Herculine Barbin: Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-century French Hermaphroditeby Herculine Barbin, Michel Foucault (Introduction), Richard McDougall (Translator)
With an eye for the sensual bloom of young schoolgirls, and the torrid style of the romantic novels of her day, Herculine Barbin tells the story of her life as a hermaphrodite. Herculine was designated female at birth. A pious girl in a Catholic orphanage, a bewildered adolescent enchanted by the ripening bodies of her classmates, a passionate lover of another schoolmistress, she is suddenly reclassified as a man. Alone and desolate, he commits suicide at the age of thirty in a miserable attic in Paris.
Here, in an erotic diary, is one lost voice from our sexual past. Provocative, articulate, eerily prescient as she imagines her corpse under the probing instruments of scientists, Herculine brings a disturbing perspective to our own notions of sexuality. Michel Foucault, who discovered these memoirs in the archives of the French Department of Public Hygiene, presents them with the graphic medical descriptions of Herculine's body before and after her death. In a striking contrast, a painfully confused young person and the doctors who examine her try to sort out the nature of masculine and feminine at the dawn of the age of modern sexuality.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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- New Edition
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- 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Meet the Author
Michel Foucault was born in Poitiers, France, in 1926. He lecturerd in universities throughout the world; served as director at the Institut Francais in Hamburg, Germany and at the Institut de Philosophi at the Faculte des Lettres in the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France; and wrote frequently for French newspapers and reviews. At the time of his death in 1984, he held a chair at France's most prestigious institutions, the College de France.
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Foucault wrote fiction and self-help/essay books on many subjects, including gender-identity. I do not believe this is an accurate historical document but a fake-memoir with some interesting points... Other post-modernist books have been published in the same fashion.. See Poor Things as an example. Please email me if you have more information on this.