Anxious Anatomy: The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse

Anxious Anatomy: The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse

by Stefani Engelstein
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791474771

ISBN-13: 9780791474778

Pub. Date: 07/01/2008

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Examines the body in literature and science in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Europe.

In Anxious Anatomy, Stefani Engelstein reconstructs the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century human body to offer startling new readings of major works by Goethe, Blake, Heinrich von Kleist, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen.

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Overview

Examines the body in literature and science in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Europe.

In Anxious Anatomy, Stefani Engelstein reconstructs the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century human body to offer startling new readings of major works by Goethe, Blake, Heinrich von Kleist, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen. Engelstein links research on reproduction both to the ability of organisms such as hydra, snails, and newts to replace severed heads and gouged out eyes, and also to technical advances in battlefield amputation and artificial limbs. Readings of German and British literature, alongside natural history, surgery, aesthetics, and art, illuminate the importance of investigations into the body for emerging theories of human subjectivity, gender, volition, ethical behavior, and political organization. Engelstein also demonstrates how attempts to explain the structural characteristics of the body developed into biological justifications for ideologies of race, gender, and social hierarchies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791474778
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Series:
SUNY series, Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century Series
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Introduction: Resurrecting the Body

Part 1: Replicability

1. Formative Drives

Goethe’s Monstrous Otto
Monkeys, Humans, and Other Mammals
Reproductive Eyes
Metamorphology
Elective Affinities, or, Chosen Correspondences

Part 2: Integrity

2. "Natural" Reproduction and Reproducing Nature

William Blake’s Bodies
Developing Embryology
Regenerative Monsters: The Polypus
Prolific Devourers in Blake
Science and Conscience

3. Modular Bodies

War Wounds
Kleist’s Aesthetic Appendages
Bodies in Motion
Disarming Knowledge
Disarticulation

Part 3: Purposiveness

4. Autonomous or Automata?

Mutilations and Multiplication
Hoffmann’s Cyborgs
Instrumentality or Bits and Pieces

5. Just Animals

Animal Instinct and Mary Shelley
Beauty and the Beast: Female Sexuality and Male Materiality
Framing Justine
The Pursuit of Happiness

Part 4: Legibility

6. Visual Epistemology

Reading Race
Coloring in Austen
Conclusion

Notes
Works Cited
Index

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