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Herculine Barbin : Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-Century French Hermaphodite

Herculine Barbin : Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-Century French Hermaphodite - 80 edition

ISBN13: 978-0394508214

Cover of Herculine Barbin : Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-Century French Hermaphodite 80 (ISBN 978-0394508214)
ISBN13: 978-0394508214
ISBN10: 0394508211
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 80
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Published: 1980
International: No

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Herculine Barbin : Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-Century French Hermaphodite - 80 edition

ISBN13: 978-0394508214

Herculine Barbin and Michel Foucault

ISBN13: 978-0394508214
ISBN10: 0394508211
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 80
Publisher: Pantheon Books

Published: 1980
International: No
Summary

With an eye for the sensual bloom of young schoolgirls, and the torrid style of the romantic novels of her day, Herculine Barbin tells the story of her life as a hermaphrodite. Herculine was designated female at birth. A pious girl in a Catholic orphanage, a bewildered adolescent enchanted by the ripening bodies of her classmates, a passionate lover of another schoolmistress, she is suddenly reclassified as a man. Alone and desolate, he commits suicide at the age of thirty in a miserable attic in Paris.

Here, in an erotic diary, is one lost voice from our sexual past. Provocative, articulate, eerily prescient as she imagines her corpse under the probing instruments of scientists, Herculine brings a disturbing perspective to our own notions of sexuality. Michel Foucault, who discovered these memoirs in the archives of the French Department of Public Hygiene, presents them with the graphic medical descriptions of Herculine's body before and after her death. In a striking contrast, a painfully confused young person and the doctors who examine her try to sort out the nature of masculine and feminine at the dawn of the age of modern sexuality.

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