Book , Online in English

The body in pain : the making and unmaking of the world

Elaine Scarry.
  • New York : Oxford University Press, 1985.
  • 1 online resource (vii, 385 pages)
  • Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
This reproduction
  • Electronic reproduction. [S.l.] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010.
Medical Subjects
Local Subjects
  • Part philosophical meditation, part cultural critique, this work explores the nature of physical suffering. Elaine Scarry bases her study on a wide range of sources: literature and art, medical case histories, documents on torture compiled by Amnesty International, legal transcripts of personal injury trials, and military and strategic writings by such figures as Clausewitz, Churchill, Liddell Hart, and Henry Kissinger. Scarry begins with the fact of pain's inexpressibility. Not only is physical pain difficult to describe in words, it also actively destroys language, reducing sufferers in the most extreme cases to an inarticulate state of cries and moans. Scarry goes on to analyse the political ramifications of deliberately inflicted pain, specifically in the cases of warfare and torture, and she demonstrates how political regimes use the power of physical pain to attack and break down the sufferer's sense of self. Finally she turns to examples of artistic and cultural activity; actions achieved in the face of pain and difficulty.
  • Structure of torture : the conversion of real pain into the fiction power
  • The structure of war : the juxtaposition of injured bodies and unanchored issues
  • Pain and imaging
  • The structure of belief and its modulation into material making : body and voice in the Judeo-Christian scriptures and the writings of Marx
  • The interior structure of the artifact.
Other information
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
Additional form
  • 9780199741229
  • 0199741220
Identifying numbers
  • OCLC: 680326173
  • OCLC: 680326173