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‘Keep your face out of my way or I’ll bite off your nose’: homoplastics, sympathy, and the noble body in the Tatler, 1710

Skuse, A. (2017) ‘Keep your face out of my way or I’ll bite off your nose’: homoplastics, sympathy, and the noble body in the Tatler, 1710. Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies, 17 (4). pp. 113-132. ISSN 1553-3786

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1353/jem.2017.0028

Abstract/Summary

This article discusses Joseph Addison’s 1710 satiric essay “Noses” as a fantasy of bodily alteration that responded to scientific and cultural developments of the previous hundred years. It shows how Addison’s essay draws upon and expands the nose-reconstruction operation detailed in Gaspare Tagliacozzi’s 1597 De Curtorum Chirurgia. Over the course of the seventeenth century, this operation became associated with the practice of allografting, grafting body parts between two individuals of the same species. This association was augmented by scientific experiments and theories, including blood transfusion, dissection, and the doctrine of sympathy. In Addison’s satire, the notion of a new nose made from the flesh of another person becomes a vehicle for wider questions about the meaning of bodily identity, and the social status indexed to that identity, in the face of new medical possibilities.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:69991
Publisher:University of Pennsylvania Press

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