Cover: Metamorphosis: The Mind in Exile, from Harvard University PressCover: Metamorphosis in E-DITION

Metamorphosis

The Mind in Exile

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674424982

Publication Date: 07/20/1981

244 pages

World

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Fusing the methods of comparative literature, intellectual history, and philosophical analysis, Harold Skulsky explores a motif that has fascinated storytellers since antiquity: the miraculous transformation of a character into a plant, an animal, or a different human being.

The thesis of the study is that the fantasy of metamorphosis challenges the narrator and his audience to confront certain basic anxieties about the human condition: Is the mind reducible to physical properties? What constitutes personhood? How does physical form affect personal identity and continuity of the self?

Testing instances in which these and related perplexities appear in literature, Skulsky systematically and provocatively interprets ten major illustrative texts drawn from diverse epochs and languages, including the works of Homer, Ovid, Apuleius, Marie de France, Dante, Donne, Spenser, Keats, Kafka, and Woolf. Through Skulsky’s masterly analysis the victims of metamorphosis in narrative literature—whether werewolf, ass, beetle, swine, or tree—provide a profound insight into the complexities of human experience.

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Jacket: Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, by James L. Nolan, Jr., from Harvard University Press

Remembering Hiroshima

On this day 75 years ago, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. James L. Nolan Jr.’s grandfather was a doctor who participated in the Manhattan Project, and he writes about him in Atomic Doctors: Conscience and Complicity at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age, an unflinching examination of the moral and professional dilemmas faced by physicians who took part in the project. Below, please find the introduction to Nolan’s book. On the morning of June 17, 1945, Captain James F. Nolan, MD, boarded a plane