Impotence and Excess: Male Hysteria and Androgyny in Flaubert's Salammbô

Abstract: 

Flaubert represents male hysteria through a Baudelairean model of androgyny: the hysterical poet. His elaboration of this model functions as a symbolic portrayal of modern artistic creation, which emphasizes a dialectical process of empowerment and disjunction. The hysterical poet as androgyne exposes the constraints of the figure's potentially subversive role. For its representation recuperates dichotomous sexual stereotypes by an underlying gender-biased subtext of hysteria that actualizes such topical notions as the wandering womb, the "attitudes passionnelles of female hysterics, and other nineteenth-century clinical metaphors related to the hysteria concept. (NIR)

Author: 
Rubino, Nancy
Release Year:
Volume: 
2000-2001 Fall-Winter; 29(1-2): 78-99