Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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p. xi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

The critical literature of the past decades bears witness to a renewed interest in the body, in its literary, philosophical, social, and historical construction.1 The confluence of these discourses that shape the destiny of the body is grounded in specific historical conditions that determine its particular modes of existence. ...

I. Baroque Embodiments

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1. Montaigne's Scriptorial Bodies: Experience, Sexuality, Style

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pp. 15-40

Since the publication of Michel de Montaigne's Essays (1588), commentators and critics alike have continued to argue about both the philosophical and the stylistic merits of the work. The advent of Carrtesianism and classicism in the latter half of the seventeenth century had an impact on the critical reception of Montaigne's works...

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2. Emblematic Legacies: Regendering the Hieroglyphs of Desire

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pp. 41-64

Although widely read and broadly disseminated throughout the first half of the seventeenth century, Honore d'Urft's monumental pastoral novel Astrea (L'Astree, 1607-27) soon lost its appeal to the general public.1 This decline in interest reflected a shift in taste of the readerly public, who, guided by the emergent classical aesthetics in the second half of the seventeenth century...

II. Cartesian Bodies, Virtual Bodies

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3. The Automaton as Virtual Model: Anatomy, Technology, and the Inhuman

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pp. 67-82

Although less than fifty years separate the publication of Michel de Montaigne's Essays (1588) from Rene Descartes's Discourse on Method (1637; published anonymously), the representation of the body in these works is radically different.1 Considered from a historical perspective this span of time appears relatively short...

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4. Spectral Metaphysics: Errant Bodies and Bodies in Error

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pp. 83-107

Descartes's Meditations on the First Philosophy are puzzling to the extent that the ostensible aim of demonstrating the existence of God and the distinction between the mind and the body is underlain by the haunting invocation and recurrent appearance of errant, spectral, and mechanical bodies. From Descartes's insistent appeal to the presence of his own body...

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5. Incorporations: Royal Power, or the Social Body in Corneille's The Cid

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pp. 109-130

The concurrent publication of the Discourse on Method (1637) with the performance of Pierre Corneille's The Cid (1637) affords a special opportunity for observing how seventeenth-century French culture represented and understood the body. The Cid provides a literary counterpart to Rene Descartes's anatomical and philosophical analysis of the body in the Discourse...

III. Materialist Machines

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6. Men-Machines

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pp. 133-146

Does the cogito have a sex? This question might appear to be absurd or at best irrelevant, given that the discussion of the Cartesian cogito in chapter 3 established the disembodiment of subjectivity and the virtualization of the body by its reduction to a machine. If the question of sexuality and sexual difference appears to be moot in regard to Cartesian subjectivity...

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7. Sex at the Limits of Representation

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pp. 147-167

"It is necessary," wrote Baudelaire, "to keep coming back to Sade, again and again."1 Baudelaire's injunction has been quite prophetic, since contemporary critics continue to return to Sade in order to assess his contribution to modernity. D. A. F. de Sade's novelistic work has been interpreted by critics since Bataille as a literature of transgression.2...

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Conclusion

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pp. 169-177

The genealogies of the modern body outlined in the pages of this volume present us with a paradoxical legacy. We find ourselves today turning back to early modern conceptions of the body in order to question and overcome the predominance of modern conceptions. It is precisely those aspects of the body that were foreclosed by the foundation of modern notions...

Notes

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pp. 179-209

Bibliography

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pp. 211-222

Index

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pp. 223-235