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By Dalia Judovitz

What's the physique? How used to be it culturally developed, conceived, and cultivated ahead of and after the arrival of rationalism and glossy technological know-how? This interdisciplinary research elaborates a cultural family tree of the physique and its legacies to modernity through tracing its the most important redefinition from a stay anatomical entity to disembodied, mechanical and digital analogs.The examine levels from Baroque, pre-Cartesian interpretations of physique and embodiment, to the Cartesian elaboration of ontological distinction and mind-body dualism, and it concludes with the parodic and violent aftermath of this legacy to the French Enlightenment. It engages paintings by way of philosophical authors similar to Montaigne, Descartes and l. a. Mettrie, in addition to literary works by means of d'Urf?, Corneille and the Marquis de Sade. The exam of sexuality and the emergence of sexual distinction as a dominant mode of embodiment are valuable to the book's total layout. The paintings is expert via philosophical bills of the physique (Nietzsche, Foucault, Merleau-Ponty), by way of feminist conception (Butler, Irigaray, Bordo), in addition to by way of literary and cultural historians (Scarry, Stewart, Bynum, etc.) and historians of technology (Canguilhem, Pagel, and Temkin), between others. it is going to entice students of literature, philosophy, French reports, serious thought, feminist conception, cultural historians and historians of technology and technology.Dalia Judovitz is Professor of French, Emory collage. She can also be writer of Unpacking Duchamp: artwork in Transit and Subjectivity and illustration in Decartes: The Origins of Modernity.

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Extra info for The Culture of the Body: Genealogies of Modernity (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)

Sample text

He takes as an example his own attendant, his page: "My page makes love and understands it" (III, 5: 666). However, this page will be unable to recognize his actions in the philosophical writings that are read to him. This example is particularly telling, since the word for page (page) is identical to the word for a page of a book (or "attendant"). Conflating in the same breath his own page and the pages of the Essays, Montaigne affirms the uniqueness of his own text in terms that refuse its assimilation to more technical and specialized philosophical writings.

34 The process of reproduction, of generating copies, enhances as it were the original, suggesting that sexuality itself is indelibly tied to its transposition and displacement into a poetic representation. However, Montaigne is not content with Virgil's poetic representation of eroticism between Venus and Vulcan, which takes place in a marital context. He supplements Virgil's erotic scene with Lucretius's description of Venus's adulterous enjoyments with Mars. 35 He thus substitutes the description of one erotic scene with another, which he finds more appropriate because of its illicit character.

Admitting to his own aping and imitative nature, Montaigne is conscious of the imprint of others upon his own text: "Anyone I regard with attention easily imprints on me something of himself" (III, 5: 667). While recognizing other authors' presence in, and influence on, his text, Montaigne's emphasis on style or fashioning, on his own manner of transposing and disposing the speech of others, suggests a new way of understanding value and artistic originality. Just as Montaigne appropriates forms of conventional language by refashioning it as the bearer of "unaccustomed movements," so are his quotationa I borrowings from others renegotiated through their inscription into the fabric and formal movement of his essay.

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