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Anxious anatomy : the conception of the human form in literary and naturalist discourse /
Stefani Engelstein.
imprint
Albany : State University of New York Press, c2008.
description
xiv, 326 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0791474771 (alk. paper), 9780791474778 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Albany : State University of New York Press, c2008.
isbn
0791474771 (alk. paper)
9780791474778 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
6601875
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 295-314) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-02-01:
From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, mysteries of the human body generated a host of contradictory theories and, not surprisingly, deep anxieties. Examining major literary works by William Blake, Goethe, Heinrich von Kleist, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen, Engelstein (German, Univ. of Missouri) explores the connections between investigations by naturalists and medical writers and creative works by poets and novelists. Engagingly written and impressively grounded in primary sources, the study offers startlingly fresh readings even of works that have inspired abundant scholarship, for example, Hoffmann's short story "Der Sandmann," Shelley's Frankenstein, and Austen's Persuasion. Engelstein illuminates vigorous public debate about the integrity, inviolability, and "signifying power" of the human body, particularly about beliefs that shaped and reflected discourse about race, gender, autonomy, aesthetics, and social and political theory. The book's four parts focus on reproduction, regeneration, artificial creation of life, and legibility, or the interpretation of somatic features. Particularly fascinating is Engelstein's discussion of theories of procreation--preformationism versus epigenesis, ovism versus spermism--that found their way most remarkably into Frankenstein. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. L. Simon Skidmore College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2009
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Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introduction: Resurrecting the Bodyp. 1
Replicability
Formative Drivesp. 23
Goethe's Monstrous Ottop. 26
Monkeys, Humans, and Other Mammalsp. 31
Reproductive Eyesp. 39
Metamorphologyp. 48
Elective Affinities, or, Chosen Correspondencesp. 55
Integrity
"Natural" Reproduction and Reproducing Naturep. 61
William Blake's Bodiesp. 70
Developing Embryologyp. 78
Regenerative Monsters: The Polypusp. 88
Prolific Devourers in Blakep. 98
Science and Consciencep. 106
Modular Bodiesp. 113
War Woundsp. 115
Kleist's Aesthetic Appendagesp. 127
Bodies in Motionp. 132
Disarming Knowledgep. 136
Disarticulationp. 139
Purposiveness
Autonomous or Automata?p. 145
Mutilations and Multiplicationp. 145
Hoffmann's Cyborgsp. 157
Instrumentality or Bits and Piecesp. 171
Just Animalsp. 179
Animal Instinct and Mary Shelleyp. 181
Beauty and the Beast: Female Sexuality and Male Materialityp. 192
Framing Justinep. 203
The Pursuit of Happinessp. 206
Legibility
Visual Epistemologyp. 221
Reading Racep. 221
Coloring in Austenp. 232
Conclusionp. 247
Notesp. 249
Works Citedp. 295
Indexp. 315
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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