An anatomy of disillusionment
Why illusions and disillusions?
The word that has been perhaps most often employed to
express the effects of the changes brought about by the
collapse of the Berlin Wall and the 1989 revolutions across
Central and Eastern Europe is disillusionment. People have
generally used it as a way to describe a certain state of
being—a sense of hopelessness—that had significant effects
on both the physical and psychological ability of individuals
to tackle the changes at hand. Disillusionment was
mentioned in a number of different contexts
The anatomy of an insurgency
The world is nothing more than a market, an immense fairground. (Jules Verne, Paris
in the Twentieth Century)
Making of an insurgent
Walter Wriston was nothing like a typical 1940s banker. In that decade, bankers
were easy-going, faithfully following the ‘3–6–3 rule’: paying 3 per cent interest on deposits, lending money at 6 per cent, and teeing off at the golf course by
3 p.m. By contrast, Wriston was never going to settle for a comfortable, albeit
dull, career. His natural inclination was to overturn the existing order, and his
The anatomy of aural suspense in
Rope and Vertigo
vividly remember seeing Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) for the first time as a graduate student in Austin, Texas, in the 1990s. I was hypnotised in the darkened
theatre as I listened to Bernard Herrmann’s swirling arpeggios and watched Saul
Bass’s spiralling visuals during the opening credits. Something –or someone –
took a hold of me that afternoon. Since that day, Herrmann’s music, especially
the opening Prelude, has been something akin to a musical dark passenger1 in my
The Gothic, Medical Collections and Victorian Popular Culture
As soon as the corpse became central to medical education, and as a growing number of private medical schools opened throughout Great Britain, involving the rise of the demand for dead bodies, the literary field played a significant part in the popularisation of medical knowledge, offering insights into the debates around medical practice and education. As this paper will show, the literary field dealt with medical practitioners treatment of the corpse through playing upon a Gothic rhetoric, dramatizing the tension between the cutting up, preservation and exhibition of human remains in medical collections and the objectification of the patient on the one hand, and the central part played by anatomy in medical knowledge and the therapeutic applications of dissection, on the other. Through exploring how literary texts capitalizing on the Gothic paraphernalia recorded cultural responses to medical practice in the long nineteenth century, this paper will ultimately underline the role that nineteenth-century literature played, not merely in the dissemination of medical knowledge but also in the public engagement of medicine.
An adolescent girl is mocked when she takes a bath with her peers, because her genitals look like those of a boy. A couple visits a doctor asking to ‘create more space’ in the woman for intercourse. A doctor finds testicular tissue in a woman with appendicitis, and decides to keep his findings quiet. These are just a few of the three hundred European case histories of people whose sex was doubted during the long nineteenth century that this book draws upon. The book offers a refreshingly new perspective on the relation between physical sex and identity over the long nineteenth century. Rather than taking sex, sexuality and gender identity as a starting point for discussing their mutual relations, it historicizes these very categories. Based on a wealth of previously unused source material, the book asks how sex was doubted in practice—whether by lay people, by hermaphrodites themselves, or by physicians; how this doubt was dealt with; what tacit logics directed the practices by which a person was assigned a sex, and how these logics changed over time. The book highlights three different rationales behind practices of doubting and (re)assigning sex: inscription, body and self. Sex as inscription refers to a lifelong inscription of a person in the social body as male or female, marked by the person's appearance. This logic made way for logics in which the truth of inner anatomy and inner self were more significant.
This collection expands the history of Chinese medicine by bridging the philosophical concerns of epistemology and the history and cultural politics of transregional medical formations. Topics range from the spread of gingko’s popularity from East Asia to the West to the appeal of acupuncture for complementing in-vitro fertilization regimens, from the modernization of Chinese anatomy and forensic science to the evolving perceptions of the clinical efficacy of Chinese medicine. The individual essays cohere around the powerful theoretical-methodological approach, “historical epistemology,” with which scholars in science studies have already challenged the seemingly constant and timeless status of such rudimentary but pivotal dimensions of scientific process as knowledge, reason, argument, objectivity, evidence, fact, and truth. Yet given that landmark studies in historical epistemology rarely navigate outside the intellectual landscape of Western science and medicine, this book broadens our understanding of its application and significance by drawing on and exploring the rich cultures of Chinese medicine. In studying the globalizing role of medical objects, the contested premise of medical authority and legitimacy, and the syncretic transformations of metaphysical and ontological knowledge, contributors illuminate how the breadth of the historical study of Chinese medicine and its practices of knowledge-making in the modern period must be at once philosophical and transnational in scope. This book will appeal to students and scholars working in science studies and medical humanities as well as readers who are interested in the broader problems of translation, material culture, and the global circulation of knowledge.
Seeing through the skin
‘If you wish to succeed in drawing, it is essential to study the body even to a
great level of detail’, stated Jean-Joseph Sue the younger in his 1788 Élémens
d’anatomie, à l’usage des peintres, des sculpteurs et des amateurs. Then still
working as assistant to his eponymous father, professor of anatomy at the
Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, Sue stressed the significance of
anatomical study for artists and continued that they should ‘curiously and
observantly eye all the parts of the body, both internal and external, that
Lyly, Euphues and the market for single-story books (1578–94)
formed a part. Its prose is heavily
euphuistic, its story follows Greene’s practice of privileging
the female viewpoint and Lyly’s practice of allowing soliloquy
and dialogue to dominate narrative statement. Most obviously, it is
a single-story book, following directly on from Lyly’s
Anatomy. Its prefatory material makes an appeal to
Lyly’s work with its references to ‘the
The Gothic is haunted by the ghost of William Blake. Scholars of the Gothic have long recognised Blake’s affinity with the genre, often invoking his name, characters, and images in passing. Yet, to date, no major scholarly study focused on Blake’s intersection with the Gothic exists. William Blake’s gothic imagination seeks to redress this disconnect and, in the words of another ghost, to lend a serious hearing to a dimension of Blake’s work we all somehow know to be vital and yet remains understudied. The essays here collected do not simply identify Blake’s Gothic conventions but, thanks to recent scholarship on affect, psychology, and embodiment in Gothic studies, reach deeper into the tissue of anxieties that take confused form through this notoriously nebulous historical, aesthetic, and narrative mode. The collection opens with papers touching on literary form, history, lineation, and narrative in Blake’s work, establishing contact with major topics in Gothic studies. The volume, however, eventually narrows its focus to Blake’s bloody, nervous bodies, through which he explores various kinds of Gothic horror related to reproduction, anatomy, sexuality, affect, and materiality. Rather than his transcendent images, this collection attends to Blake’s ‘dark visions of torment’. Drawing on the recent interest in Gothic studies on visual arts, this volume also highlights Blake’s engravings and paintings, productions that in both style and content suggest a rich, underexplored archive of Gothic invention. This collection will appeal to students of Romanticism, the Gothic, art history, media/mediation studies, popular mythography, and adaptation studies.
Throughout the history of European painting, skin has been the most significant surface for artistic imitation, and flesh has been a privileged site of lifelikeness. Skin and flesh entertain complex metaphorical relationships with artefacts, images, their making and materiality: fabricated surfaces are often described as skins, skin and colour have a longstanding connection, and paint is frequently associated with flesh. This book considers flesh and skin in art theory, image making and medical discourse and focuses on seventeenth to nineteenth-century France. It describes a gradual shift between the early modern and the modern period and argues that what artists made when imitating human nakedness was not always the same. Initially understood in terms of the body’s substance, of flesh tones and body colour, it became increasingly a matter of skin, skin colour and surfaces. This shift is traced in the terminology of art theory and in the practices of painting, as well as engraving, colour printing and drawing. Each chapter is dedicated to a different notion of skin and its colour, from flesh tones via a membrane imbued with nervous energy to hermetic borderline. Looking in particular at works by Fragonard, David, Girodet, Benoist and Ingres, the focus is on portraits, as facial skin is a special arena for testing and theorising painterly skills and a site where the body and the image made of it become equally expressive.