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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Jan 02, Ruth rated it liked it Recommended to Ruth fouczult I was actually led to read this book after reading ‘Middlesex’ by Jeffrey Eugenides.

I find the author of the diaries a tragic and unwitting hero in the long fight for awareness and acceptance by society. All in all, if this book wasn’t assigned reading, I wo This book was about a French hermaphrodite herciline Alexina, who later changed his name to Abel.

Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth-century French Hermaphrodite is a English-language translation of Herculine Barbin ‘s nineteenth-century memoirs, which were originally written in French. No trivia or quizzes yet. Dec 24, Simone rated it it was amazing. 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.


Herculine Barbin

Once reassigned as a man, the inability to cross the strict gender divide ultimately leaves Herculine without a community, religion, or identity. It made no sense to me then for race, and it makes no sense now, for gender. Sep 30, Laurel L.

Oct 22, Kevin rated it it was amazing.

Herculine Barbin by Foucault, Michel

At least it was written at the same time period and gives insight on what an outsider of that period saw in the whole situation. May 29, Sara rated it liked it. It was very difficult to read. The second part, describing life as a male, becomes more and more disjoint, confused, despair and hopelessness growing with every page.

The torture and devastation that is thus inflicted on the subject screams out of the words of these poignant and depressive memoir. Here, in an erotic diary, is one lost voice from our sexual past.


In his critical introduction, Foucault calls Barbin’s pre-masculine micheel a “happy limbo of non-identity” xiii. Intersex scholar Morgan Holmes states that Barbin’s own writings showed that she saw herself as an “exceptional female”, but female nonetheless. Unlawfully in love with another woman, [3] she was forced to transform into a herculihe in because of a judge’s orders. He uses her as the main character but in his novel she is also a fledgling witch excellent book, by the way.


She has no idea how to be male, how to play the male role in ways society understands, and the career possibilities for someone whose sex has been altered aren’t good.

Foucaulg did some research on why Eugenides would be inspired to write such a book with an intersex as his topic. Michwl all books by Michel Foucault. Believing that the memoir evaded discussion about intersex individuals’ anatomy and emotions, Eugenides concluded that he would “write the story that I wasn’t getting from the memoir”. Open Preview See a Problem? Jun 12, Pages Buy. It was just sad to read about a life that held so much promise, but ended so tragically.

And why it has non-ownvoices bits too, and which parts of the book to avoid. Retrieved from ” https: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

About Herculine Barbin 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 her life as a hermaphrodite. Her memoirs, which are written in an almost prosaic way, are very sad. Please try again later. Jun 12, Pages.