Psychosomatic Disorders in Seventeenth-Century French Literatureby Bernadette Hofer
Pub. Date: 11/01/2009
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Bernadette HÃ¶fer's innovative and ambitious monograph argues that the epistemology of the Cartesian mind/body dualism, and its insistence on the primacy of analytic thought over bodily function, has surprisingly little purchase in texts by prominent classical writers. In this study HÃ¶fer explores how Surin, Molière, Lafayette, and Racine represent interconnections of body and mind that influence behaviour, both voluntary and involuntary, and that thus disprove the classical notion of the mind as distinct from and superior to the body. The author's interdisciplinary perspective utilizes early modern medical and philosophical treatises, as well as contemporary medical compilations in the disciplines of psychosomatic medicine, neurobiology, and psychoanalysis, to demonstrate that these seventeenth-century French writers established a view of human existence that fully anticipates current thought regarding psychosomatic illness.
- Taylor & Francis
- Publication date:
- Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity Series
- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; The relational conception of mind and body in the 17th century; Possession, exorcism, and madness: the context of Jean-Joseph Surin's illness; Melancholic subversions in Molière's Le Misanthrope (1666) and Le Malade Imaginaire (1673); Psychosomatic fiction in Madame de Lafayette: the enigma of illness; The theatre of melancholy: Jean Racine's Phèdre (1677); Conclusion: Works cited; Index.
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