‘Writing back’
Literary satire and Oskar Panizza’s Psichopatia criminalis (1898)
in A history of the case study

Late nineteenth-century and fin-de-siècle writers first engaged with the case study genre in its psychiatric and psychoanalytic manifestations by means of satire, as recounted in Chapter 3. This chapter contrasts the interpretative powers of modern sexual publics and professional elites with the agency of the writer. It does so through enquiry into Panizza’s satirical and delusional negotiation of the boundaries between the two ‘cultures’ of art and science (pace C. P. Snow). Panizza’s first exposure to the case study genre was in the context of his training as a psychiatrist. More than a decade before Freud’s elaborations on the psychoanalytic case, Panizza made the human case study a central form in his literary oeuvre. Panizza anti-psychiatric dystopian work Psichopatia criminalis, represents the only persiflage of a medical case study compilation in European literature. Yet his engagement with the case study genre remains haunted by his own unruly psyche.

A history of the case study

Sexology, psychoanalysis, literature


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