Memoirs of a Man's Maiden Years

Memoirs of a Man's Maiden Years

by N. O. Body
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0812220617

ISBN-13: 9780812220612

Pub. Date: 05/15/2009

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

"I was born a boy, raised as a girl. . . . One may raise a healthy boy in as womanish a manner as one wishes, and a female creature in as mannish; never will this cause their senses to remain forever reversed."

So writes the pseudonymous N. O. Body, born in 1884 with ambiguous genitalia and assigned a female identity in early infancy. Brought up as a girl, "she"

Overview

"I was born a boy, raised as a girl. . . . One may raise a healthy boy in as womanish a manner as one wishes, and a female creature in as mannish; never will this cause their senses to remain forever reversed."

So writes the pseudonymous N. O. Body, born in 1884 with ambiguous genitalia and assigned a female identity in early infancy. Brought up as a girl, "she" nevertheless asserted stereotypical male behavior from early on. In the end, it was a passionate love affair with a married woman that brought matters to a head. Desperately confused, suicidally depressed, and in consultation with Magnus Hirschfeld, one of the most eminent and controversial sexologists of the day, "she" decided to become "he."

Originally published in 1907 and now available for the first time in English, Memoirs of a Man's Maiden Years describes a childhood and youth in Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany that is shaped by bourgeois attitudes and stifled by convention. It is, at the same time, a book startlingly charged with sexuality. Yet, however frank the memoirist may be about matters physical or emotional, Hermann Simon reveals in his afterword the full extent of the lengths to which N. O. Body went to hide not just his true name but a second secret, his Jewish identity. And here, Sander L. Gilman suggests in his brilliant preface, may lie the crucial hint to solving the real riddle of the ambiguously gendered N. O. Body.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812220612
Publisher:
University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
Publication date:
05/15/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,089,292
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Preface: Whose Body Is It, Anyway? Hermaphrodites, Gays, and Jews in N. O. Body's Germany
—Sander L. Gilman

Foreword
—Rudolf Presber

THE MEMOIR

Epilogue
—Dr. Med. Magnus Hirschfeld

Afterword: In Search of Karl Baer
—Dr. Hermann Simon

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