19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, No 15 (2012)

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The Sensible and Insensible Body: A Visual Essay

Joanna Bourke


Translating pain into tangible images brings it into the public consciousness, raising the spectre of bodily suffering as virtually intrinsic to the human condition. Beginning with Descartes, who famously advanced mind-body theories in the late seventeenth century, this essay explores the effects of his influence together with shifting attitudes towards pain and its role over the long nineteenth century.

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