Illustrates changing definitions of bodily limits, integrity, transgression, sexuality, and violation in the history of the Western canon.
In lively and accessible essays of literary criticism, this book approaches literature from classical times through the present with an emphasis on the place and treatment of the human body in the Western textual tradition. The work serves the double purpose of providing new, original, and provocative readings of familiar texts by applying the latest innovations in theory to specific works. Topics range from Sappho's fragments through cross-dressing in medieval romance to mutilation in Kathy Acker's Great Expectations. Together the essays illustrate changing definitions of bodily limits, integrity, transgression, sexuality, and violation in the history of the Western canon.
Lori Hope Lefkovitz is on the faculty of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"This is an intriguing topic, certainly in both theoretical and socio-political fields, where we are redefining the limits and possibilities of the body (reproductive rights and technologies, health and physical fitness claims, AIDS and human sexuality) on a daily basis. I found I was most interested in the new historical approaches to body politics. " — Denise Witzig, St. Mary's College
"The most interesting features of this collection are its range across historical periods, the breadth of its chronological span, and the quality of the individual essays. " — Joan Dagle, Rhode Island College