Psychosomatic Disorders in Seventeenth-Century French Literature

Psychosomatic Disorders in Seventeenth-Century French Literature

by Bernadette Hofer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0754666212

ISBN-13: 9780754666219

Pub. Date: 11/01/2009

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Bernadette Höfer'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 Höfer explores how Surin, Molière, Lafayette, and

Overview

Bernadette Höfer'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 Höfer 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780754666219
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
11/01/2009
Series:
Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity Series
Pages:
260
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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