Joyce and Modern Medicine

Vike Martina Plock

in Joyce, Medicine, and Modernity

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034232
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038803 | DOI:
Joyce and Modern Medicine

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James Joyce's ongoing fascination with medicine, health, and discourses on the human body is well known. His correspondence, interspersed with medical details and descriptions, distinctly reveals the particular interest that Joyce reserved from early youth for the art of healing. Well known, too, is the story of his three failed attempts to study medicine. Together with the epistemological revolution modern medicine also radically changed the face of its institutions. Before the industrial revolution medicine's influence on people's lives had been marginal. Most illnesses were treated at home in the family, assisted by midwives or the occasional philanthropic support of ministers and “ladies of the manor.” Professional medical assistance was only available to the very prosperous, whereas hospitals carried a charity stigma, treating only the “deserving poor.” The medical profession itself, being organized in a firm hierarchical order, lacked unity.

Keywords: James Joyce; medicine; health; human body; epistemological revolution; modern medicine; industrial revolution; midwives

Chapter.  8033 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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