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On HysteriaThe Invention of a Medical Category between 1670 and 1820$
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Sabine Arnaud

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226275543

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226275680.001.0001

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The Writing of a Pathology and Practices of Dissemination

The Writing of a Pathology and Practices of Dissemination

Chapter:
(p.77) 3 The Writing of a Pathology and Practices of Dissemination
Source:
On Hysteria
Author(s):

Sabine Arnaud

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226275680.003.0004

This chapter’s analysis of forms of writing focuses on various literary genres adopted by physicians to present the pathology to a lettered and aristocratic audience. Dialogue, autobiography, epistolary treatises, consultation by correspondence, and anecdotes articulated medical knowledge from the beginning of the eighteenth century up to the French Revolution. The chapter describes how the development of such formats shaped a new image of the physician as being close to his patients and presented the pathology as an effect of sensibility and the aristocratic way of life. The chapter’s focus on genres of writing makes it possible to examine how the development of a new approach to the body, the perception of the readership of medical literature, conceptions of medical activities, and the determination of hysteria were all part of the same process of knowledge production.

Keywords:   autobiography, epistolary treatise, consultation by correspondence, anecdote genre, literary genres, doctor patient relationship, ancien régime, reception of knowledge, George Cheyne

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