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- DescriptionThe Monster in the Machine tracks the ways in which human beings were defined in contrast to supernatural and demonic creatures during the time of the Scientific Revolution. Zakiya Hanafi recreates scenes of Italian life and culture from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries to track how monsters were conceptualised at this particular locale and historical juncture-a period when the sacred was being supplanted by a secular, decidedly nmagical way of looking at the world. Explaining that the word 'monster' is derived from the Latin for 'omen' or 'warning,' Hanafi begins with an exploration of the monster's early identity as a portent or messenger from God. While monsters have always been considered 'whatever we are t,' they were gradually thought of more as mechanical devices when new discoveries in science and medicine began to reveal the mechanical nature of the human body itself.In analysing the historical literature of monstrosity, magic, and museum collections, Hanafi uses contemporary theory and philosophy of techlogy to illuminate the timeless significance of the monster theme. She elaborates the association within medical literature between women and the monstrous and sheds new light on the work of Vico - particularly his tion of the conatus - by analysing it in relation to Vico's own personal health.By explicating obscure and fascinating texts from such disciplines as medicine and poetics, she invites the reader to the piazzas and pulpits of seventeenth-century Naples, where poets, courtiers, and Jesuit preachers used grotesque figures of speech to captivate their audiences with their monstrous wit. Drawing from a variety of texts from medicine, moral philosophy, and poetics, Hanafi's guided tour through this baroque museum of ideas will interest readers in comparative literature, Italian literature, history of ideas, history of science, art history, poetics, women's studies, and philosophy.
- Author BiographyZakiya Hanafi is an independent scholar who divides her time between Seattle, Washington, and Venice, Italy.
- Author(s)Zakiya Hanafi
- PublisherDuke University Press
- Date of Publication25/10/2000
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Place of PublicationNorth Carolina
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintDuke University Press
- Content Note16 illustrations
- Weight676 g
- Width162 mm
- Height243 mm
- Spine28 mm
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