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European Languages and Societies

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British novel

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Scintillating Scotoma: Migraine, Aura, And Perception In European Literature, 1860-1900, Janice Y. Zehentbauer Jan 2015

Scintillating Scotoma: Migraine, Aura, And Perception In European Literature, 1860-1900, Janice Y. Zehentbauer

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This dissertation focuses upon the ways in which nineteenth-century physicians in the emergent field of neurology conceptualized and catalogued the neurological condition, migraine, and the ways in which European literary texts reimagined and interrogated such medical classifications. A recognized condition for hundreds of years, migraine in the nineteenth century became pathological; migraineurs became a “nervous” modern figure that haunted medicine and literary fiction. Anxieties regarding the construction of fragmented vision, bodies, gender, and consciousness render the migraine figure a relevant symbol for the modern era. The nineteenth-century medical treatises by Jean-Martin Charcot, Edward Liveing, and Hubert Airy reveal that a ...