Monstrous Bodies/Political Monstrosities in Early Modern Europe by Laura Lunger KnoppersMonstrous Bodies/Political Monstrosities in Early Modern Europe by Laura Lunger Knoppers

Monstrous Bodies/Political Monstrosities in Early Modern Europe

EditorLaura Lunger Knoppers, Joan B. Landes

Paperback | March 4, 2004

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Multi-disciplinary in approach and cross-European in scope, this richly illustrated book features new links between the political and the monstrous in the early modern period. Emphasizing the importance of the visual in the culture of the monstrous, the book presents a range of striking engravings, woodcuts, broadsides, and anatomical works. Some of the most respected scholars of early modern Europe explore monstrous bodies in descriptions of aberrant births and grotesque anatomies, appropriations of classical or biblical beasts and harlots, satire, myth, and science fiction.

Canonical writings on monstrosity by Aristotle, Ambroise Paré, Rabelais, Montaigne, and Mary Shelley are juxtaposed to less familiar treatments by Calvin, Luther, and Andrew Marvell, among others. This volume challenges established narratives in which modern science and medicine, sustained by enlightened reason and secularization, progressively contain and even "normalize" all monsters. Instead, these essays stress the continual reinvention and polemical applications of the monstrous in the early modern period. Monsters emerge as a rich subject for not only the history of science, but also political and religious history, literary studies, visual studies, and the history of popular culture.

Title:Monstrous Bodies/Political Monstrosities in Early Modern EuropeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.29 inPublished:March 4, 2004Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801489016

ISBN - 13:9780801489013

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Editorial Reviews

"Monstrous Bodies/Political Monstrosities in Early Modern Europe focuses attention on an exquisitely (and variously) specified form of demonization, the discourse of monstrosity in an era before its containment by teratology and, eventually, genetic profiling and plastic surgery. An era of revolutions, theological as well as politic, the period had considerable and largely unpleasant use for the rhetoric, the imagery, and even the simulacra of monstrosity. It is a particular comfort, towards the end of the book, to be shown the period's own deconstructions and rejections of this heated discourse in the works of Rabelais and Montaigne. The authors collected here aim to perform a similar unwinding of the representational abuse to which the early modern monster lent itself so readily in the political arena."—Mary Baine Campbell, author of Wonder and Science: Imagining Worlds in Early Modern Europe