By Stefani Engelstein
In frightened Anatomy, Stefani Engelstein reconstructs the past due eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century human physique to provide startling new readings of significant works by means of Goethe, Blake, Heinrich von Kleist, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen. Engelstein hyperlinks examine on replica either to the power of organisms equivalent to hydra, snails, and newts to exchange severed heads and gouged out eyes, and in addition to technical advances in battlefield amputation and synthetic limbs. Readings of German and British literature, along usual background, 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 provide 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 info for Anxious Anatomy. The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse
This part focuses on the anxiety surrounding the apparent instrumentality of the body, with its suggestion of a materially imposed teleology, which formed such a large part of Kant’s Critique of Judgment. A. Hoffmann. The creator of Hoffmann’s automaton Olimpia in “The Sandman” was named Spalanzani in allusion to the actual naturalist. Like Hoffmann’s artiﬁcial humans in “The Automata,” Olimpia serves to undermine the status of the humans to whom she is anatomically linked. Hoffmann’s stories explore the repercussions of instrumentality for human volition, creativity, and individual 18 Anxious Anatomy identity.
Grafting, known in German as Pfropfung or Veredelung (ennoblement), was a general term that covered a variety of methods for attaching a fruit-bearing (or potentially fruit-bearing) part of one tree to the root-bearing part of another tree. In addition to its use as an umbrella term synonymous with Veredelung, Pfropfung was also used to indicate the most traditional of the three methods of grafting commonly discussed in gardening literature of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
In addition to writing literature, Goethe was also a naturalist concerned both with the ability of organisms to generate and maintain form and with the relationship of humans to other organisms. Already a 23 24 Anxious Anatomy canonical literary ﬁgure early in life, he complained passionately about the poor reception of his naturalist works, blaming false expectations among the public for attempting to restrict him as a literary author to the humanities. In retrospect, we view this period as merely the beginning of the gulf between the humanities and the natural sciences across Europe, which would widen over time, but Goethe’s experience of the incipient breach was agonized.
Anxious Anatomy. The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse by Stefani Engelstein