Body In Pain Notes

3 03 2008

There are lots of questions scattered throughout the following post, and I’d love any thoughts anyone has.

11 physical vs. psychological pain—is there really such a gulf between their expressibility?
description of depression in Infinite Jest

pain and power structure that is only about gov. in this book, but not domestic violence—elided in this book
–many of the processes are the same: controlling the person’s space and time, isolating them, falsely imposing all the responsibility on the victim

12 that almost any other phenomenon occupying the same environment will distract attention from it [pain].
T: I wonder if pain in the late 20th/early 21st century is experienced differently because our lives have become so sanitized. Did it have to be invisible so that one did not succumb?

What about childbirth and the way that its experience has changed? (Gawande on childbirth and the use of forceps, use of which is almost impossible to teach)
–still the most dangerous experience in most women’s lives
–C-sections make the process insurable b/c its much more controllable

We wonder why she focuses on war? The legal narrative and political power surrounding it? What about other traditions of inflicting pain?
E: If you use the definition of a “state” as the entity with a monopoly on violence, does this justify what is NOT in Scarry’s book?

Does she deal with the way in which pain creates and the world but then recedes in memory? 19

are the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear really cathartic in this day and age?
do we identify with them?

Is this book apertainable to disability studies because of the model of power and the way that suffering is stamped on an unwilling victim’s body?

T: I feel like mental disability is not theorized as completely as physical disability in recent theory. However, E had the experience in class when teaching and asking for representations of disability of a list that was almost entirely mental: Girl, Interrupted, Benny and Joon, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, Rain Man. Does this reflect Hollywood trends or simply a belief that physical disability is may be overcome in a way that mental ones can’t?

The Body in Pain, Elaine Scarry

10 02 2008

We’ll be reading the introduction and pages 63-81 of Elaine Scarry’s The Body in Pain for Wednesday, February 27. We’ll be meeting in South Hall 2607 again this week.