BN.com Gift Guide

The Body Of Frankenstein's Monster

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.93
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 70%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $4.93   
  • New (4) from $17.44   
  • Used (4) from $4.93   

Overview

Frankenstein. Werewolves. Dracula. These images aren't just imaginary creatures -- they're also powerful symbols of the body. The body can be thought of as a machine made up of parts like Frankenstein's monster, or as a creature ruled by animalistic urges, or as an entity that's vulnerable to infection from a diseased fiend. In "The Body of Frankenstein's Monster," Cecil Helman, M.D., expands our view of our bodies by exploring its cultural and artistic representations.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These inquisitive essays are a strong antidote to modern medicine's tendency to treat the body as a machine. A physician, anthropologist and folklorist based in London, Helman undertakes poetic, cross-disciplinary forays for high-tech medicine's connections to myth, magic and metaphor. He relates the placebo effect to mesmerism, interprets the Frankenstein story as a harbinger of transplant surgery and reads an X-ray image as a white-branched Tree of Life. From medical models of premenstrual tension in which women are slaves of a cyclical moon, he moves on to consider moonstruck werewolves, Sasquatch, Yeti and women's long, flowing hair as a symbol of animality. Germ imagery in daily language (``an epidemic of muggings'') leads him to unravel a ``germistic way of thinking,'' which blames our misfortunes on external forces. A medically informed social critic, Helman sees the watch and the clock as central icons of a civilization in which ambitious ``type A personalities'' are rewarded for their ruthless behavior. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Helman—professor of medicine (University College, London), family physician, and cultural historian—draws on his wide-ranging interests to offer a vivid, personable, and insightful exploration of physiology and fiction—of the interaction of the objective functioning of the human body and the subjective experience of it, as well as of the political analogues and social metaphors it inspires in both historic and contemporary terms. One version of the body, Frankenstein's monster, is, Helman says, an assemblage of otherwise alien parts existing in a balance of power, a "somatic democracy" disrupted occasionally by "aliens" such as transplants or "invaded" by germs (formerly demons), to which the poor, the weak, and the "morally inept" are particularly susceptible. This version of the body, the author explains, is more political than another version, "The Premenstrual Werewolf," which emphasizes the moral dimension of the body, destroyed by the release of repressed animal forces—contagious ones—expressed in a disease such as AIDS. At another extreme, in "The Medusa Machine," Helman depicts the body as a machine, an extension of TV and the computer, imperfectly projected in anthropomorphic robots. The last essay, "A Time of the Heart," traces the Type-A personality—aggressive, ambitious, impatient: the "Numerical Man" dominated by time, money, and statistics, acting out the values of the postindustrial society, a "moral marionette" whose success will cause his heart to fail. Helman's illustrations are especially apt and moving: an old man dies, the sitcom he was watching still reflected in his eyes, his dentures on the floor next to him, grinning backat the laughing figures. Or Helman reflects on the psychological damage to Isaac, the phobia he may have acquired against fathers, knives, rams, his post-traumatic syndrome. But the book is held together primarily by Helman's charm; it has the imperfect coherence of Frankenstein's monster, with which he is so fascinated. With its sweep, perception, originality, and felicitous use of language—an artistic and intellectual achievement.
Publishers Weekly
These inquisitive essays are a strong antidote to modern medicine's tendency to treat the body as a machine. A physician, anthropologist and folklorist based in London, Helman undertakes poetic, cross-disciplinary forays for high-tech medicine's connections to myth, magic and metaphor. He relates the placebo effect to mesmerism, interprets the Frankenstein story as a harbinger of transplant surgery and reads an X-ray image as a white-branched Tree of Life. From medical models of premenstrual ten
Kirkus Reviews
Helman--professor of medicine (University College, London), family physician, and cultural historian--draws on his wide-ranging interests to offer a vivid, personable, and insightful exploration of physiology and fiction--of the interaction of the objective functioning of the human body and the subjective experience of it, as well as of the political analogues and social metaphors it inspires in both historic and contemporary terms. One version of the body, Frankenstein's monster, is, Helman say
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931044837
  • Publisher: Cosimo
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Pages: 156
  • Sales rank: 1,246,649
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)