Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. ix-x

Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

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1. Mediated Bodies and the Ideal of Transparency

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pp. 3-19

The transparent body is a cultural construct mediated by medical instruments, media technologies, artistic conventions, and social norms. In the past five centuries, a host of technical tools have been used to visualize the interior body. But has the body, as a result, become more transparent? Transparency, in this context, is...

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2. The Operation Film s a Mediated Freak Show

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pp. 20-40

Taking a stroll through the park on a sunny afternoon, I can hear from a distance someone playing old Dylan tunes. It takes a while for me to notice that the young street musician sitting on a folding chair attracts quite a crowd for such an all-too-familiar act. When I approach the scene, I understand why: his guitar is on the...

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3. Bodyworlds: The Art of Plastinated Cadavers

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pp. 41-63

In the 1950s, when synthetic materials had recently been introduced, people used to admire plastic tulips for their realistic quality. Consumers were charmed by the obvious advantages of these fake flowers: they never withered, and every tulip looked absolutely perfect. When I buy a bouquet of real tulips these...

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4. Fantastic Voyages in the Age of Endoscopy

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pp. 64-82

In the 1966 science-fiction movie fantastic voyage, a crew of three men and a woman (Raquel Welch) embark on a special mission. They enter a space capsule that is then shrunk to minuscule size before being injected into the vein of an anesthetized patient—famous scientist whose life is threatened by a blood clot. The body...

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5. X-Ray Vision in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain

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pp. 83-99

"'Madame knows everything; madame is worse than the x-rays'" (She pronounced 'x' with an affectation of difficulty and with a smile in deprecation of her, an unlettered woman's, daring to employ a scientific term) 'they brought here for mme octave, which see what is in your heart.' In Marcel Proust's Swann's way, set in the...

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6. Ultrasound and the Visible Fetus

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pp. 100-117

An episode of the popular television series ER ends with a revealing scene. Peter Benton, an ambitious surgical resident, has virtually ignored his pregnant girlfriend, Carla, when she is admitted to the ER because of early contractions. After the gynecologist on duty has finished Carla's ultrasound exam, the patient is fast...

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7. Digital Cadavers and Virtual Dissection

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pp. 118-137

Anatomical dissection is considered an essential ingredient of medical training. By looking at and cutting into dead bodies, future doctors learn to distinguish between healthy and diseased tissue in living bodies, and also gain an understanding of the three-dimensional shapes of organs, veins, and bones...

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Epilogue

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pp. 138-142

Filmed operations, plastinated corpses, endoscopic travels through the body, X rays of lung tissue, ultrasound images of fetuses, digitized cadavers—all of these once challenged or still challenge our perception of the body. Together, they suggest an ingrained, historically changing desire for more access to, and more transparency of, the body's interior. Over the past centuries, physicians have increasingly...

Notes

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pp. 143-173

Bibliography

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pp. 175-186

Index

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pp. 187-193