Sabine Arnaud

Tension and Narrative

Autobiographies of Illness and Therapeutic Legitimacy in Eighteenth-Century French and English Medical Works
This article discusses the function of tension in autobiographies written by eighteenth-century doctors George Cheyne, Francis Fuller, Claude Revillon, and the Viscount de Puysegur. It studies how their rhetorical strategies stir tensions in readers through the narration of their own periods of infirmity and search for a remedy. The descriptions of their recoveries offer resolution, legitimate their medical practices, and help diffuse their works. Through the staging of these reversals, the authors suggest a shift in the way the role of medical doctors was perceived as well as a fundamental change in their relationship to illness.
Keywords: autobiography; history of medicine; tension
Title
Tension and Narrative
Subtitle
Autobiographies of Illness and Therapeutic Legitimacy in Eighteenth-Century French and English Medical Works
Author(s)
Sabine Arnaud
Identifier
DOI Target
Description
This article discusses the function of tension in autobiographies written by eighteenth-century doctors George Cheyne, Francis Fuller, Claude Revillon, and the Viscount de Puysegur. It studies how their rhetorical strategies stir tensions in readers through the narration of their own periods of infirmity and search for a remedy. The descriptions of their recoveries offer resolution, legitimate their medical practices, and help diffuse their works. Through the staging of these reversals, the authors suggest a shift in the way the role of medical doctors was perceived as well as a fundamental change in their relationship to illness.
Is Part Of
Place
Vienna
Publisher
Turia + Kant
Date
2010
Subject
autobiography
history of medicine
tension
Rights
© by the author(s)
This version is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Language
en-GB
short title
Tension and Narrative
page start
49
page end
69
Source
Tension/​Spannung, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey, Cultural Inquiry, 1 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2010), pp. 49–69
Bibliographic Citation
Sabine Arnaud, ‘Tension and Narrative: Autobiographies of Illness and Therapeutic Legitimacy in Eighteenth-Century French and English Medical Works’, in Tension/​Spannung, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey, Cultural Inquiry, 1 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2010), pp. 49–69 <https://doi.org/10.25620/ci-01_03>

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Cite as: Sabine Arnaud, ‘Tension and Narrative: Autobiographies of Illness and Therapeutic Legitimacy in Eighteenth-Century French and English Medical Works’, in Tension/​Spannung, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey, Cultural Inquiry, 1 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2010), pp. 49–69 <https://doi.org/10.25620/ci-01_03>
Sabine Arnaud, ‘Tension and Narrative: Autobiographies of Illness and Therapeutic Legitimacy in Eighteenth-Century French and English Medical Works’, in Tension/​Spannung, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey, Cultural Inquiry, 1 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2010), pp. 49-69 <https://doi.org/10.25620/ci-01_03>

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