By Gillian Bennett
Simply because they're so frequently advised as information, modern legends strength us to reevaluate lifestyles as we all know it. They confront us with macabre, outstanding, terrible, or hilarious characters and occasions that appear to come back directly out of myths and folktales, yet are offered as cutting-edge occasions. the trouble is that it isn't in any respect effortless to make a decision even if those frequently annoying tales could be taken care of as trustworthy or pushed aside as delusion. The legends explored during this ebook are essentially the most weird and wonderful, grotesque, and politically delicate tales within the modern legend canon. At any second a physique might be invaded by means of noxious creatures, intentionally contaminated with lethal ailment, or raided to supply donor organs for in poor health foreigners. those are "winter's tales," the stuff of nightmares. during this ebook Gillian Bennett lines the cultural heritage of six legends, recognized in Europe and the US from medieval occasions to the current day. showing in broadsides, ballads, myths, historical and glossy legends, novels, performs, motion pictures, tv indicates, and tales instructed within the oral culture, those legends should not simply foolish stories which are brushed off as trivial and unfaithful. They demonstrate a lot concerning the matters and fears of lifestyle and display the boundaries of information and tool within the smooth global. Gillian Bennett is the writer of "Alas, negative Ghost!": Traditions of trust in tale and Discourse and Traditions of trust: ladies and the Supernatural and coauthor of the normal legend bibliography and reader. She lives in Stockport, uk.
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Additional info for Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease, and Death in Contemporary Legend
In this tale, a wealthy Irish farmer falls asleep in the field where his laborers are cutting the hay. When he wakes up, he finds he has a pain in his side and begins to feel very strange. ” He had, of course, exhausted the skills of all the medical men in the neighborhood. However, when a beggar man appeared on the scene, he encouraged the sick man to describe his symptoms. ” . . “Was it wet,” says the beggarman. . ” said the beggarman. “There was,” says he. ” . . The beggarman examined the place for a long time, and then he stooped down over the grass and went backwards and forwards with his body bent, and his head down, groping among the herbs and weeds that were growing thickly in it.
The legend is then shaped into a dramatic demonstration that doctors are incompetent know-nothings. ” In some cases, the story tells how the patient’s family or doctor did not believe that there was a creature living in his/her stomach, but when he/she consulted an irregular practitioner or used the traditional remedy, the creature was found and the patient was cured. A good story from this particular angle is the case of a young man in Wales who fell ill of a mysterious complaint (“Animals in People’s Insides,” Notes and Queries 9, no.
Most of these creatures were found to have partially digested insects in their stomachs, indicating that they had been outside the body and feeding on their usual prey very shortly before they died. Similar experiments were conducted by an American physiologist fifteen years later, with similar results. The physiologist also conducted experiments in which live slugs and newts were fed to dogs, which were killed and dissected an hour later: all the slugs and newts were found to be already dead and partially digested (Bondeson 41–42).
Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease, and Death in Contemporary Legend by Gillian Bennett