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Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century - Manchester Scholarship Online
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Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century

Rebecca Anne Barr, Sylvie Kleiman-Lafton, and Sophie Vasset


This collection of essays seeks to complicate the notion of the supremacy of the brain as the key organ of the Enlightenment, by focusing on the workings of the bowels and viscera that obsessed writers and thinkers during the long eighteenth century. These inner organs and their mysterious processes of digestion acted as complicating counterpoints to politeness and modes of refined sociability, drawing attention to the deeper, more fundamental, workings of the self. In a form of ‘history from below’, the volume situates the period’s preoccupations with waste, dirt, and detritus within the cont ... More

Keywords: history of medicine, viscera, bowels, urban history, literature, waste, enlightenment, art history

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9781526127051
Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019 DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526127051.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rebecca Anne Barr, editor
Lecturer above the bar at the National University of Ireland, Galway

Sylvie Kleiman-Lafton, editor
MaÃtre de conférences at Université Paris 8

Sophie Vasset, editor
Maître de conférences at Université Paris-Diderot

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Introduction: entrails and digestion in the eighteenth century

Rebecca Anne Barr, Sylvie Kleiman-Lafon and Sophie Vasset

Part I Urban congestion and human digestion

2 The intestinal labours of Paris

Sabine Barles and André Guillerme

Part II Excremental operations

Part III Burlesque bellies

Part IV Visualising the viscera