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Sexology, psychoanalysis, literature

This volume tells the story of the case study genre at a time when it became the genre par excellence for discussing human sexuality across the humanities and the life sciences. A History of the Case Study takes the reader on a transcontinental journey from the imperial world of fin-de-siècle Central Europe and the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the interwar metropolises of Weimar Germany, and to the United States of America in the post-war years.

Foregrounding the figures of case study pioneers, and always alert to the radical implications of their engagement with the genre, the six chapters scrutinise the case writing practices of Sigmund Freud and his predecessor sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing; writers such as Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Oskar Panizza and Alfred Döblin; Weimar intellectuals such as Erich Wulffen, and New York psychoanalyst Viola Bernard. There result important new insights into the continuing legacy of such writers, and into the agency increasingly claimed by the readerships that emerged with the development of modernity—from readers who self-identified as masochists, to conmen and female criminals.

Where previous accounts of the case study have tended to consider the history of the genre from a single disciplinary perspective, this book is structured by the interdisciplinary approach most applicable to the ambivalent context of modernity. It focuses on key moments in the genre’s past, occasions when and where the conventions of the case study were contested as part of a more profound enquiry into the nature of the human subject.

Open Access (free)
Literary satire and Oskar Panizza’s Psichopatia criminalis (1898)
Birgit Lang

these internees would have grown considerably.12 The idyllic picture is further underlined through an auditory evoca­ tion, the song of the nightingale, a symbol of paradise in European literature, which, however, draws attention to the patients’ situation of   confinement. The reader questions the psychiatrists’ compassion, particularly on reading about their prescription of hyoscamine and potassium bromide. These sedatives produced considerable side-effects – they were used in very high dosage, due to the limited pharmaceutical means of intervention available at

in A history of the case study
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Author: Peter Morey

Rohinton Mistry is the only author whose every novel has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Such a Long Journey (1991), A Fine Balance (1995) and Family Matters (2002) are all set in India's Parsee community. Recognised as one of the most important contemporary writers of postcolonial literature, Mistry's subtle yet powerful narratives engross general readers, excite critical acclaim and form staple elements of literature courses across the world. This study provides an insight into the key features of Mistry's work. It suggests how the author's writing can be read in terms of recent Indian political history, his native Zoroastrian culture and ethos, and the experience of migration, which now sees him living in Canada. The texts are viewed through the lens of diaspora and minority discourse theories to show how Mistry's writing is illustrative of marginal positions in relation to sanctioned national identities. In addition, Mistry utilises and blends the conventions of oral storytelling common to the Persian and South Asian traditions, with nods in the direction of the canonical figures of modern European literature, sometimes reworking and reinflecting their registers and preoccupations to create a distinctive voice redolent of the hybrid inheritance of Parsee culture and of the postcolonial predicament more generally.

Open Access (free)
Peter Morey

historically favoured the British and adopted British cultural values in the days of the Raj, can be seen in the literary influences on his fiction, which include the great works of nineteenth- and twentieth-century European literature, the key texts of Indian literature in English, and the Persian epic storytelling tradition. Moreover, Mistry’s life and writing can be seen to interrogate ‘the national’ as a supposedly adequate signifier of identity on a number of levels. His acquired ‘Canadianness’, and the setting of the last few stories in Tales from Firozsha Baag, make

in Rohinton Mistry
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Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and John Lydgate’s Troy Book
Heather Blatt

noble household in fifteenth-century England [Aldershot, UK and Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1998], 45) or the merely ‘topical expression of (usually false) modesty’ (John Dagenais, The ethics of reading in manuscript culture: glossing the Libro de Buen Amor [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994], 24).  2 For examinations of the humility topos and its classical tradition, see Ernst Robert Curtius, European literature and the Latin Middle Ages, transl. Willard R. Trask (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), 407–13; see also Barbara Newman, who examines its

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England
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Greeks and Saracens inGuy of Warwick
Rebecca Wilcox

reveals to him the dangers of remaining in Constantinople. After defeating the Saracens, Guy goes out to explore the country, only to discover a dragon attacking a lion in the woods. In a scene that parallels Guy’s victory over the Saracens, the hero saves the lion by stabbing the dragon through the throat and beheading it, much as he killed the Sultan besieging Constantinople. The lion, grateful for Guy’s service, becomes the hero’s faithful companion in a re-enactment of Chrétien de Troyes’s Yvain, or Le Chevalier au Lion. In medieval European literature, lions

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus im Pelz (1870)
Birgit Lang

became his private secretary for a time, Sacher-Masoch explained that despite his own privileged life he was a pessimist by nature and could not close his mind to the truth: ‘I am not able to paint human beings in an idealised fashion…, for the very reason that I do not go by my subjective sentiments [Sacher-Masoch’s emphasis], but only by my knowledge [Erkenntnis]’.58 This search for truth – nowadays perhaps best described as anthropological – was shaped by Darwinian thought, contemporary moral philosophy and key works of European literature. Sacher-Masoch’s critique

in A history of the case study