Catalogue


Bodily pain in romantic literature /
Jeremy Davies.
imprint
New York : Routledge, 2014.
description
xiv, 228 pages.
ISBN
0415842913 (hardback), 9780415842914 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Routledge, 2014.
isbn
0415842913 (hardback)
9780415842914 (hardback)
abstract
"When writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries explored the implications of organic and emotional sensitivity, the pain of the body gave rise to unsettling but irresistible questions. Urged on by some of their most deeply felt preoccupations -- and in the case of figures like Coleridge and P. B. Shelley, by their own experiences of chronic pain -- many writers found themselves drawn to the imaginative scrutiny of bodies in extremis. Bodily Pain in Romantic Literature reveals the significance of physical hurt for the poetry, philosophy, and medicine of the Romantic period. This study looks back to eighteenth-century medical controversies that made pain central to discussions about the nature of life, and forward to the birth of surgical anaesthesia in 1846. It examines why Jeremy Bentham wrote in defence of torture, and how pain sparked the imagination of thinkers from Adam Smith to the Marquis de Sade. Jeremy Davies brings to bear on Romantic studies the fascinating recent work in the medical humanities that offers a fresh understanding of bodily hurt, and shows how pain could prompt new ways of thinking about politics, ethics, and identity"--
catalogue key
9313738
 
Includes bibliographical references (pages 205-222) and index.
A Look Inside
Summaries
Main Description
When writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries explored the implications of organic and emotional sensitivity, the pain of the body gave rise to unsettling but irresistible questions. Urged on by some of their most deeply felt preoccupations - and in the case of figures like Coleridge and P. B. Shelley, by their own experiences of chronic pain - many writers found themselves drawn to the imaginative scrutiny of bodies in extremis. Bodily Pain in Romantic Literature reveals the significance of physical hurt for the poetry, philosophy, and medicine of the Romantic period. This study looks back to eighteenth-century medical controversies that made pain central to discussions about the nature of life, and forward to the birth of surgical anaesthesia in 1846. It examines why Jeremy Bentham wrote in defence of torture, and how pain sparked the imagination of thinkers from Adam Smith to the Marquis de Sade. Davies brings Romantic studies in conversation with the fascinating recent work in the medical humanities, which offer a fresh understanding of bodily hurt, and shows how pain can prompt new ways of thinking about politics, ethics, and identity.
Main Description
This book brings to light the significance of bodily pain for the literature, philosophy, and science of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. When writers of the Romantic period explored the implications of physical and mental sensitivity, bodily hurt gave rise to troubling but irresistible questions. This book looks back to the medical debates of the 1740s that made pain central to philosophical thinking about the nature of life, and forward to the development of surgical anaesthesia in 1846, when it was revealed for the first time that the processes of life could be separated altogether from feeling. Davies brings Romantic studies in conversation with the recent work in medical anthropology that offers a fresh understanding of the pain of the body. Extending ongoing debates about literature and medicine in the Romantic era, he argues that for a number of Romantic-period writers, pain became central to ethical thinking about the singularity or separateness of individual people.

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