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Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century$
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Rebecca Anne Barr, Sylvie Kleiman-Lafton, and Sophie Vasset

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526127051

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526127051.001.0001

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Introduction: entrails and digestion in the eighteenth century

Introduction: entrails and digestion in the eighteenth century

(p.1) Introduction: entrails and digestion in the eighteenth century
Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century

Rebecca Anne Barr

Sylvie Kleiman-Lafon

Sophie Vasset

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses the ideas and themes underpinning the volume, contextualizing the importance of the gastric area in literary and medical culture, and more widely in the cultural imaginary of the eighteenth-century. It discusses the various ways in which stomach disorders, digestive motions, and belly-centred conceptions of the self and society complicate notions of the Enlightenment. Using examples from artisanal diaries, from scientific experiments, and from eighteenth-century novels, the chapter contextualizes and introduces the main themes of the volume: from revolutionary art’s visualizations of the viscera, to carnivalesque scatologies, to medical conceptions of the function of the stomach, and the city as bodily organism.

Keywords:   Carnivalesque, Scatology, Medical culture, Digestion, Viscera, Enlightenment, Stomach, medicine

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