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Herculine Barbin (Being the Recently…

Herculine Barbin (Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth…

by Herculine Barbin, Michel Foucault (Editor)

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This book called an "erotic diary" was actually assigned reading in a political science course. This is the memoir of Herculine Barbin, a hermaphrodite who lived from 1838 to 1868, designated female at birth and then forced to take on a male identity when an affair with a women resulted in her physical examination and reassignment of gender as male by the courts. And no, it's not by Michel Foucault (thankfully--it's much more readable than anything by him I was forced to read in college.) 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. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Sep 5, 2013 |
I read this five years ago but picked it up last month. In addition to being a tragic story about a hermaphrodite (designated female at birth but later reclassified as a man), it explores the power matrices (medical/scientific, legal) involved in the construction of gender identity. It sells itself as an erotic diary, but I don't believe in the accuracy of the information used, archival excavation from the French Department of Public Hygiene par Monsieur Foucault notwithstanding. Read it to be moved by a life doomed to sorrow and to be angered by "the powers that be", if nothing else. ( )
  m.gilbert | Feb 12, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbin, HerculineAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foucault, MichelEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Jongenburger, KeesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDougall, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Panizza, Oscarsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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