Partial Answers - Homepage Journal of Literature and The History of Ideas The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
 Publications

 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

 Volume 15/2
 June 2017

 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
 January 2017

 Volume 14/2: includes forum "Modern Jewish Spaces"
 June 2016

 Volume 14/1: includes forum "Saul Bellow as a Novelist of Ideas"
 January 2016

 Volume 13/2: includes forum "Comics and the Canon"
 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

 Volume 12/2: includes forum "The Novel and Theories of Love"
 June 2014

 Volume 12/1
 January 2014

 Volume 11/2: includes forum "Translating Philip Roth"
 June 2013

 Volume 11/1
 January 2013

 Volume 10/2: includes forum "Bildung and the State"
 June 2012

 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

 Volume 7/2: Eyewitness Narratives
 June 2009

 Volume 7/1
 January 2009

 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
 June 2008

 Volume 6/1
 January 2008

 Volume 5/2
 June 2007

 Volume 5/1
 January 2007

 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
 June 2006

 Volume 4/1
 January 2006

 Volume 3/2
 June 2005

 Volume 3/1
 January 2005

 Volume 2/2
 June 2004

 Volume 2/1
 January 2004

 Volume 1/2
 June 2003

 Volume 1/1
 January 2003

 Quick Article Search

   Newest Articles

 Sounding Postmodernity
 Jarmila Mildorf

 Narrativity and Sound in German Radio Play Adaptations of Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy
 Till Kinzel

 Non-Sovereign Voices in Friederike Mayröcker’s Aural Texts
 Inge Arteel

 Singing Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow
 Anahita Rouyan

 Being Silent, Doing Nothing
 Agatha Frischmuth

 Musical Macrostructures in The Gold Bug Variations and Orfeo by Richard Powers; or, Toward a Media-Conscious Audionarratology
 A. Elisabeth Reichel

 New Modes of Listening
 Emily Petermann

 Narrating Sounds
 Jarmila Mildorf and Till Kinzel

Get Adobe Reader

Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 8, Number 1 (January 2010) : 147--67
Paranoid Imaginings
Wilkie Collins, the Rugeley Poisoner, and the Invisibility of Novelistic Ekphrasis
Irene Tucker
Rubric A: The Ethics of Temporality

Abstract

 

This essay analyzes Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White in relation to the 1856 murder trial thought to have inspired it: that of William Palmer, the notorious “Rugeley Poisoner,” a physician accused of poisoning his patients under the guise of medicating them. While most critics have followed Collins’s lead in emphasizing the format of the legal trial – specifically, its sequence of testifying witnesses – as the inspiration behind the novel’s then-innovative rotating cast of narrators, for Tucker, the Palmer trial illuminates The Woman in White as much by way of its status as a revelatory moment in the history of modern anatomical medicine as it does as a moment in British legal history. The difficulty of definitely distinguishing between clinically salutary medicating and criminal poisoning that made Palmer’s crimes possible and their prosecution vexing also served to point up some fundamental contradictions at the heart of anatomical medicine’s claim to be able to diagnose what goes on in the interiors of sick patients’ bodies, claims that rest upon the presumption of the interchangeability of human bodies. The plot of Collins’s novel details the process of this interchange of bodies rather than simply presuming such interchangeability, and as a consequence makes apparent some of the mid-century challenges attendant upon the effort to recognize, identify and control particular bodies through time, as they age, sicken, die.


 All Rights Reserved to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem- Partial Answers © 2004. Powered By Priza

The Johns Hopkins University Press