her generation. Finch's germinal work on the art of verse has earned her the admiration of a wide range of poets, from new formalists to hip-hop writers. And her ongoing commitment to women's poetry has brought Finch a substantial following as a "postmodern poetess" whose critical writing embraces the past while establishing bold new traditions. The Body of Poetry includes essays on metrical diversity, poetry and music, the place of women poets in the canon, and on poets Emily Dickinson, Phillis Wheatley, Sara Teasdale, Audre Lorde, Marilyn Hacker, and John Peck, among other topics. In Annie Finch's own words, these essays were all written with one aim: "to build a safe space for my own poetry. . . . [I]n the attempt, they will also have helped to nourish a new kind of American poetics, one that will prove increasingly open to poetry's heart."
Poet, translator, and critic Annie Finch is director of the Stonecoast low-residency MFA program at the University of Southern Maine. She is co-editor, with Kathrine Varnes, of An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate the Diversity of Their Art, and author of The Ghost of Meter: Culture and Prosody in American Free Verse, Eve, and Calendars. She is the winner of the eleventh annual Robert Fitzgerald Prosody Award for scholars who have made a lasting contribution to the art and science of versification.
In this sophisticated study of power and resistance, Jean Comaroff analyzes the changing predicament of the Barolong boo Ratshidi, a people on the margins of the South African state. Like others on the fringes of the modern world system, the Tshidi struggle to construct a viable order of signs and practices through which they act upon the forces that engulf them. Their dissenting Churches of Zion have provided an effective medium for reconstructing a sense of history and identity, one that protests the terms of colonial and post-colonial society and culture.
Since the time of Aristotle, the making of knowledge and the making of objects have generally been considered separate enterprises. Yet during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the two became linked through a "new" philosophy known as science. In The Body of the Artisan, Pamela H. Smith demonstrates how much early modern science owed to an unlikely source-artists and artisans.
From goldsmiths to locksmiths and from carpenters to painters, artists and artisans were much sought after by the new scientists for their intimate, hands-on knowledge of natural materials and the ability to manipulate them. Drawing on a fascinating array of new evidence from northern Europe including artisans' objects and their writings, Smith shows how artisans saw all knowledge as rooted in matter and nature. With nearly two hundred images, The Body of the Artisan provides astonishingly vivid examples of this Renaissance synergy among art, craft, and science, and recovers a forgotten episode of the Scientific Revolution-an episode that forever altered the way we see the natural world.
The Body of the People is the first comprehensive study of dance and choreography in East Germany. More than twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Jens Richard Giersdorf investigates a national dance history in the German Democratic Republic, from its founding as a Communist state that supplanted the Soviet zone of occupation in 1949 through the aftermath of its collapse forty years later, examining complex themes of nationhood, ideology, resistance, and diaspora through an innovative mix of archival research, critical theory, personal narrative, and performance analysis.
Giersdorf looks closely at uniquely East German dance forms—including mass exercise events, national folk dances, Marxist-Leninist visions staged by the dance ensemble of the armed forces, the vast amateur dance culture, East Germany’s version of Tanztheater, and socialist alternatives to rock ‘n’ roll—to demonstrate how dance was used both as a form of corporeal utopia and of embodied socialist propaganda and indoctrination. The Body of the People also explores the artists working in the shadow of official culture who used dance and movement to critique and resist state power, notably Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, Arila Siegert, and Fine Kwiatkowski. Giersdorf considers a myriad of embodied responses to the Communist state even after reunification, analyzing the embodiment of the fall of the Berlin Wall in the works of Jo Fabian and Sasha Waltz, and the diasporic traces of East German culture abroad, exemplified by the Chilean choreographer Patricio Bunster.
In The Body of War, Dubravka Žarkov analyzes representations of female and male bodies in the Croatian and Serbian press in the late 1980s and in the early 1990s, during the war in which Yugoslavia disintegrated. Žarkov proposes that the Balkan war was not a war between ethnic groups; rather, ethnicity was produced by the war itself. Žarkov explores the process through which ethnicity was generated, showing how lived and symbolic female and male bodies became central to it. She does not posit a direct causal relationship between hate speech published in the press during the mid-1980s and the acts of violence in the war. Instead, she argues that both the representational practices of the “media war” and the violent practices of the “ethnic war” depended on specific, shared notions of femininity and masculinity, norms of (hetero)sexuality, and definitions of ethnicity.
Tracing the links between the war and press representations of ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, Žarkov examines the media’s coverage of two major protests by women who explicitly identified themselves as mothers, of sexual violence against women and men during the war, and of women as militants. She draws on contemporary feminist analyses of violence to scrutinize international and local feminist writings on the war in former Yugoslavia. Demonstrating that some of the same essentialist ideas of gender and sexuality used to produce and reinforce the significance of ethnic differences during the war often have been invoked by feminists, she points out the political and theoretical drawbacks to grounding feminist strategies against violence in ideas of female victimhood.
The Body of Writing: An Erotics of Contemporary American Fiction examines four postmodern texts whose authors play with the material conventions of “the book”: Joseph McElroy’s Plus (1977), Carole Maso’s AVA (1993), Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s DICTEE (1982), and Steve Tomasula’s VAS (2003). By demonstrating how each of these works calls for an affirmative engagement with literature, Flore Chevaillier explores a centrally important issue in the criticism of contemporary fiction. Critics have claimed that experimental literature, in its disruption of conventional story-telling and language uses, resists literary and social customs. While this account is accurate, it stresses what experimental texts respond to more than what they offer. This book proposes a counter-view to this emphasis on the strictly privative character of innovative fictions by examining experimental works’ positive ideas and affects, as well as readers’ engagement in the formal pleasure of experimentations with image, print, sound, page, orthography, and syntax.
Elaborating an erotics of recent innovative literature implies that we engage in the formal pleasure of its experimentations with signifying techniques and with the materiality of their medium. Such engagement provokes a fusion of the reader’s senses and the textual material, which invites a redefinition of corporeality as a kind of textual practice.
Body of Writing focuses on the traces that an author’s “body” leaves on a work of fiction. Drawing on the work of six important Spanish American writers of the twentieth century, René Prieto examines narratives that reflect—in differing yet ultimately complementary ways—the imprint of the author’s body, thereby disclosing insights about power, aggression, transgression, and eroticism.
Healthy, invalid, lustful, and confined bodies—as portrayed by Julio Cortázar, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Gabriel García Márquez, Severo Sarduy, Rosario Castellanos, and Tununa Mercado—become evidence for Roland Barthes’s contention that works of fiction are “anagrams of the body.” Claiming that an author’s intentions can be uncovered by analyzing “the topography of a text,” Prieto pays particular attention not to the actions or plots of these writers’ fiction but rather to their settings and characterizations. In the belief that bodily traces left on the page reveal the motivating force behind a writer’s creative act, he explores such fictional themes as camouflage, deterioration, defilement, entrapment, and subordination. Along the way, Prieto reaches unexpected conclusions regarding topics that include the relationship of the female body to power, male and female transgressive impulses, and the connection between aggression, the idealization of women, and anal eroticism in men.
This study of how authors’ longings and fears become embodied in literature will interest students and scholars of literary and psychoanalytic criticism, gender studies, and twentieth-century and Latin American literature.
Body, Remember: A Memoir
Kenny Fries University of Wisconsin Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3556.R568Z464 2003 | Dewey Decimal 818.5409
In this poetic, introspective memoir, Kenny Fries illustrates his intersecting identities as gay, Jewish, and disabled. While learning about the history of his body through medical records and his physical scars, Fries discovers just how deeply the memories and psychic scars run. As he reflects on his relationships with his family, his compassionate doctor, the brother who resented his disability, and the men who taught him to love, he confronts the challenges of his life. Body, Remember is a story about connection, a redemptive and passionate testimony to one man’s search for the sources of identity and difference.
For the first time, this volume brings to the study of China the theoretical concerns and methods of contemporary critical cultural studies. Written by historians, art historians, anthropologists, and literary critics who came of age after the People's Republic resumed scholarly ties with the United States, these essays yield valuable new insights not only for China studies but also, by extension, for non-Asian cultural criticism.
Contributors investigate problems of bodiliness, engendered subjectivities, and discourses of power through a variety of sources that include written texts, paintings, buildings, interviews, and observations. Taken together, the essays show that bodies in China have been classified, represented, discussed, ritualized, gendered, and eroticized in ways as rich and multiple as those described in critical histories of the West. Silk robes, rocks, winds, gestures of bowing, yin yang hierarchies, and cross-dressing have helped create experiences of the body specific to Chinese historical life. By pointing to multiple examples of reimagining subjectivity and renegotiating power, the essays encourage scholars to avoid making broad generalizations about China and to rethink traditional notions of power, subject, and bodiliness in light of actual Chinese practices. Body, Subject, and Power in China is at once an example of the changing face of China studies and a work of importance to the entire discipline of cultural studies.
We usually see the Renaissance as a marked departure from older traditions, but Renaissance scholars often continued to cling to the teachings of the past. For instance, despite the evidence of their own dissections, which contradicted ancient and medieval texts, Renaissance anatomists continued to teach those outdated views for nearly two centuries.
In Books of the Body, Andrea Carlino explores the nature and causes of this intellectual inertia. On the one hand, anatomical practice was constrained by a reverence for classical texts and the belief that the study of anatomy was more properly part of natural philosophy than of medicine. On the other hand, cultural resistance to dissection and dismemberment of the human body, as well as moral and social norms that governed access to cadavers and the ritual of their public display in the anatomy theater, also delayed anatomy's development.
A fascinating history of both Renaissance anatomists and the bodies they dissected, this book will interest anyone studying Renaissance science, medicine, art, religion, and society.
While imparting their ethical lessons, rabbinic texts often employ vivid images of death, aging, hunger, defecation, persecution, and drought. In Confronting Vulnerability, Jonathan Wyn Schofer carefully examines these texts to find out why their creators thought that human vulnerability was such a crucial tool for instructing students in the development of exemplary behavior.
These rabbinic texts uphold virtues such as wisdom and compassion, propound ideal ways of responding to others in need, and describe the details of etiquette. Schofer demonstrates that these pedagogical goals were achieved through reminders that one’s time on earth is limited and that God is the ultimate master of the world. Consciousness of death and of divine accounting guide students to live better lives in the present. Schofer’s analysis teaches us much about rabbinic pedagogy in late antiquity and also provides inspiration for students of contemporary ethics. Despite their cultural distance, these rabbinic texts challenge us to develop theories and practices that properly address our frailties rather than denying them.
Human bodily existence is at the core of the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures—from birth to death. From God’s creation of Adam out of clay, to the narratives of priests and kings whose regulations governed bodily practices, the Hebrew Bible focuses on the human body. Moreover, ancient Israel’s understanding of the human body has greatly influenced both Judaism and Christianity. Despite this pervasive influence, ancient Israel’s view of the human body has rarely been studied and, until now, has been poorly understood.
In this beautifully written book, Jon L. Berquist guides the reader through the Hebrew Bible, examining ancient Israel’s ideas of the body, the unstable roles of gender, the deployment of sexuality, and the cultural practices of the time. Conducting his analysis with reference to contemporary theories of the body, power, and social control, Berquist offers not only a description and clarification of ancient Israelite views of the body, but also an analysis of how these views belong to the complex logic of ancient social meanings. When this logic is understood, the familiar Bible becomes strange and opens itself to a wide range of new interpretations.
Most approaches to animal ethics ground the moral standing of nonhumans in some appeal to their capacities for intelligent autonomy or mental sentience. Corporal Compassion emphasizes the phenomenal and somatic commonality of living beings; a philosophy of body that seeks to displace any notion of anthropomorphic empathy in viewing the moral experiences of nonhuman living beings. Ralph R. Acampora employs phenomenology, hermeneutics, existentialism and deconstruction to connect and contest analytic treatments of animal rights and liberation theory. In doing so, he focuses on issues of being and value, and posits a felt nexus of bodily being, termed symphysis, to devise an interspecies ethos. Acampora uses this broad-based bioethic to engage in dialogue with other strains of environmental ethics and ecophilosophy.
Corporal Compassion examines the practical applications of the somatic ethos in contexts such as laboratory experimentation and zoological exhibition and challenges practitioners to move past recent reforms and look to a future beyond exploitation or total noninterference--a posthumanist culture that advocates caring in a participatory approach.
Images of the assassination of John F. Kennedy are burned deeply into the memories of millions who watched the events of November 1963 unfold live on television. Never before had America seen an event of this magnitude as it happened. But what is it we remember? How did the near chaos of the shooting and its aftermath get transformed into a seamless story of epic proportions? In this book, Barbie Zelizer explores the way we learned about and came to make sense of the killing of the president.
Covering the Body (the title refers to the charge given journalists to follow a president) is a powerful reassessment of the media's role in shaping our collective memory of the assassination—at the same time as it used the assassination coverage to legitimize its own role as official interpreter of American reality. Of the more than fifty reporters covering Kennedy in Dallas, no one actually saw the assassination. And faced with a monumentally important story that was continuously breaking, most journalists had no time to verify leads or substantiate reports. Rather, they took discrete moments of their stories and turned them into one coherent narrative, blurring what was and was not "professional" about their coverage.
Through incisive analyses of the many accounts and investigations in the years since the shooting, Zelizer reveals how journalists used the assassination not just to relay the news but to address the issues they saw as central to the profession and to promote themselves as cultural authorities. Indeed, argues Zelizer, these motivations are still alive and are at the core of the controversy surrounding Oliver Stone's movie, JFK.
At its heart, Covering the Body raises serious questions about the role of the media in defining our reality, and shaping our myths and memories. In tracing how journalists attempted to answer questions that still trouble most Americans, Zelizer offers a fascinating analysis of the role of the media as cultural authorities.
What is the body? How was it culturally constructed, conceived, and cultivated before and after the advent of rationalism and modern science? This interdisciplinary study elaborates a cultural genealogy of the body and its legacies to modernity by tracing its crucial redefinition from a live anatomical entity to disembodied, mechanical and virtual analogs.
The study ranges from Baroque, pre-Cartesian interpretations of body and embodiment, to the Cartesian elaboration of ontological difference and mind-body dualism, and it concludes with the parodic and violent aftermath of this legacy to the French Enlightenment. It engages work by philosophical authors such as Montaigne, Descartes and La Mettrie, as well as literary works by d'Urfé, Corneille and the Marquis de Sade. The examination of sexuality and the emergence of sexual difference as a dominant mode of embodiment are central to the book's overall design. The work is informed by philosophical accounts of the body (Nietzsche, Foucault, Merleau-Ponty), by feminist theory (Butler, Irigaray, Bordo), as well as by literary and cultural historians (Scarry, Stewart, Bynum, etc.) and historians of science (Canguilhem, Pagel, and Temkin), among others. It will appeal to scholars of literature, philosophy, French studies, critical theory, feminist theory, cultural historians and historians of science and technology.
Dalia Judovitz is Professor of French, Emory University. She is also author of Unpacking Duchamp: Art in Transit and Subjectivity and Representation in Decartes: The Origins of Modernity.
Originally published in 1989, this ground-breaking ethnographic exploration of tattooing—and the art world surrounding it—covers the history, anthropology and sociology of body modification practices; the occupational experience of the tattooist; the process and social consequences of becoming a tattooed person; and the prospects of "serious" tattooing becoming an accepted art form. Curiously, despite the greater prevalence of tattoos and body modification in today’s society, there is still a stigma of deviance associated with people who get or ink tattoos.
Retaining the core of the original book, this revised and expanded edition offers a new preface by the author and a new chapter focusing on the changes that have occurred in the tattoo world. A section on the new scholarly literature that has emerged, as well as the new modes of body modification that have come into vogue are included along with a new gallery of photographs that shows some splendid examples of contemporary tattoo art. A directory of artists' websites invites readers to discover the range of work being done around the world—from “suits” (full body tattoos) to skulls.
Like the divine, divas, it seems, are omnipresent. From the sirens to Madonna, from castrati to Callas, from opera stage to drag shows to TV commercials, from George Eliot to writers of detective fiction, the diva has been worshipped, feared, maligned, parodied, and appropriated. The Diva's Mouth: Bodies, Voice, and Prima Donna Politics examines how and why, from the eighteenth century to the present, divas have been talked about with so much passion and written up, down, and over with so much ambiguity and contradiction. The book explores the myriad roles the diva plays in masculinist, feminist, and queer imaginations--in opera itself and in other fictions, films, and fantasies, including the divas' (and the authors') own. Finally, it examines how and why pop and "pomo" singers, like Madonna, Annie Lennox, and Diamanda Galas, in very explicit ways both flirt with and fling off the fantasy of the woman with a voice. In this very witty and highly readable book, the authors tell everything you always wanted to know and make you want to know even more about the diva.
Environmental practices among Mexican American woman have spurred a reconsideration of ecofeminism among Chicana feminists. Christina Holmes examines ecological themes across the arts, Chicana activism, and direct action groups to reveal how Chicanas can craft alternative models for ecofeminist processes. Holmes revisits key debates to analyze issues surrounding embodiment, women's connections to nature, and spirituality's role in ecofeminist philosophy and practice. By doing so, she challenges Chicanas to escape the narrow frameworks of the past in favor of an inclusive model of environmental feminism that alleviates Western biases. Holmes uses readings of theory, elaborations of ecological narratives in Chicana cultural productions, histories of human and environmental rights struggles in the Southwest, and a description of an activist exemplar to underscore the importance of living with decolonializing feminist commitment in body, nature, and spirit.
Ecology of the Body presents an argument for describing our behavior in accordance with the ways we experience our bodies. Increasingly, psychologists are recognizing that human beings show great diversity in the ways they perform the vast repertoire of human behaviors—such as perceiving, reasoning, remembering, forgetting—that we may well possess not simply different levels of "intelligence" but also different forms of it in varying combinations, just as we show differing degrees of emotion, goal-directed activity, and creativity. Lyons puts forward a hypothesis in which he argues for the utility of understanding these differences as stylistic variations that are inseparable from our physical experience of ourselves.
How does the body politic reflect the nature of human embodiment? To pursue this question in a new and productive way, James Mensch employs a methodology consistent with the fact of our embodiment; he uses Merleau-Ponty’s concept of "intertwining"—the presence of one’s self in the world and of the world in one’s self—to understand the ideas that define political life.
Mensch begins his inquiry by developing a philosophical anthropology based on this concept. He then applies the results of his investigation to the relations of power, authority, freedom, and sovereignty in public life. This involves confronting a line of interpretation, stretching from Hobbes to Agamben, which sees violence as both initiating and preserving the social contract. To contest this interpretation, Mensch argues against its presupposition, which is to equate freedom with sovereignty over others. He does so by understanding political freedom in terms of embodiment—in particular, in terms of the finitude and interdependence that our embodiment entails. Freedom, conceived in these terms, is understood as the gift of others. As a function of our dependence on others, it cannot exist apart from them. To show how public space and civil society presuppose this interdependence is the singular accomplishment of Embodiments. It accomplishes a phenomenological grounding for a new type of political philosophy.
"Young's linkage between critical race theory, historical inquiry, and performance studies is a necessary intersection. Innovative, creative, and provocative."
---Davarian Baldwin, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies, Trinity College
In 1901, George Ward, a lynching victim, was attacked, murdered, and dismembered by a mob of white men, women, and children. As his lifeless body burned in a fire, enterprising white youth cut off his toes and, later, his fingers and sold them as souvenirs. In Embodying Black Experience, Harvey Young masterfully blends biography, archival history, performance theory, and phenomenology to relay the experiences of black men and women who, like Ward, were profoundly affected by the spectacular intrusion of racial violence within their lives. Looking back over the past two hundred years---from the exhibition of boxer Tom Molineaux and Saartjie Baartman (the "Hottentot Venus") in 1810 to twenty-first century experiences of racial profiling and incarceration---Young chronicles a set of black experiences, or what he calls, "phenomenal blackness," that developed not only from the experience of abuse but also from a variety of performances of resistance that were devised to respond to the highly predictable and anticipated arrival of racial violence within a person's lifetime.
Embodying Black Experience pinpoints selected artistic and athletic performances---photography, boxing, theater/performance art, and museum display---as portals through which to gain access to the lived experiences of a variety of individuals. The photographs of Joseph Zealy, Richard Roberts, and Walker Evans; the boxing performances of Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali; the plays of Suzan-Lori Parks, Robbie McCauley, and Dael Orlandersmith; and the tragic performances of Bootjack McDaniels and James Cameron offer insight into the lives of black folk across two centuries and the ways that black artists, performers, and athletes challenged the racist (and racializing) assumptions of the societies in which they lived.
Blending humanistic and social science perspectives, Embodying Black Experience explains the ways in which societal ideas of "the black body," an imagined myth of blackness, get projected across the bodies of actual black folk and, in turn, render them targets of abuse. However, the emphasis on the performances of select artists and athletes also spotlights moments of resistance and, indeed, strength within these most harrowing settings.
Harvey Young is Associate Professor of Theatre, Performance Studies, and Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University.
A volume in the series Theater: Theory/Text/Performance
For more than a decade, The Graying of America has helped thousands of middle-aged and senior citizens find their way through the thickets and thorns of growing old. Now greatly revised and expanded to include information gleaned from studies of the past five years, this third edition has been retitled to stress its ongoing purpose: conveying a wealth of commonsense information for general readers in nontechnical language.
The book is a storehouse of concise, useful information on the effects of aging on health, the mind, and behavior. Its 588 entries (including 172 new and 150 substantially revised) cover a broad spectrum of topics—from adjusting to retirement to grandparenting, sleep disorders to Alzheimer’s disease. All are directed to the average reader; all stress successful aging and how to accomplish it.
New entries cover such topics as the incidence and causes of frailty, the cognitive benefits of diversified activity, and findings of the Women’s Health Initiative. There is new information on matters like the effects of untreated hearing impairment on spouses and the impact of insufficient exposure to sunlight on sleep, plus new insight into what to look for in searching for a quality nursing home for a loved one.
Also included are results of recent studies on interventions that help to reduce age-related declines in mental and physical health, among them revelations that reports on age-related declines in memory have been skewed by testing errors. And with memory a concern for seniors fearful of declining mental agility, the book tells how to bypass memory problems—such as how to remember where you parked your car—and how physical exercise and challenging mental games can help reduce the risk of dementia. Other “how to avoid” entries offer ways to protect against eye fatigue in computer use, hip fractures when falling, and back injuries while lifting heavy objects.
No other book is so specifically geared to the challenges of how to reduce or even eliminate many of the problems associated with growing old. Aging in the Twenty-First Century can help seniors come to grips with their own aging process—and help younger adults understand what is happening to older family members.
Accolades to Erica Taylor for Figler: My Imaginary Friend. Taylor takes her readers on a journey of self-realization as a child comes to ultimately discover that the wonderful abilities possessed by Figler, the beloved imaginary friend, are talents (he/she) also possesses. The whimsical illustrations draw readers into the main character’s journey of self-discovery. This book offers a delightful poetic read inspiring young readers to dare to imagine and reach for the impossible.
Jeanine Wood - Distance Learning Coordinator Northeast Arkansas Education Cooperative Walnut Ridge, Arkansas
"A sophisticated and persuasive late-modernist political analysis that consistently draws the reader into the narratives of the author and those of the people of violence in Northern Ireland to whom he talked. . . . Simply put, this book is a feast for the intellect"—Thomas M. Wilson, American Anthropologist
"One of the best books to have been written on Northern Ireland. . . . A highly imagination and significant book. Formations of Violence is an important addition to the literature on political violence."—David E. Schmitt, American Political Science Review
Though modern readers no longer believe in the four humors of Galenic naturalism—blood, choler, melancholy, and phlegm—early modern thought found in these bodily fluids key to explaining human emotions and behavior. In Humoring the Body, Gail Kern Paster proposes a new way to read the emotions of the early modern stage so that contemporary readers may recover some of the historical particularity in early modern expressions of emotional self-experience.
Using notions drawn from humoral medical theory to untangle passages from important moral treatises, medical texts, natural histories, and major plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Paster identifies a historical phenomenology in the language of affect by reconciling the significance of the four humors as the language of embodied emotion. She urges modern readers to resist the influence of post-Cartesian abstraction and the disembodiment of human psychology lest they miss the body-mind connection that still existed for Shakespeare and his contemporaries and constrained them to think differently about how their emotions were embodied in a premodern world.
Modern hygienic urbanism originated in the airy boulevards, public parks, and sewer system that transformed the Parisian cityscape in the mid-nineteenth century. Yet these well-known developments in public health built on a previous moment of anxiety about the hygiene of modern city dwellers. Amid fears of national decline that accompanied the collapse of the Napoleonic Empire, efforts to modernize Paris between 1800 and 1850 focused not on grand and comprehensive structural reforms, but rather on improving the bodily and mental fitness of the individual citizen. These forgotten efforts to renew and reform the physical and moral health of the urban subject found expression in the built environment of the city—in the gymnasiums, swimming pools, and green spaces of private and public institutions, from the pedagogical to the recreational. Sun-Young Park reveals how these anxieties about health and social order, which manifested in emerging ideals of the body, created a uniquely spatial and urban experience of modernity in the postrevolutionary capital, one profoundly impacted by hygiene, mobility, productivity, leisure, spectacle, and technology.
In Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ Carolyn Dean investigates the multiple meanings of the Roman Catholic feast of Corpus Christi as it was performed in the Andean city of Cuzco after the Spanish conquest. By concentrating on the era’s paintings and its historical archives, Dean explores how the festival celebrated the victory of the Christian God over sin and death, the triumph of Christian orthodoxy over the imperial Inka patron (the Sun), and Spain’s conquest of Peruvian society. As Dean clearly illustrates, the central rite of the festival—the taking of the Eucharist—symbolized both the acceptance of Christ and the power of the colonizers over the colonized. The most remarkable of Andean celebrants were those who appeared costumed as the vanquished Inka kings of Peru’s pagan past. Despite the subjugation of the indigenous population, Dean shows how these and other Andean nobles used the occasion of Corpus Christi as an opportunity to construct new identities through tinkuy, a native term used to describe the conjoining of opposites. By mediating the chasms between the Andean region and Europe, pagans and Christians, and the past and the present, these Andean elites negotiated a new sense of themselves. Dean moves beyond the colonial period to examine how these hybrid forms of Inka identity are still evident in the festive life of modern Cuzco. Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ offers the first in-depth analysis of the culture and paintings of colonial Cuzco. This volume will be welcomed by historians of Peruvian culture, art, and politics. It will also interest those engaged in performance studies, religion, and postcolonial and Latin American studies.
Taking as his point of departure Norbert Weiner’s statement that information is basic to understanding materialism in our era, Ronald Schleifer shows how discoveries of modern physics have altered conceptions of matter and energy and the ways in which both information theory and the study of literature can enrich these conceptions. Expanding the reductive notion of “the material” as simply matter and energy, he formulates a new, more inclusive idea of materialism.
Schleifer’s project attempts to bridge the divisions between the humanities and the sciences and to create a nonreductive materialism for the information age. He presents a materialistic account of human bodily experience by delving into language and literature that powerfully represents our faces, voices, hands, and pain. For example, he examines the material resources of poetic “literariness” as it is revealed in the condition of Tourette’s syndrome. Schleifer also investigates gestures of the hand in the formation of sociality, and he studies pain as both a physiological and phenomenological experience.
This ambitious work explores physiological analyses, evolutionary explanations, and semiotic descriptions of materialism to reveal how aspects of physical existence discover meaning in experience.
A pioneering organ transplant surgeon narrates in gripping detail the revolutions that have transformed modern surgery, and the turmoil in medical education and health care reform as new capacities to prolong life and restore health run headlong into unsustainable costs. Tilney’s stage is the famous Boston teaching hospital, Brigham and Women's.
John Donne, Body and Soul
Ramie Targoff University of Chicago Press, 2008 Library of Congress PR2248.T37 2008 | Dewey Decimal 821.3
For centuries readers have struggled to fuse the seemingly scattered pieces of Donne’s works into a complete image of the poet and priest. In John Donne, Body and Soul, Ramie Targoff offers a way to read Donne as a writer who returned again and again to a single great subject, one that connected to his deepest intellectual and emotional concerns.
Reappraising Donne’s oeuvre in pursuit of the struggles and commitments that connect his most disparate works, Targoff convincingly shows that Donne believed throughout his life in the mutual necessity of body and soul. In chapters that range from his earliest letters to his final sermon, Targoff reveals that Donne’s obsessive imagining of both the natural union and the inevitable division between body and soul is the most continuous and abiding subject of his writing.
“Ramie Targoff achieves the rare feat of taking early modern theology seriously, and of explaining why it matters. Her book transforms how we think about Donne.”—Helen Cooper, University of Cambridge
Calvin Thomas's Male Matters
reveals the act and production of writing as a bodily, material process
that transgresses the boundaries of gender. Wise and quirky, sophisticated
and coarse, serious and hilarious, this look at male identity and creativity
and dislocation at the end of the twentieth century definitely will not
assuage male anxiety!
"An excellent and important
book. . . . By mixing high and low, by speaking candidly about what we
usually keep in the (water) closet, while simultaneously engaging the
'highest' philosophies of language and culture, Thomas calls the entire
enterprise of criticism into question." -- Jeremy Earp, Journal of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity
"A brave, indispensable
exercise in writing the male body, and a tour de force of theoretically
informed close reading." -- Kevin Floyd, Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association
"Both analyzes and performs
our anxieties about masculinity. . . . This experiment in criticism transgresses
boundaries of theory, gender, and academic taste in ways sure to delight
and infuriate its readers." -- Gregory Jay, author of America the Scrivener: Deconstruction and the Subject of Literary History
"Calvin Thomas is able
to hint at a way out of the prison-house, as he puts it, of straight male
identity." -- Kathy Acker, author of In Memoriam to Identity
Meaning, Form, and Body
Mark Turner, Fey Parrill, and Vera Tobin CSLI, 2010 Library of Congress P35.M38 2009 | Dewey Decimal 306.44
Meaning, Form, and Body brings together renowned figures in the field of cognitive linguistics to discuss two related research areas in the study of linguistics: the integration of form and meaning and language and the human body. Among the numerous topics discussed are grammatical constructions, conceptual integration, and gesture.
In The Meaning of the Body, Mark Johnson continues his pioneering work on the exciting connections between cognitive science, language, and meaning first begun in the classic Metaphors We Live By. Johnson uses recent research into infant psychology to show how the body generates meaning even before self-consciousness has fully developed. From there he turns to cognitive neuroscience to further explore the bodily origins of meaning, thought, and language and examines the many dimensions of meaning—including images, qualities, emotions, and metaphors—that are all rooted in the body’s physical encounters with the world. Drawing on the psychology of art and pragmatist philosophy, Johnson argues that all of these aspects of meaning-making are fundamentally aesthetic. He concludes that the arts are the culmination of human attempts to find meaning and that studying the aesthetic dimensions of our experience is crucial to unlocking meaning's bodily sources.
Throughout, Johnson puts forth a bold new conception of the mind rooted in the understanding that philosophy will matter to nonphilosophers only if it is built on a visceral connection to the world.
“Mark Johnson demonstrates that the aesthetic and emotional aspects of meaning are fundamental—central to conceptual meaning and reason, and that the arts show meaning-making in its fullest realization. If you were raised with the idea that art and emotion were external to ideas and reason, you must read this book. It grounds philosophy in our most visceral experience.”—George Lakoff, author of Moral Politics
To see through the eyes of essayist and dramaturge Jan Kott is to gain in knowledge not just of the theater but also of human culture. Since his Shakespeare Our Contemporary appeared in English in 1964, Kott's work has altered--and strengthened--the way critics and the public approach the theater as a whole. The Memory of the Body highlights a number of dramatic personalities and personages: authors and directors Witkiewicz, Brecht, Kantor, Grotoswki, Ingmar Bergman, Wedekind; Tilly Newes on the stage in turn-of-the-century Vienna; the all-too-mortal, two-thirds divine Gilgamesh; and a shaman in rural Korea. In a style flecked with passion, poignancy, and wit, Kott moves beyond a mere discussion of theater to speak of eroticism, painting, love, and death.
The “Modern Sovereign,” a notion indebted both to Hobbes’s Leviathan and Marx’s conception of capital, refers to the power that governed the African multitudes from the earliest colonial days to the post-colonial era. It is an internalized power, responsible for the multiform violence exerted on bodies and imaginations. Joseph Tonda contends that in Central Africa—and particularly in Gabon and the Congo—the body is at the heart of political, religious, sexual, economic, and ritual power. This, he argues, is confirmed by the strong link between corporeal and political matters, and by the ostentatious display of bodies in African life. The body of power asserts itself as both matter and spirit, and it incorporates the seductive force of money, commodities, sex, and knowledge. Tonda’s incisive analysis reveals how this sovereign power is a social relation, historically constituted by the violence of the African cultural Imaginary and the realities of State, Market, and Church. It is to be understood, he asserts, through a generalized theory economic, political, and religious fetishism. By introducing this crucial critical voice from contemporary Africa into the English language, The Modern Sovereign makes a significant contribution to field of anthropology, political science, and African studies.
Monstrous Kinds is the first book to explore textual representations of disability in the global Renaissance. Elizabeth B. Bearden contends that monstrosity, as a precursor to modern concepts of disability, has much to teach about our tendency to inscribe disability with meaning. Understanding how early modern writers approached disability not only provides more accurate genealogies of disability, but also helps nuance current aesthetic and theoretical disability formulations.
The book analyzes the cultural valences of early modern disability across a broad national and chronological span, attending to the specific bodily, spatial, and aesthetic systems that contributed to early modern literary representations of disability. The cross section of texts (including conduct books and treatises, travel writing and wonder books) is comparative, putting canonical European authors such as Castiglione into dialogue with transatlantic and Anglo-Ottoman literary exchange. Bearden questions grand narratives that convey a progression of disability from supernatural marvel to medical specimen, suggesting that, instead, these categories coexist and intersect.
Kim Hewitt explores self-mutilation through history and across cultural divisions, finding these acts “positive expressions of social custom, individualism and resourcefulness . . . symptomatic of crises of identity, religious faith, or modern social structures.” In modern contexts, such ancient rituals continue to function as an avenue of symbolic death and rebirth. In her analysis of the origins and motivations of body modification, the author draws upon psychological, medical, and cultural theories on self-inflicted pain—tattooing and scarification as well as fasting, bulimia, and some performance art. She finds such contemporary acts of self-mutilation may “express a change in how society perceives marginalization.”
Viennese modernism is often described in terms of a fin-de-siècle fascination with the psyche. But this stereotype of the movement as essentially cerebral overlooks a rich cultural history of the body. The Naked Truth, an interdisciplinary tour de force, addresses this lacuna, fundamentally recasting the visual, literary, and performative cultures of Viennese modernism through an innovative focus on the corporeal.
Alys George explores the modernist focus on the flesh by turning our attention to the Second Vienna Medical School, which revolutionized the field of anatomy in the 1800s. As she traces the results of this materialist influence across a broad range of cultural forms—exhibitions, literature, portraiture, dance, film, and more—George brings into dialogue a diverse group of historical protagonists, from canonical figures like Egon Schiele, Arthur Schnitzler, Joseph Roth, and Hugo von Hofmannsthal to long-overlooked actors, including author and doctor Marie Pappenheim, journalist Else Feldmann, and dancers Grete Wiesenthal, Gertrud Bodenwieser, and Hilde Holger. Deftly blending analyses of popular and “high” culture and laying to rest the notion that Viennese modernism was an exclusively male movement, The Naked Truth uncovers the complex interplay of the physical and the aesthetic that shaped modernism and offers a striking new interpretation of this fascinating moment in the history of the West.
Nietzsche and the philosopy of language have been a well trafficked crossroads for a generation, but almost always as a checkpoint for post-modernism and its critics. This work takes a historical approach to Nietzsche’s work on language, connecting it to his predecessors and contemporaries rather than his successors. Though Nietzsche invited identification with Zarathustra, the solitary wanderer ahead of his time, for most of his career he directly engaged the intellectual currents and scientific debates of his time.
Emden situates Nietzsche’s writings on language and rhetoric within their wider historical context. He demonstrates that Nietzsche is not as radical in his thinking as has been often supposed, and that a number of problems with Nietzsche disappear when Nietzsche’s works are compared to works on the same subjects by writers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Further, the relevance of rhetoric and the history of rhetoric to philosophy and the history of philosophy is reasserted, in consonance with Nietzsche’s own statements and practices. Important in this regard are the role of fictions, descriptions, and metaphor.
The Qianlong emperor, who dominated the religious and political life of eighteenth-century China, was in turn dominated by elaborate ritual prescriptions. These texts determined what he wore and ate, how he moved, and above all how he performed the yearly Grand Sacrifices. In Of Body and Brush, Angela Zito offers a stunningly original analysis of the way ritualizing power was produced jointly by the throne and the official literati who dictated these prescriptions.
Forging a critical cultural historical method that challenges traditional categories of Chinese studies, Zito shows for the first time that in their performance, the ritual texts embodied, literally, the metaphysics upon which imperial power rested. By combining rule through the brush (the production of ritual texts) with rule through the body (mandated performance), the throne both exhibited its power and attempted to control resistance to it. Bridging Chinese history, anthropology, religion, and performance and cultural studies, Zito brings an important new perspective to the human sciences in general.
On the Body of the Lord
Albert Albert the Great Catholic University of America Press, 2017 Library of Congress BV825.3.A4313 2017 | Dewey Decimal 234.163
Albert the Great wrote On the Body of the Lord in the 1270s, making it his final work of sacramental theology. A companion volume to his commentary on the Mass, On the Body of the Lord is a comprehensive discussion of Eucharistic theology. The treatise is structured around six names for the Eucharist taken from the Mass: grace, gift, food, communion, sacrifice, and sacrament. It emerges from the liturgy and is intended to draw the reader back to worship.
The overall movement of the treatise follows the order of God’s wisdom. Albert begins by discussing the Eucharist as a gift flowing from the goodness of the Trinity. He touches on its relation to redemption and the Church, including a rigorous Aristotelian analysis of Eucharistic change and presence before ending with a discussion of Mass rubrics. The most significant theological emphasis is on the Eucharist as food given to feed the people of God.
The style varies to suit the content: certain sections are terse; others are devotional, allowing the reader to enter the saint’s own prayer. Perhaps most characteristically Albertine is an extended meditation that compares the process of digestion to the incorporation of the Christian into the Body of Christ. The mixed style allows this work to integrate rigorous aspects of scholastic thought with a fervent love for God, making On the Body of the Lord one of Albert’s most human as well as one of his most beautiful works.
On the Body of the Lord was well received, particularly in areas that came to be influenced by the devotio moderna. By 1484, three separate Latin editions had been printed, two of which were the inaugural works on new presses. In the following century the Protestant Reformation brought an end to its popularity. On the Body of the Lord is here translated into English for the first time.
Once Out of Nature offers an original interpretation of Augustine’s theory of time and embodiment. Andrea Nightingale draws on philosophy, sociology, literary theory, and social history to analyze Augustine’s conception of temporality, eternity, and the human and transhuman condition.
In Nightingale’s view, the notion of embodiment illuminates a set of problems much larger than the body itself: it captures the human experience of being an embodied soul dwelling on earth. In Augustine’s writings, humans live both in and out of nature—exiled from Eden and punished by mortality, they are “resident aliens” on earth. While the human body is subject to earthly time, the human mind is governed by what Nightingale calls psychic time. For the human psyche always stretches away from the present moment—where the physical body persists—into memories and expectations. As Nightingale explains, while the body is present in the here and now, the psyche cannot experience self-presence. Thus, for Augustine, the human being dwells in two distinct time zones, in earthly time and in psychic time. The human self, then, is a moving target. Adam, Eve, and the resurrected saints, by contrast, live outside of time and nature: these transhumans dwell in an everlasting present.
Nightingale connects Augustine’s views to contemporary debates about transhumans and suggests that Augustine’s thought reflects our own ambivalent relationship with our bodies and the earth. Once Out of Nature offers a compelling invitation to ponder the boundaries of the human.
Film does far more than document performance—it actively recreates the time and space of performance and overhauls its rapport with the viewer’s eye and body. The first book to look in-depth at the intersection of film and performance in relation to issues and theories of space, Performance Projections travels from the origins of film in Europe and the United States to the world of digital media today, exploring the dynamic relationship between these vitally connected ideas.
Drawing from a wide range of examples—including filmic depictions of German and Japanese and Chinese performance art and street cultures—Stephen Barber argues that the act of filming has the power to draw distinctively performative dimensions out of unruly human gatherings, such as riots and political protests, while also accentuating the outlandish and aberrant aspects of performance. Spanning the history of film, Barber moves from performance in film’s formative years, such as Edward Muybridge’s work in the 1880s, to contemporary performance artworks—for example, Rabih Mroué’s investigations of the often lethal camera phone filming of snipers in Syrian cities. Proposing that the future conception of filmed performance needs to be radically expanded in response to the transformations of digital film cultures, Performance Projections is a critical addition to the literature on both film and art history.
Renaissance Drama, an annual and interdisciplinary publication, is devoted to drama and performance as a central feature of Renaissance culture. The essays in each volume explore traditional canons of drama, the significance of performance (broadly construed) to early modern culture, and the impact of new forms of interpretation on the study of Renaissance plays, theater, and performance.
Volume 29, "Dramas of Hybridity: Performance and the Body," includes essays that focus on historically specific early modern bodies, analyzing staged representations of bodies as they spectacularly unfold, determine, negotiate, and erode various social categories. Topics include pathologies of value and transnationality in Troilus and Cressida, masculinity on the early modern stage, citizen comedy, Italian actresses and female performance, and race and romance in The Merchant of Venice.
After World War II, the United States underwent a massive cultural transformation that was vividly realized in the development and widespread use of new medical technologies. Plastic surgery, wonder drugs, artificial organs, and prosthetics inspired Americans to believe in a new age of modern medical miracles. The nationalistic pride that flourished in postwar society, meanwhile, encouraged many Americans to put tremendous faith in the power of medicine to rehabilitate and otherwise transform the lives and bodies of the disabled and those considered abnormal. Replaceable You revisits this heady era in American history to consider how these medical technologies and procedures were used to advance the politics of conformity during the 1950s.
Italian novelist, poet, and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini was brutally killed in Rome in 1975, a macabre end to a career that often explored humanity’s capacity for violence and cruelty. Along with the mystery of his murderer’s identity, Pasolini left behind a controversial but acclaimed oeuvre as well as a final quartet of beguiling projects that signaled a radical change in his aesthetics and view of reality.
The Resurrection of the Body is an original and compelling interpretation of these final works: the screenplay Saint Paul, the scenario for Porn-Theo-Colossal, the immense and unfinished novel Petrolio, and his notorious final film, Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom, a disturbing adaptation of the writings of the Marquis de Sade. Together these works, Armando Maggi contends, reveal Pasolini’s obsession with sodomy and its role within his apocalyptic view of Western society. One of the first studies to explore the ramifications of Pasolini’s homosexuality, The Resurrection of the Body also breaks new ground by putting his work into fruitful conversation with an array of other thinkers such as Freud, Strindberg, Swift, Henri Michaux, and Norman O. Brown.
Revolutionary Medicine is a richly textured examination of the ways that Cuba's public health care system has changed during the past two decades and of the meaning of those changes for ordinary Cubans. Until the Soviet bloc collapsed in 1989, socialist Cuba encouraged citizens to view access to health care as a human right and the state's responsibility to provide it as a moral imperative. Since the loss of Soviet subsidies and the tightening of the U.S. economic embargo, Cuba's government has found it hard to provide the high-quality universal medical care that was so central to the revolutionary socialist project. In Revolutionary Medicine, P. Sean Brotherton deftly integrates theory and history with ethnographic research in Havana, including interviews with family physicians, public health officials, research scientists, and citizens seeking medical care. He describes how the deterioration of health and social welfare programs has led Cubans to seek health care through informal arrangements, as well as state-sponsored programs. Their creative, resourceful pursuit of health and well-being provides insight into how they navigate, adapt to, and pragmatically cope with the rapid social, economic, and political changes in post-Soviet Cuba.
From the 1820s through the 1840s, debate raged over what Thomas Carlyle famously termed “the Condition of England Question.” While much of the debate focused on how to remedy the material sufferings of the rural and urban working classes, for three writers in particular—William Cobbett, Thomas Carlyle, and Benjamin Disraeli–the times were marked by an even more pervasive crisis that threatened not only the material lives of workers, but also the very stability of meaning itself. At the root of this crisis lay industrial capitalism, and its impact was not only economic, but also cultural, bringing the nation to the very brink of a precipice.
In his provocative new study of these three fascinating but often misunderstood writers, John M. Ulrich challenges the commonly held notion that Cobbett, Carlyle, and Disraeli reacted to the crisis of their times out of a facile nostalgia for an idealized past; instead, Ulrich argues that each writer’s response was remarkably sophisticated and highly self-conscious in its attention to the complex interrelation between textual signs and material conditions.
Signs of Their Times reveals how these three very different writers shared a common conviction that their labor was not merely a resistance to change, but an active force for change, as each sought to refashion the currently unstable signs of the times—history, labor, and the body—into mutually dependent guarantors of social stability and meaning.
In compelling first-person accounts, Latinas speak freely about dealing with serious health episodes as patients, family caregivers, or friends. They show how the complex interweaving of gender, class, and race impacts the health status of Latinas—and how family, spirituality, and culture affect the experience of illness.
Here are stories of Latinas living with conditions common to many: hypertension, breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, depression, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, Parkinson’s, lupus, and hyper/hypothyroidism. By bringing these narratives out from the shadows of private lives, they demonstrate how such ailments form part of the larger whole of Latina lives that encompasses family, community, the medical profession, and society. They show how personal identity and community intersect to affect the interpretation of illness, compliance with treatment, and the utilization of allopathic medicine, alternative therapies, and traditional healing practices. The book also includes a retrospective analysis of the narratives and a discussion of Latina health issues and policy recommendations.
These Latina cultural narratives illustrate important aspects of the social contexts and real-world family relationships crucial to understanding illness. Speaking from the Body is a trailblazing collection of personal testimonies that integrates professional and personal perspectives and shows that our understanding of health remains incomplete if Latina cultural narratives are not included.
In an era when poetry as a cultural force in the West appears to be waning, Telling Rhythm presents a hopeful and invigorating new approach to reading and interpreting poetry. At the same time, the book reviews a tradition of theorizing about poetry and suggests some innovations in literary theory itself that point to new ways of thinking about poetic texts.
At one time in Europe, there was a point to pain: physical suffering could be a path to redemption. This religious notion suggested that truth was lodged in the body and could be achieved through torture. In Tortured Subjects, Lisa Silverman tells the haunting story of how this idea became a fixed part of the French legal system during the early modern period.
Looking closely at the theory and practice of judicial torture in France from 1600 to 1788, the year in which it was formally abolished, Silverman revisits dossiers compiled in criminal cases, including transcripts of interrogations conducted under torture, as well as the writings of physicians and surgeons concerned with the problem of pain, records of religious confraternities, diaries and letters of witnesses to public executions, and the writings of torture's abolitionists and apologists. She contends that torture was at the center of an epistemological crisis that forced French jurists and intellectuals to reconsider the relationship between coercion and sincerity, or between free will and evidence. As the philosophical consensus on which torture rested broke down, and definitions of truth and pain shifted, so too did the foundation of torture, until by the eighteenth century, it became an indefensible practice.
Toxic Airs brings together historians of medicine, environmental historians, historians of science and technology, and interdisciplinary scholars to address atmospheric issues on a spectrum of scales from body to place to planet. The chapters analyze airborne and atmospheric threats posed to humans, and contributors demonstrate how conceptions of toxicity have evolved and how humans have both created and mitigated toxins in the air.
Specific topics discussed include medieval beliefs in the pestilent breath of witches, malarial theory in India, domestic and military use of tear gas, Gulf War Syndrome, Los Angeles smog, automotive emissions control, the epidemiological effects of air pollution, transboundary air pollution, ozone depletion, the contributions of contemporary artists to climate awareness, and the toxic history of carbon “die”-oxide. Overall, the essays provide a wide-ranging historical study of interest to students and scholars of many disciplines.
Over twenty years of civil war in predominantly Christian Southern Sudan has forced countless people from their homes. Transforming Displaced Women in Sudan examines the lives of women who have forged a new community in a shantytown on the outskirts of Khartoum, the largely Muslim, heavily Arabized capital in the north of the country.
Sudanese-born anthropologist Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf delivers a rich ethnography of this squatter settlement based on personal interviews with displaced women and careful observation of the various strategies they adopt to reconstruct their lives and livelihoods. Her findings debunk the myth that these settlements are utterly abject, and instead she discovers a dynamic culture where many women play an active role in fighting for peace and social change. Abusharaf also examines the way women’s bodies are politicized by their displacement, analyzing issues such as religious conversion, marriage, and female circumcision.
An urgent dispatch from the ongoing humanitarian crisis in northeastern Africa, Transforming Displaced Women in Sudan will be essential for anyone concerned with the interrelated consequences of war, forced migration, and gender inequality.
Troping the Body: Gender, Etiquette, and Performance is an interdisciplinary study of etiquette texts, conduct literature, and advice books and films. Gwendolyn Audrey Foster analyzes the work of such women authors as Emily Post, Christine de Pizan, Hannah Webster Foster, Emily Brontë , Frances E. W. Harper, and Martha Stewart as well as such women filmmakers as Lois Weber and Kasi Lemmons.
“ Specifically,” Foster notes, “ I was interested in the possibility of locating power and agency in the voices of popular etiquette writers.” Her investigation led her to analyze etiquette and conduct literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Within this wide scope, she redefines the boundaries of conduct literature through a theoretical examination of the gendered body as it is positioned in conduct books, etiquette texts, poetry, fiction, and film.
Drawing on Bakhtin, Gates, Foucault, and the new school of performative feminism to develop an interdisciplinary approach to conduct literature— and literature as conduct— Foster brings a unique perspective to the analysis of ways in which the body has been gendered, raced, and constructed in terms of class and sexuality.
Even though women writers have been actively writing conduct and etiquette texts since the medieval period, few critical examinations of such literature exist in the fields of cultural studies and literary criticism. Thus, Foster’ s study fills a gap and does so uniquely in the existing literature. In examining these voices of authority over the body, Foster identifies the dialogic in the texts of this discipline that both supports and disrupts the hegemonic discourse of a gendered social order.
Setting out the implications of the postmodern condition for medical ethics, Troubled Bodies challenges the contemporary paradigms of medical ethics and reconceptualizes the nature of the field. Drawing on recent developments in philosophy, philosophy of science, and feminist theory, this volume seeks to expand familiar ethical reflections on medicine to incorporate new ways of thinking about the body and the dilemmas raised by recent developments in medical techniques. These essays examine the ways in which the consideration of ethical questions is shaped by the structures of knowledge and communication at work in clinical practice, by current assumptions regarding the concept of the body, and by the social and political implications of both. Representing various perspectives including medicine, nursing, philosophy, and sociology, these essays look anew at issues of abortion, reproductive technologies, the doctor-patient relationship, the social construction of illness, the cultural assumptions and consequences of medicine, and the theoretical presuppositions underlying modern psychiatry. Diverging from the tenets of mainstream bioethics, Troubled Bodies suggests that, rather than searching for the correct "coherent perspective" from which to draw ethical principles, we must apprehend the complexity and diversity of the discursive systems within which we dwell.
The eighteenth-century comic novelist Tobias Smollett has often been criticized for the extreme physicality of his writing, which is full of scatological images and graphic depictions of bodily injury and disintegration.
Aileen Douglas draws on feminist and other new theoretical perspectives to reassess Smollett's entire body of fiction as well as his classic Travels through France and Italy. Like many writers of his time, Douglas argues, Smollett was interested in the body and in how accurately it reflects internal disposition. But Smollett's special contribution to the eighteenth-century novel is his emphasis on sentience, or the sensations of the physical body. Looking at such works as The Adventures of Roderick Random, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, and The History and Adventures of an Atom, Douglas explores the ways Smollett uses representations of sentience—especially torment and pain—in his critique of the social and political order.
Trained in medicine, Smollett was especially alert to the ways in which the discourses of medicine, philosophy, and law construct (as we would put it now) the body as an object of knowledge, and yet his work always returns to the importance of the physical world of the body and its feelings. Smollett reminds us, as Douglas aptly puts it, that "if you prick a socially constructed body, it still bleeds."
Slovenian philosopher Miran Bozovic's An Utterly Dark Spot examines the elusive status of the body in early modern European philosophy by examining its various encounters with the gaze. Its range is impressive, moving from the Greek philosophers and theorists of the body (Aristotle, Plato, Hippocratic medical writers) to early modern thinkers (Spinoza, Leibniz, Malebranche, Descartes, Bentham) to modern figures including Jon Elster, Lacan, Althusser, Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen J. Gould, and others. Bozovic provides startling glimpses into various foreign mentalities haunted by problems of divinity, immortality, creation, nature, and desire, provoking insights that invert familiar assumptions about the relationship between mind and body.
The perspective is Lacanian, but Bozovic explores the idiosyncrasies of his material (e.g., the bodies of the Scythians, the transvestites transformed and disguised for the gaze of God; or Adam's body, which remained unseen as long as it was the only one in existence) with an attention to detail that is exceptional among Lacanian theorists. The approach makes for engaging reading, as Bozovic stages imagined encounters between leading thinkers, allowing them to converse about subjects that each explored, but in a different time and place. While its focus is on a particular problem in the history of philosophy, An Utterly Dark Spot will appeal to those interested in cultural studies, semiotics, theology, the history of religion, and political philosophy as well.
Miran Bozovic is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is the author of Der grosse Andere: Gotteskonzepte in der Philosophie der Neuzeit (Vienna: Verlag Turia & Kant, 1993) and editor of The Panopticon Writings by Jeremy Bentham (London: Verso, 1995).
In The World Below, Jacques Galinier surveys both traditional Otomí cosmology and colonial and contemporary Catholic rituals to illustrate the complexity of continuity and change in Mesoamerican religious ideology and practice. Galinier explores the problems of historical and family memory, models of space and time, the role of the human habitation in cosmology, shamanism and healing, and much more. He elucidates the way these realities are represented in a series of arresting oppositions - both Otomí oppositions and the duality of indigenous and Catholic ritual life - between the upper and lower human body.
Drawing upon both Freud and theories of the carnivalesque, Galinier argues that the "world below" (the lower half of the body) provides the foundation for an indigenous metapsychology that is at once very close to and very far away from the Freudian conceptual apparatus.
In At the Will of the Body, Arthur Frank told the story of his own illnesses, heart attack and cancer. That book ended by describing the existence of a "remission society," whose members all live with some form of illness or disability. The Wounded Storyteller is their collective portrait.
Ill people are more than victims of disease or patients of medicine; they are wounded storytellers. People tell stories to make sense of their suffering; when they turn their diseases into stories, they find healing.
Drawing on the work of authors such as Oliver Sacks, Anatole Broyard, Norman Cousins, and Audre Lorde, as well as from people he met during the years he spent among different illness groups, Frank recounts a stirring collection of illness stories, ranging from the well-known—Gilda Radner's battle with ovarian cancer—to the private testimonials of people with cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and disabilties. Their stories are more than accounts of personal suffering: they abound with moral choices and point to a social ethic.
Frank identifies three basic narratives of illness in restitution, chaos, and quest. Restitution narratives anticipate getting well again and give prominence to the technology of cure. In chaos narratives, illness seems to stretch on forever, with no respite or redeeming insights. Quest narratives are about finding that insight as illness is transformed into a means for the ill person to become someone new.
Since it was first published in 1995, The Wounded Storyteller has occupied a unique place in the body of work on illness. Both the collective portrait of a so-called “remission society” of those who suffer from some type of illness or disability and a cogent analysis of their stories within a larger framework of narrative theory, Arthur W. Frank’s book has reached a large and diverse readership including the ill, medical professionals, and scholars of literary theory.
Drawing on the work of authors such as Oliver Sacks, Anatole Broyard, Norman Cousins, and Audre Lorde, as well as from people he met during the years he spent among different illness groups, Frank recounts a stirring collection of illness stories, ranging from the well-known—Gilda Radner's battle with ovarian cancer—to the private testimonials of people with cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and disabilities. Their stories are more than accounts of personal suffering: they abound with moral choices and point to a social ethic.
In this new edition Frank adds a preface describing the personal and cultural times when the first edition was written. His new afterword extends the book’s argument significantly, writing about storytelling and experience, other modes of illness narration, and a version of hope that is both realistic and aspirational. Reflecting on both his own life during the creation of the first edition and the conclusions of the book itself, Frank reminds us of the power of storytelling as way to understanding our own suffering.
Feet, bras, autopsies, hair—Peggy Shinner takes an honest, unflinching look at all of them in You Feel So Mortal, a collection of searing and witty essays about the body: her own body, female and Jewish; those of her parents, the bodies she came from; and the collective body, with all its historical, social, and political implications. What, she asks, does this whole mess of bones, muscles, organs, and soul mean? Searching for answers, she turns her keen narrative sense to body image, gender, ethnic history, and familial legacy, exploring what it means to live in our bodies and to leave them behind.
Over the course of twelve essays, Shinner holds a mirror up to the complex desires, fears, confusions, and mysteries that shape our bodily perceptions. Driven by the collision between herself and the larger world, she examines her feet through the often-skewed lens of history to understand what makes them, in the eyes of some, decidedly Jewish; considers bras, breasts, and the storied skills of the bra fitter; asks, from the perspective of a confused and grieving daughter, what it means to cut the body open; and takes a reeling time-trip through myth, culture, and history to look at women’s hair in ancient Rome, Laos, France, Syria, Cuba, India, and her own past. Some pieces investigate the body under emotional or physical duress, while others use the body to consider personal heritage and legacy. Throughout, Shinner writes with elegance and assurance, weaving her wide-ranging thoughts into a firm and fascinating fabric.
Turning the category of body books on, well, its ear, You Feel So Mortal offers a probing view of our preoccupation with the body that is both idiosyncratic and universal, leaving us with the deep satisfaction of our shared humanity.