The Rhetoric of Sickness from Baudelaire to D'Annunzio
Barbara Spackman here examines the ways in which decadent writers adopted the language of physiological illness and alteration as a figure for psychic otherness. By means of an ideological and rhetorical analysis of scientific as well as literary texts, she shows how the rhetoric of sickness provided the male decadent writer with an alibi for the occupation and appropriation of the female body.
Barbara Spackman is Professor of Italian Studies and Comparative Literature and holder of the Giovanni and Ruth Elizabeth Cecchetti Chair in Italian Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Fascist Virilities: Rhetoric, Ideology, and Social Fantasy in Italy, winner of the Howard R. Marraro and Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prizes for Italian Literary Studies given by the MLA.