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322 BOOK REVIEWS thin, the story is redeemed by its ending, when, during a chest tap, the young doctor bleeds and dies: The room was enormous, and people came from everywhere to fill it. They all went to work on me. But I wasn't there anymore. I watched them from a long distance, deep inside myself. The periphery of my vision constricted as they struggled. It closed down, like the diaphragm on a microscope , to a spot of white light that went gray, the gray ashimmer with scintillation. That point of light faded away as imperceptibly as a winter sunset on a western sea until finally, there was only the comfort of blackness, (p. 294) "Pilgrims," the last story, about an ob-gyn resident in Europe on vacation trying to recover his love, is, for me, anticlimactic. Moments in these stories stick in the mind like the first procedures we do as young doctors and the first disillusionments we experience. How to heal and be healed in a system that hurts? Good question—and fiction like this is a good way to move toward answers. —Samuel Shem Harvard Medical School Gail Kern Paster, The Body Embarrassed: Drama and the Disciplines of Shame in Early Modern England. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 1993. xv + 280 pp. Clothbound $42.95; paperback $14.95. All who have ever sweated, farted, belched, bled, or otherwise leaked at the wrong moment or in the wrong place—and who has not?—will find their embarrassments richly historicized in this extraordinary study of the theories, social practices, and textual representations of bodies imagined and experienced in terms of the humors. Decades have passed since Galen's physiology rated more than a footnote explaining some quaint turn of phrase. Now Gail Kern Paster returns humoral theory to a central position among the discourses that powerfully configured English bodies and minds in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Through meticulous, elegant, often compelling inter- Book Reviews 323 pretations of divers humoral texts interwoven with readings of plays by William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, and their contemporaries , Paster aims to chart "the difference humoralism... makes to the subjective experience of being-in-the-body" (p. 3). She also astutely queries, criticizes, refines, and elaborates on the work of Norbert Elias, Michel Foucault, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Thomas Laqueur (in ways that feminist scholars, especially, will find illuminating and long overdue). These writers have attempted to identify and analyze the ensemble of ideologically saturated ideas and techniques, by which individual bodies were made intelligible and conformable to the social body, that arose in the early modern period. Foucault, Elias, and Bakhtin, Paster notes, are "silent on the humors"—but in the disciplinary regimes that constitute emergent modernity, she argues, "the bodies to be mastered were humoral bodies" (pp. 2, 7). Moreover, Foucault et al. are not concerned with what she calls the subject's "internal habitus," her or his "internal orientation of the physical self within the socially available discourses of the body" (pp. 5-6), which Paster makes her focus. Finally, the discourses and disciplines of the body operated far more stringently than these writers have recognized to configure gendered selves through protocols of shame directed at women's bodies. The humoral body that Paster evokes is a "porous and fragile envelope" (p. 12) containing mutually soluble liquids: "Not only did blood, semen, milk, sweat, tears, and other bodily fluids turn into one another, but the processes of alimentation, excretion, menstruation, and lactation were understood as homologous" (p. 9), she explains. Internally open and fungible, this body was also delicately vulnerable to any external phenomena, most notably heat, cold, dryness, and moisture, and responsive as well to the weather, the seasons, diet, gender, age, sexual activity, and states of mind. Humoral texts rendered the vicissitudes of this body with an emotional power and linguistic vividness that may cause readers either to appreciate or deplore the affectless clinical discourse of our own day. For example, Paster quotes Helkiah Crooke, physician to James I, in his description of "'the Maze or labyrinth of the guts wheeled about in manifold foulds & convolutions '" so as to keep '"the noisom steame of the Faeculent...