By Jonathan W. Marshall
This textual content offers a examine of Jean-Martin Charcot, a founding determine within the heritage of neurology as a self-discipline and a colleague of Sigmund Freud. It argues that Charcot’s diagnostic and pedagogic types, explaining either how illness is famous and defined and the way to educate the act of neurological analysis, might be thought of via a theatrical lens. contemplating the structure of the dwelling, relocating physique by way of functionality, Charcot created a state of affairs wherein the road among misleading performing and actual pathology, medical accuracy and inventive falsehood, and certainly among health and wellbeing and unhealth, turns into blurred. The health professional turns into a scientific topic in his or her personal reveal, remodeling drugs right into a possibly destabilizing, even grand guignolesque, discourse. supplying a different perception into Charcot’s paintings, his suggestions and his tools, this article represents a special and interdisciplinary research slicing around the fields of artwork and neurology.
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This article offers a learn of Jean-Martin Charcot, a founding determine within the background of neurology as a self-discipline and a colleague of Sigmund Freud. It argues that Charcot’s diagnostic and pedagogic versions, explaining either how sickness is famous and defined and the way to coach the act of neurological analysis, can be thought of via a theatrical lens.
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Extra info for Performing Neurology: The Dramaturgy of Dr Jean-Martin Charcot
The full cinematic capture of the moving body represented the logical culmination of Charcot’s otherwise apparently iconographic process. Images were not primarily important in themselves. They were rather used as an aid for the description of action, or that which occurred in the realm of performance and movement. ” Charcot and his followers were not so concerned with an idealized image or architecture of shapes, forms, or static geometric relations captured within the frame of the gaze. Rather they sought to identify the temporal phenomena which existed between or across individual images.
His practice sat astride several discourses which had both a lay and a professional audience. Charcot’s tenure at the Salpêtrière marked the eclipse of the alienist models which had reached their height under Jean-Étienne Dominique CHARCOT, SPECTACLE, AND THE MISE EN SCÈNE OF THE SALPÊTRIÈRE 27 Esquirol in the 1830s. 14 After Philippe Pinel moved from the Bicêtre Men’s Asylum to the Salpêtrière in 1795, he pioneered the alienist techniques later formalized by his successor Esquirol. Although Charcot served in a different department than Esquirol, both Charcot and Pinel originally occupied the same position at the Salpêtrière: that of general physician to the patients of the Salpêtrière infirmary.
Space constituted not only the venue or context for Charcot’s dramaturgy, but it could also serve, in a manner of speaking, as the subject. Performance not only occurred within space, but subjects performed the spaces they inhabited. It was this process which Charcot strove to master. Charcot’s interest in the mutability of the diseased, fungible body was, therefore, consonant with the realm within which he practiced. It was this concatenation of the decaying, disorientating environment of the Salpêtrière with Charcot’s own studies in polymorphous hysterioepileptic seizures, hypnotic phenomena, tremulous subjects, and dying women that led former Salpêtrière physician Peugniez to introduce his readers to the neuropathologist using a scenario which resembled the visitation of old Hamlet’s ghost.