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Articulating BodiesThe Narrative Form of Disability and Illness in Victorian Fiction$
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Kylee-Anne Hingston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620757

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620757.001.0001

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(p.193) Afterword
Articulating Bodies

Kylee-Anne Hingston

Liverpool University Press

This afterword reminds readers of how thoroughly Victorians conflated body and text in their literary and medical rhetoric, using Robert Buchanan’s The Fleshly School of Poetry as an example. Additionally, it reiterates the mutability of the Victorians’ understanding of the human body’s centrality to identity, noting that as disability became increasingly medicalized and the soul increasingly psychologized, the mode of looking at deviant bodies shifted from gaping at spectacle to scrutinizing specimen, and the shape of narratives evolved from lengthy multiple-plot novels to slim case studies. However, Victorian fiction narratives consistently remained ambivalent when categorizing disability, aligning it with both abnormality and the commonplace.

Keywords:   medical rhetoric, Victorian fiction, multiple-plot, case studies, identity, disability

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