The Body in Pain

The Making and Unmaking of the World

Author: Elaine Scarry

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199741220

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 400

View: 4143

Part philosophical meditation, part cultural critique, The Body in Pain is a profoundly original study that has already stirred excitement in a wide range of intellectual circles. The book is an analysis of physical suffering and its relation to the numerous vocabularies and cultural forces--literary, political, philosophical, medical, religious--that confront it. Elaine Scarry bases her study on a wide range of sources: literature and art, medical case histories, documents on torture compiled by Amnesty International, legal transcripts of personal injury trials, and military and strategic writings by such figures as Clausewitz, Churchill, Liddell Hart, and Kissinger, She weaves these into her discussion with an eloquence, humanity, and insight that recall the writings of Hannah Arendt and Jean-Paul Sartre. Scarry begins with the fact of pain's inexpressibility. Not only is physical pain enormously difficult to describe in words--confronted with it, Virginia Woolf once noted, "language runs dry"--it also actively destroys language, reducing sufferers in the most extreme instances to an inarticulate state of cries and moans. Scarry analyzes the political ramifications of deliberately inflicted pain, specifically in the cases of torture and warfare, and shows how to be fictive. From these actions of "unmaking" Scarry turns finally to the actions of "making"--the examples of artistic and cultural creation that work against pain and the debased uses that are made of it. Challenging and inventive, The Body in Pain is landmark work that promises to spark widespread debate.
Posted in Literary Criticism

The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World

Author: Elaine Scarry

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195036018

Category: Medical

Page: 400

View: 8474

Part philosophical meditation, part cultural critique, The Body in Pain is a profoundly original study that has already stirred excitement in a wide range of intellectual circles. The book is an analysis of physical suffering and its relation to the numerous vocabularies and cultural forces--literary, political, philosophical, medical, religious--that confront it. Elaine Scarry bases her study on a wide range of sources: literature and art, medical case histories, documents on torture compiled by Amnesty International, legal transcripts of personal injury trials, and military and strategic writings by such figures as Clausewitz, Churchill, Liddell Hart, and Kissinger, She weaves these into her discussion with an eloquence, humanity, and insight that recall the writings of Hannah Arendt and Jean-Paul Sartre. Scarry begins with the fact of pain's inexpressibility. Not only is physical pain enormously difficult to describe in words--confronted with it, Virginia Woolf once noted, "language runs dry"--it also actively destroys language, reducing sufferers in the most extreme instances to an inarticulate state of cries and moans. Scarry analyzes the political ramifications of deliberately inflicted pain, specifically in the cases of torture and warfare, and shows how to be fictive. From these actions of "unmaking" Scarry turns finally to the actions of "making"--the examples of artistic and cultural creation that work against pain and the debased uses that are made of it. Challenging and inventive, The Body in Pain is landmark work that promises to spark widespread debate.
Posted in Medical

The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World

Author: Elaine Scarry

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0195036018

Category: Medical

Page: 400

View: 9145

Part philosophical meditation, part cultural critique, The Body in Pain is a profoundly original study that has already stirred excitement in a wide range of intellectual circles. The book is an analysis of physical suffering and its relation to the numerous vocabularies and cultural forces--literary, political, philosophical, medical, religious--that confront it. Elaine Scarry bases her study on a wide range of sources: literature and art, medical case histories, documents on torture compiled by Amnesty International, legal transcripts of personal injury trials, and military and strategic writings by such figures as Clausewitz, Churchill, Liddell Hart, and Kissinger, She weaves these into her discussion with an eloquence, humanity, and insight that recall the writings of Hannah Arendt and Jean-Paul Sartre. Scarry begins with the fact of pain's inexpressibility. Not only is physical pain enormously difficult to describe in words--confronted with it, Virginia Woolf once noted, "language runs dry"--it also actively destroys language, reducing sufferers in the most extreme instances to an inarticulate state of cries and moans. Scarry analyzes the political ramifications of deliberately inflicted pain, specifically in the cases of torture and warfare, and shows how to be fictive. From these actions of "unmaking" Scarry turns finally to the actions of "making"--the examples of artistic and cultural creation that work against pain and the debased uses that are made of it. Challenging and inventive, The Body in Pain is landmark work that promises to spark widespread debate.
Posted in Medical

On Beauty and Being Just

Author: Elaine Scarry

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400847354

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 7827

Have we become beauty-blind? For two decades or more in the humanities, various political arguments have been put forward against beauty: that it distracts us from more important issues; that it is the handmaiden of privilege; and that it masks political interests. In On Beauty and Being Just Elaine Scarry not only defends beauty from the political arguments against it but also argues that beauty does indeed press us toward a greater concern for justice. Taking inspiration from writers and thinkers as diverse as Homer, Plato, Marcel Proust, Simone Weil, and Iris Murdoch as well as her own experiences, Scarry offers up an elegant, passionate manifesto for the revival of beauty in our intellectual work as well as our homes, museums, and classrooms. Scarry argues that our responses to beauty are perceptual events of profound significance for the individual and for society. Presenting us with a rare and exceptional opportunity to witness fairness, beauty assists us in our attention to justice. The beautiful object renders fairness, an abstract concept, concrete by making it directly available to our sensory perceptions. With its direct appeal to the senses, beauty stops us, transfixes us, fills us with a "surfeit of aliveness." In so doing, it takes the individual away from the center of his or her self-preoccupation and thus prompts a distribution of attention outward toward others and, ultimately, she contends, toward ethical fairness. Scarry, author of the landmark The Body in Pain and one of our bravest and most creative thinkers, offers us here philosophical critique written with clarity and conviction as well as a passionate plea that we change the way we think about beauty.
Posted in Philosophy

Resisting Representation

Author: Elaine Scarry Professor of English and American Literature Harvard University

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198025025

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 200

View: 1364

Posted in Literary Criticism

Thinking in an Emergency (Norton Global Ethics Series)

Author: Elaine Scarry

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393081044

Category: Political Science

Page: 176

View: 9424

Award-winning critic Elaine Scarry provides a vital new assessment of leadership during crisis that ensures the protection of democratic values. In Thinking in an Emergency, Elaine Scarry lays bare the realities of “emergency” politics and emphasizes what she sees as the ultimate ethical concern: “equality of survival.” She reveals how regular citizens can reclaim the power to protect one another and our democratic principles. Government leaders sometimes argue that the need for swift national action means there is no time for the population to think, deliberate, or debate. But Scarry shows that clear thinking and rapid action are not in opposition. Examining regions as diverse as Japan, Switzerland, Ethiopia, and Canada, Scarry identifies forms of emergency assistance that represent “thinking” at its most rigorous and remarkable. She draws on the work of philosophers, scientists, and artists to remind us of our ability to assist one another, whether we are called upon to perform acts of rescue as individuals, as members of a neighborhood, or as citizens of a country.
Posted in Political Science

Regarding the Pain of Others

Author: Susan Sontag

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1466853573

Category: Social Science

Page: 144

View: 4647

A brilliant, clear-eyed new consideration of the visual representation of violence in our culture--its ubiquity, meanings, and effects Watching the evening news offers constant evidence of atrocity--a daily commonplace in our "society of spectacle." But are viewers inured -or incited--to violence by the daily depiction of cruelty and horror? Is the viewer's perception of reality eroded by the universal availability of imagery intended to shock? In her first full-scale investigation of the role of imagery in our culture since her now-classic book On Photography defined the terms of the debate twenty-five years ago, Susan Sontag cuts through circular arguments about how pictures can inspire dissent or foster violence as she takes a fresh look at the representation of atrocity--from Goya's The Disasters of War to photographs of the American Civil War, lynchings of blacks in the South, and Dachau and Auschwitz to contemporary horrific images of Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and New York City on September 11, 2001. As John Berger wrote when On Photography was first published, "All future discussions or analysis of the role of photography in the affluent mass-media societies is now bound to begin with her book." Sontag's new book, a startling reappraisal of the intersection of "information", "news," "art," and politics in the contemporary depiction of war and disaster, will be equally essential. It will forever alter our thinking about the uses and meanings of images in our world.
Posted in Social Science

Rule of Law, Misrule of Men

Author: Elaine Scarry

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 026226577X

Category: Political Science

Page: 224

View: 7034

This book is a passionate call for citizen action to uphold the rule of law when government does not. Arguing that post-9/11 legislation and foreign policy severed the executive branch from the will of the people, Elaine Scarry in Rule of Law, Misrule of Men offers a fierce defense of the people's role as guarantor of our democracy. She begins with the groundswell of local resistance to the 2001 Patriot Act, when hundreds of towns, cities, and counties passed resolutions refusing compliance with the information-gathering the act demanded, showing that citizens can take action against laws that undermine the rights of citizens and noncitizens alike. Scarry, once described in the New York Times Sunday Magazine as "known for her unflinching investigations of war, torture, and pain," then turns to the conduct of the Iraqi occupation, arguing that the Bush administration led the country onto treacherous moral terrain, violating the Geneva Conventions and the armed forces' own most fundamental standards. She warns of the damage done to democracy when military personnel must choose between their own codes of warfare and the illegal orders of their civilian superiors. If our military leaders uphold the rule of law when civilian leaders do not, might we come to prefer them? Finally, reviewing what we know now about the Bush administration's crimes, Scarry insists that prosecution -- whether local, national, or international -- is essential to restoring the rule of law, and she shows how a brave town in Vermont has taken up the challenge.Throughout the book, Scarry finds hope in moments where citizens withheld their consent to grievous crimes, finding creative ways to stand by their patriotism.
Posted in Political Science

Pain

The Science of Suffering

Author: Patrick Wall

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231529406

Category: Medical

Page: 192

View: 2338

Pain is one of medicine's greatest mysteries. When farmer John Mitson caught his hand in a baler, he cut off his trapped hand and carried it to a neighbor. "Sheer survival and logic" was how he described it. "And strangely, I didn't feel any pain." How can this be? We're taught that pain is a warning message to be heeded at all costs, yet it can switch off in the most agonizing circumstances or switch on for no apparent reason. Many scientists, philosophers, and laypeople imagine pain to operate like a rigid, simple signaling system, as if a particular injury generates a fixed amount of pain that simply gets transmitted to the brain; yet this mechanistic model is woefully lacking in the face of the surprising facts about what people and animals do and experience when their bodies are damaged. Patrick Wall looks at these questions and sets his scientific account in a broad context, interweaving it with a wealth of fascinating and sometimes disturbing historical detail, such as famous characters who derived pleasure from pain, the unexpected reactions of injured people, the role of endorphins, and the power of placebo. He covers cures of pain, ranging from drugs and surgery, through relaxation techniques and exercise, to acupuncture, electrical nerve stimulation, and herbalism. Pain involves our state of mind, our social mores and beliefs, and our personal experiences and expectations. Stepping beyond the famous neurologic gate-control theory for which he is known, Wall shows that pain is a matter of behavior and its manifestation differs among individuals, situations, and cultures. "The way we deal with pain is an expression of individuality."
Posted in Medical

Resisting Representation

Author: Elaine Scarry

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0195089642

Category: History

Page: 191

View: 1538

Renowned scholar Elaine Scarry celebrates language as she deals with the complicated problems of representation in diverse and cultural genres--from her beloved sixth-century philosopher Boethius through the 19th-century novel to 20th-century advertising.
Posted in History

Beyond the Body Proper

Reading the Anthropology of Material Life

Author: Margaret M. Lock,Judith Farquhar

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822338451

Category: Social Science

Page: 688

View: 1929

A theoretically sophisticated and cross-disciplinary reader in the anthropology of the body.
Posted in Social Science

The Story of Pain

From Prayer to Painkillers

Author: Joanna Bourke

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191003557

Category: Medical

Page: 336

View: 8572

Everyone knows what is feels like to be in pain. Scraped knees, toothaches, migraines, giving birth, cancer, heart attacks, and heartaches: pain permeates our entire lives. We also witness other people - loved ones - suffering, and we 'feel with' them. It is easy to assume this is the end of the story: 'pain-is-pain-is-pain', and that is all there is to say. But it is not. In fact, the way in which people respond to what they describe as 'painful' has changed considerably over time. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for example, people believed that pain served a specific (and positive) function - it was a message from God or Nature; it would perfect the spirit. 'Suffer in this life and you wouldn't suffer in the next one'. Submission to pain was required. Nothing could be more removed from twentieth and twenty-first century understandings, where pain is regarded as an unremitting evil to be 'fought'. Focusing on the English-speaking world, this book tells the story of pain since the eighteenth century, addressing fundamental questions about the experience and nature of suffering over the last three centuries. How have those in pain interpreted their suffering - and how have these interpretations changed over time? How have people learnt to conduct themselves when suffering? How do friends and family react? And what about medical professionals: should they immerse themselves in the suffering person or is the best response a kind of professional detachment? As Joanna Bourke shows in this fascinating investigation, people have come up with many different answers to these questions over time. And a history of pain can tell us a great deal about how we might respond to our own suffering in the present - and, just as importantly, to the suffering of those around us.
Posted in Medical

Pain and Its Transformations

The Interface of Biology and Culture

Author: Sarah Coakley,Kay Kaufman Shelemay

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674024564

Category: Medical

Page: 439

View: 496

Pain is immediate and searing but remains a deep mystery for sufferers, their physicians, and researchers. As neuroscientific research shows, even the immediate sensation of pain is shaped by psychological state and interpretation. At the same time, many individuals and cultures find meaning, particularly religious meaning, even in chronic and inexplicable pain. This ambitious interdisciplinary book includes not only essays but also discussions among a wide range of specialists. Neuroscientists, psychiatrists, anthropologists, musicologists, and scholars of religion examine the ways that meditation, music, prayer, and ritual can mediate pain, offer a narrative that transcends the sufferer, and give public dignity to private agony. They discuss topics as disparate as the molecular basis of pain, the controversial status of gate control theory, the possible links between the relaxation response and meditative practices in Christianity and Buddhism, and the mediation of pain and intense emotion in music, dance, and ritual. The authors conclude by pondering the place of pain in understanding--or the human failure to understand--good and evil in history.
Posted in Medical

Who Defended the Country?

Author: Elaine Scarry

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 9780807004579

Category: Political Science

Page: 113

View: 9042

Through a minute-by-minute analysis of the phone calls, official reports, responses, and reported actions of passengers on two hijacked flights, United Airlines 93 (which crashed in Pennsylvania) and American Airlines 77 (which crashed into the Pentagon), Elaine Scarry offers a dramatic retelling of their fate and some startling conclusions. Leading off a provocative debate, she asks if the difficulty we had as a country in defending ourselves on September 11 suggests serious flaws in our national security. The need to act in'a matter of minutes' has been invoked to justify military arrangements increasingly outside the citizenry's control, yet the only successful defense on September 11 was carried out, after a vote, by the passengers themselves on hijacked Flight 93. Arguments made at the time of the writing of the Constitution judged that the only plausible way to defend the home ground was to have actions measured against the norms of civilian life: the military had to be'held within a civil frame.' Scarry asks, have we strayed too far from this model? Does our authoritarian conception of national defense diminish our capacity to protect ourselves? Is it legal? Is it moral? Responding to her argument are nine prominent thinkers and writers from across the political spectrum, including Richard Falk, Ellen Willis, Admiral Eugene Carroll, and Antonia Chayes.
Posted in Political Science

The Absent Body

Author: Drew Leder

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226469997

Category: Philosophy

Page: 218

View: 4675

The body plays a central role in shaping our experience of the world. Why, then, are we so frequently oblivious to our own bodies? We gaze at the world, but rarely see our own eyes. We may be unable to explain how we perform the simplest of acts. We are even less aware of our internal organs and the physiological processes that keep us alive. In this fascinating work, Drew Leder examines all the ways in which the body is absent—forgotten, alien, uncontrollable, obscured. In part 1, Leder explores a wide range of bodily functions with an eye to structures of concealment and alienation. He discusses not only perception and movement, skills and tools, but a variety of "bodies" that philosophers tend to overlook: the inner body with its anonymous rhythms; the sleeping body into which we nightly lapse; the prenatal body from which we first came to be. Leder thereby seeks to challenge "primacy of perception." In part 2, Leder shows how this phenomenology allows us to rethink traditional concepts of mind and body. Leder argues that Cartesian dualism exhibits an abiding power because it draws upon life-world experiences. Descartes' corpus is filled with disruptive bodies which can only be subdued by exercising "disembodied" reason. Leder explores the origins of this notion of reason as disembodied, focusing upon the hidden corporeality of language and thought. In a final chapter, Leder then proposes a new ethic of embodiment to carry us beyond Cartesianism. This original, important, and accessible work uses examples from the author's medical training throughout. It will interest all those concerned with phenomenology, the philosophy of mind, or the Cartesian tradition; those working in the health care professions; and all those fascinated by the human body.
Posted in Philosophy

Pain

A Cultural History

Author: Javier Moscoso

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 1403991189

Category: History

Page: 269

View: 439

A fascinating and highly-illustrated history of one of the most universal cultural phenomena. Javier Moscoso provides a unique and accessible examination of the formation and transformation of pain, as both a scientific and as a cultural object in modern and contemporary Western societies.
Posted in History

Late Essays

2006-2017

Author: J. M. Coetzee

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735223939

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 304

View: 9274

A new collection of twenty-three literary essays from the Nobel Prize–winning author. J. M. Coetzee’s latest novel, The Schooldays of Jesus, is now available from Viking. J. M. Coetzee is not only one of the most acclaimed fiction writers in the world, he is also an accomplished and insightful literary critic. In Late Essays: 2006–2016, a thought-provoking collection of twenty-three pieces, he examines the work of some of the world’s greatest writers, from Daniel Defoe in the early eighteenth century to Goethe and Irène Némirovsky to Coetzee’s contemporary Philip Roth. Challenging yet accessible, literary master Coetzee writes these essays with great clarity and precision, offering readers an illuminating and wise analysis of a remarkable list of works of international literature that span three centuries.
Posted in Literary Collections

Dreaming by the Book

Author: Elaine Scarry

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691070766

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 292

View: 5326

Writers from Homer to Heaney instruct readers in the art of mental composition in this exploration of how poets and writers employ the work of imaginative creation.
Posted in Literary Criticism

Hurt and Pain

Literature and the Suffering Body

Author: Susannah B. Mintz

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0567558452

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 208

View: 3445

Hurt and Pain: Literature and the Suffering Body examines the strategies authors have used to portray bodies in pain, drawing on a diverse range of literary texts from the seventeenth century to the present day. Susannah B. Mintz provides readings of canonical writers including John Donne, Emily Dickinson, and Samuel Beckett, alongside contemporary writers such as Ana Castillo and Margaret Edson, focusing on how pain is shaped according to the conventions-and also experiments-of genre: poetry, memoir, drama, and fiction. With insights from disability theory and recent studies of the language of pain, Mintz delivers an important corrective to our most basic fears of physical suffering, revealing through literature that pain can be a source of connection, compassion, artistry, and knowledge. Not only an important investigation of authors' formal and rhetorical choices, Hurt and Pain reveals how capturing pain in literature can become a fundamental component of crafting human experience.
Posted in Literary Criticism

Volatile Bodies

Toward a Corporeal Feminism

Author: Elizabeth A. Grosz

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253208620

Category: Social Science

Page: 250

View: 7576

"The location of the author's investigations, the body itself rather than the sphere of subjective representations of self and of function in cultures, is wholly new.... I believe this work will be a landmark in future feminist thinking." —Alphonso Lingis "This is a text of rare erudition and intellectual force. It will not only introduce feminists to an enriching set of theoretical perspectives but sets a high critical standard for feminist dialogues on the status of the body." —Judith Butler Volatile Bodies demonstrates that the sexually specific body is socially constructed: biology or nature is not opposed to or in conflict with culture. Human biology is inherently social and has no pure or natural "origin" outside of culture. Being the raw material of social and cultural organization, it is "incomplete" and thus subject to the endless rewriting and social inscription that constitute all sign systems. Examining the theories of Freud, Lacan, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, etc. on the subject of the body, Elizabeth Grosz concludes that the body they theorize is male. These thinkers are not providing an account of "human" corporeality but of male corporeality. Grosz then turns to corporeal experiences unique to women—menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, menopause. Her examination of female experience lays the groundwork for developing theories of sexed corporeality rather than merely rectifying flawed models of male theorists.
Posted in Social Science