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Monstrous Knowledge: Thinking through the Body in Early Modern Alchemy and Literature

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Abstract:

In the early modern period, as universities reinforce what will become the underpinnings for modern rationalism, alternative modes of thought are still disseminated in print and in manuscript form. One of these alternative modes is found in alchemical treatises that focus on spiritual or philosophical and not just chemical or medical ideas; these works are dominated by monstrous or unusual bodies. What do the extraordinary bodies presented in alchemical treatises tell us about the concept of the normal in early modern culture? How do these monstrous bodies represent an alternative mode of thinking about the world, and how is this alternative mode reflected in literary works of the time, such as the Essais of Michel de Montaigne?
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Name: RSA Annual Meeting
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http://www.rsa.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p525880_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Long, Kathleen. "Monstrous Knowledge: Thinking through the Body in Early Modern Alchemy and Literature" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA Annual Meeting, Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC,, <Not Available>. 2014-09-13 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p525880_index.html>

APA Citation:

Long, K. P. "Monstrous Knowledge: Thinking through the Body in Early Modern Alchemy and Literature" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA Annual Meeting, Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC, <Not Available>. 2014-09-13 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p525880_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: In the early modern period, as universities reinforce what will become the underpinnings for modern rationalism, alternative modes of thought are still disseminated in print and in manuscript form. One of these alternative modes is found in alchemical treatises that focus on spiritual or philosophical and not just chemical or medical ideas; these works are dominated by monstrous or unusual bodies. What do the extraordinary bodies presented in alchemical treatises tell us about the concept of the normal in early modern culture? How do these monstrous bodies represent an alternative mode of thinking about the world, and how is this alternative mode reflected in literary works of the time, such as the Essais of Michel de Montaigne?

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