Pathologizing Gilles: Discursive Bodies in Thomas-Simon Gueullette's Parades and 18th Century Parisian Fairground Spectacles
University of Minnesota, 2007 - 458 pages
The parades utilized theories circulating in social, scientific and medical arenas to create another type of knowledge: fictional and mythical. In them, daily reality was simultaneously reflected and subverted through the production of bodies that imposed their materiality on stage borrowing their organs from existing authoritative discourses. These corpo-realities proliferated through the re-configuration of various registers. Some of these fields were: public health and control; waste and excrement management in the city; surface appearance and shifting tenants on hygiene; sensationalist treatises: materialist doctrines and experiments on animation of dead matter; optical illusions, charlatanism and the exhibition of human phenomena; the training, function and regard of doctors in urban milieus; the desire for foreign narratives and the violence exerting the disappearance of the actual "other" in them; the constructed sexuality of prostitutes in philosophical, medical and literary writings, and the mystery of reproductive physiology.
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