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The Male Body in Medicine and Literature

Mangham, A. and Lea, D., eds. (2018) The Male Body in Medicine and Literature. Liverpool University Press, pp264. ISBN 9781786940520

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Abstract/Summary

Contrary to what Simone de Beauvoir famously argued in 1949, men have not lived without knowing the burdens of their sex. Though men may have been elevated to cultural positions of strength and privilege, it has not been without intense scrutiny of their biological functions. Investigations of male potency and the ‘ability to perform’ have long been mainstays of social, political, and artistic discourse and have often provoked spirited and partisan declarations on what it means to be a man. This interdisciplinary collection considers the tensions that have developed between the historical privilege often ascribed to the male and the vulnerabilities to which his body is prone. Andrew Mangham and Daniel Lea’s introduction illustrates how with the dawn of modern medicine during the Renaissance there emerged a complex set of languages for describing the male body not only as a symbol of strength, but as flesh and bone prone to illness, injury and dysfunction. Using a variety of historical and literary approaches, the essays that follow consider the critical ways in which medicine’s interactions with literature reveal vital clues about the ways sex, gender, and identity are constructed.

Item Type:Book
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:89826
Publisher:Liverpool University Press

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