By Dr. William B. Ober M.D.
“The reader will note,” Dr. Ober explains, “that psychopathology occupies a renowned position in those essays—melancholia, masochism, hysteria, autoerotic asphyxia, and different dinner desk topics.” The e-book opens with a brisk dialogue of flagellation—studded with infrequent illustrations. like every of the essays within the ebook, this is often an illuminating bankruptcy, scholarly and solid natured even as, and one who offers upward push to hypothesis pertaining to human nature and human history.Ober offers scientific solutions to many mysteries. In a dialogue of infertility within the Bible, he speculates medically as to why Onan and his older brother Er died in the course of coitus. within the eyes of the health practitioner, those biblical antiheros might deserve our pity, yet no longer our scorn. He additionally explains the function of Reuben’s mandrakes in fertilizing the barren Rachel. both interesting is his dialogue of the mandrake, a wondrous weed and sire of legend and superstition. Ober indicates why an unusual composer named Franti?ek Koczwara received himself hanged in a London whorehouse. He tells of the aborted gay sadism in Robert Musil; the homicide, madrigals, and masochism within the lifetime of composer Carlo Gesualdo; the iconography of leprosy; the iconography of Fanny Hill (or how you can illustrate a grimy book); the melancholia of Johnson and Boswell; the fast, depressing existence of Rimbaud; and different mysteries to which medication may hold the foremost.
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Extra info for Bottoms Up!: A Pathologist's Essays on Medicine and the Humanities
It is the reality of "domestic discipline" rather than the fantasy. Se quebro el cantaro (The Broken Jug). Etching. Lithograph. Whichever interpretation one chooses, the flagellation is a social comment with no hint of eroticism. 1883. Hans and Fritz on a Sunday morning. 1906–7. Needless to say, all Rockwell's boys receive their punishment decorously with their trousers on. 22). 1971. Reprinted with special permission of King Features Syndicate, Inc. From what we know about the artists cited, none seems to have had a reputation for cruelty.
The ComicAlmanack, February 1839. 164. Escorting the woman is a turnkey who carries a cato'ninetails, clearly indicating what will shortly take place downstairs but not actually denoting the act of flagellation. Such illustrations are clearly pornographic in intent and outside the boundaries of art. 17). Though schoolboys were regularly flogged at the time, Cruikshank abided by the midVictorian distaste for displaying undraped gluteal flesh. It is the reality of "domestic discipline" rather than the fantasy.
However, this is Musil's image of himself as of 1906, after he had purged himself of guilt. When it was published, he felt a sense of relief for a time, but he had yet to establish a firm, mature, heterosexual relationship.