Thesis ID: CBB001567321

Heinrich von Kleist and Enlightenment Medicine (2011)


Corbin, Nancy Margaret (Author)

University of California, Davis
Krimmer, Elisabeth
Hunter, Lynette
Fisher, Jaimey
Hunter, Lynette
Fisher, Jaimey

Publication Date: 2011
Edition Details: Advisor: Krimmer, Elisabeth; Committee Members: Fisher, Jaimey, Hunter, Lynette.
Physical Details: 205 pp.
Language: English

The medical system of the German Enlightenment does not adhere to a single medical tradition. Rather, Enlightenment medicine consists of numerous medical systems, some of which came into being during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe while others date back to much earlier times. Enlightenment medicine is progressive, but not always innovative. It draws on the medical teachings of antiquity to develop new empirically based traditions. Enlightenment medicine diverges from the old tradition of magic and astrology dominant in medieval and Baroque periods. Instead, it revives many ideas from the period of antiquity with a new-found enthusiasm for science and rationality. To speak of a shift in medical practices, however, is not to say that Enlightenment medicine replaced the old traditions overnight. This work demonstrates the impact of this shift in medical practice on the works of Heinrich von Kleist. It investigates the representation of wounds, disease and acts of corporeal communication in Kleist's novella Michael Kohlhaas , in his drama Der Zerbrochene Krug , dramatic fragment Robert Guiskard , and short story Der Findling against the backdrop of eighteenth-century medical culture. In all texts, there is a damaging ambiguity of identity. The existential wound that is death compromises identity and power hierarchies throughout all levels of society. The only certainty Kleist assigns to corporeal communication conveyed by wounds and illness is death.


Description Cited in Dissertation Abstracts International-A 73/10(E), Apr 2013. Proquest Document ID: 1023128729.

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Authors & Contributors
Grell, Ole Peter
Dinges, Martin
Tobin, Robert Deam
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg: Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der Europäischen Aufklärung
Zelle, Carsten
Campe, Rüdiger
Würzburger Medizinhistorische Mitteilungen
Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science
Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Modern Philology
Bucknell University Press
Max Niemeyer Verlag
Wallstein Verlag
Medicine and literature
Human body
Medicine and culture
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Kleist, Heinrich von
Pascal, Blaise
Paracelsus, Theophrast von Hohenheim
Hartlieb, Johannes
Hoffmann, Ernst Theodor Amadeus
Time Periods
18th century
17th century
19th century
20th century
16th century
United States
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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