With an eye for the sensual bloom of young schoolgirls, and the torrid style of the romantic novels of her day, Herculine Barbin tells the story of. As Michel Foucault notes in his preface to Herculine Barbin, the nineteenth century was haunted by the theme of the hermaphrodite. Among. Find Herculine Barbin by Foucault, Michel at Biblio. Uncommonly good collectible and rare books from uncommonly good booksellers.

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Michael Foucalt explains the laws regarding hermaphroditism expertly in the introduction and poses the very interesting question of our true sex. Sex is what we are born with, gender is what we choose or are conditioned to be by society. Quotes from Herculine Barbin Media reporter, reviewer, foucaul, guest booker, blogger. Here’s a lost voice of the sexual past in an erotic diary.

Herculine Barbin (memoir) – Wikipedia

Actually I was hooked by the first line of introduction: In a striking contrast, a painfully confused young person and the doctors who examine her try to sort out the nature of masculine and feminine at the dawn of the age of modern sexuality. Why should she label herself one way or the other. Then she gets a female lover, and of course they get found out, and Herculine is forced to reassign as male, and has to find her way in a masculine sphere that she’s never even had contact with.

Well, this hasn’t quite ended I found it fascinating and informing and when I discovered Kate Bornstein a few years later I was thrilled to see a person take control of her life and the relevant information concerning her choices and her issues good and bad with people. This is something that was not acknowledged Sex and Gender are two different things. Dec 09, Mikki Foycault rated it really liked it.


Racconto di una vita dolorosa fisicamente ma soprattutto umanamente. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Herculine Barbin

Unlawfully in love with another woman, [3] she was forced to transform into a male in because of a judge’s orders. From what I read, she was a good person with a loving heart. Subsequently she was forced to legally reassign as a man of which was not a good fit.

But over time, after the Renaissance, that decision was taken over by the medical profession and the courts: Once I started the memoir, I could hardly stop.


Herculine Barbin was a hermaphrodite born inraised in the purely feminine environment of convents and normal schools, who at the age of 22 was declared a male and at the age of 30 committed suicide in a dismal Paris room. The graphic descriptions of hermaphrodite genitalia in medical reports on one hand satisfied my curousity but on the other also left me feeling sad, thinking of all those examinations she was subjected to which were probably almost unthinkable for a girl of her time and upbringing.

So I decided to read the book and found it most fascinating. Rather it could be said it was assembled by him, consisting of the memoir he discovered at the French Department of Public Hygiene to which he added the medical documentation of her condition–and in some editions–an introduction. I don’t really recall it as all that erotic, but I did think it brought up some fascinating issues about gender identity.

Here, in an erotic diary, is one lost voice from our sexual past.

At the time of his death inhe held a chair at France’s most prestigious babrin, the College de France. The medical reports are too technical for the lay reader: Then she is off to Paris and a job on the railroad–“”like Achilles. I find the author of the diaries a tragic and unwitting hero in the long fight for awareness and acceptance by society.


Foucault was not concern with human nature in and of itself, albeit more concerned with the surrounding factors that create “human nature s ” at specific A fascinating read, that I as a modern reader could only prematurely compare Alexina’s detriment to the likes of someone today.

A fascinating read, that I as a modern reader could only prematurely compare Alexina’s detriment to the likes of someone today.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. So terribly sad, so unnecessarily painful.

I read this five years ago but picked it up last month. The New York Review of Books. Jan 02, Ruth rated it liked it Recommended to Ruth by: My library Help Advanced Book Search. Here, in an erotic diary, is one lost voice from our sexual past.

The torture and devastation that is thus inflicted on the subject screams out of the words of these poignant and depressive memoir. Open Preview See a Problem? I read this as an assignment for my class on queer history in Europe, and until this point, it had been largely theoretical and abstract. May 29, Sara rated it liked it. We do not live in an “absolute realness” — the ideas about things shape them and ideas themselves change — nonetheless in a given moment of time things are indeed understood as “real.

Jan barbun, Pages. The medical notes from Foucault fucault interesting but after reading the human account they werent the meat of the book.