Anxious Anatomy. The Conception of the Human Form in by Stefani Engelstein

By Stefani Engelstein

In apprehensive Anatomy, Stefani Engelstein reconstructs the past due eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century human physique to supply startling new readings of significant works through Goethe, Blake, Heinrich von Kleist, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen. Engelstein hyperlinks learn on copy either to the facility of organisms similar to hydra, snails, and newts to interchange severed heads and gouged out eyes, and likewise to technical advances in battlefield amputation and synthetic limbs. Readings of German and British literature, along ordinary historical past, surgical procedure, aesthetics, and paintings, remove darkness from the significance of investigations into the physique for rising theories of human subjectivity, gender, volition, moral habit, and political association. Engelstein additionally demonstrates how makes an attempt to give an explanation for the structural features of the physique built into organic justifications for ideologies of race, gender, and social hierarchies.

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Extra resources for Anxious Anatomy. The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse

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This method of grafting resulted in a visible scar, since the grafted scion was considerably narrower than the stock to which it bonded. A new form of grafting, called “Kopulieren,” was invented by Georgii Holyck in 1678. 47 Unlike traditionally grafted trees, a copulated plant would leave no visible trace of the hybridization by which it was created. Although Holyck does not provide a justification for his choice of name for the new method, the word clearly activates an analogy between the grafting and a sexual bond.

6 The route to such decisiveness, however, remains obscure. Ultimately for Benjamin, the obverse to the mythic he associates with nature can be found only in a divine irruption into the human sphere. Goethe, however, approaches the ability or inability of humans to differentiate among natural objects, including themselves, to draw meaning out of this differentiation, and to participate in a moral sphere, without recourse to revelation. The failure of characters in Elective Affinities to rise above nature is thus posited by Goethe as the foundation of human existence.

Although Holyck does not provide a justification for his choice of name for the new method, the word clearly activates an analogy between the grafting and a sexual bond. It is no coincidence that the frontispieces to books on grafting in the garden often show a flirtatious young man and a young woman of reproductive age performing the work together. Fig. 2 shows just such a couple in the frontispiece to David Ludwig Henne’s 1791 Anweisung wie man eine Baumschule von Obstbäumen im Großen anlegen und gehörig unterhalten solle.

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