By Sylvia A. Pamboukian Ph.D
Doctoring the Novel explores the ways that language constructs and stabilizes those slippery phrases by way of interpreting clinical quackery and orthodoxy in works similar to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Little Dorrit, Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, Wilkie Collins’s Armadale, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Stark Munro Letters. Contextualized in either clinical and renowned publishing, literary research unearths that even supposedly medico-scientific innovations akin to orthodoxy and quackery evolve no longer in elite laboratories and bourgeois scientific societies yet within the rough-and-tumble of the general public sphere, a view that recognizes the enormous, and sometimes underrated, effect of language on clinical practices.
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Additional info for Doctoring the Novel: Medicine and Quackery from Shelley to Doyle
Anatomy in Frankenstein R “the poor are fond of having a ‘comfortable funeral’; and if it was known that they would not be disturbed, but they should be taken only according to the taste of the poor people, I have no doubt there would be no objection,” except, Fernandez claims, for the Irish, for whom a wake “would not lessen their objection to dissections” (81). This issue of burial generates questions from the committee members about the ways in which anatomy is conducted throughout Europe. David Barry notes that in Portugal the dissected are buried in consecrated ground (61), and Gaetano Negri asserts that in Parma funeral rites are performed prior to dissection (67).
Would be a source of distress or apprehension to patients dangerously ill in work-houses [who would be dissected if unclaimed after death]” (43). Anatomy professor Richard Dugard Grainger, surgeon David Gale Arnott, surgeon Thomas Rose, and surgeon Peregrine Fernandez argue that repeal of the Murder Act would mitigate the public dislike of anatomy (47, 76, 79, 81). Magistrate Samuel Twyford concurs that public feeling 29 Doctoring the Novel R 30 is “more against exhumation than dissection” (100).
After all, Alphonse Frankenstein and Orthodoxy or Quackery? 38 But readers must also wonder about Victor’s competence. Ought one to assume, as Rauch does, that the creature is proof of Victor’s competence? Can scientific competence be based on only one instance of success (reviving the creature)? What if Victor cannot replicate his experiment but exaggerates his abilities to impress Walton, his listener? ”39 Viewed in this light, Victor’s refusal to tell Walton about how the creature was made becomes suspect.
Doctoring the Novel: Medicine and Quackery from Shelley to Doyle by Sylvia A. Pamboukian Ph.D