Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Humble Call for Anatomical Quotations

Following is a guest post--or plea, really!--from Mike Sappol, author of the wonderful A Traffic of Dead Bodies (Princeton UP, 2002):
In a recent issue of the New York Review of Books, I came across this quote from Guy de Maupassant:

" ...when you listen to people talking... It seems to me that I'm looking into their ghastly souls and discovering a monstrous fetus preserved in alcohol."
--Afloat (Sur l'eau) (1888)

Which got me thinking: Morbid A concentrates on visual evidence, but it's also good to collect literary and other historical references to anatomical specimens and dissections (which are evidence of how things morbid and anatomical were received and conceived and used). So here's a standing project for Morbid A subscribers and lurkers: If anyone out there has a quote relating to things anatomical, whether it's an anatomical image, metaphor or detailed description of an anatomical object or activity, send it on in to Morbid A (with as much citational information as you can stand to provide), for distribution to the morbid anatomical masses.
Anatomically and morbidly best, Mike
So! If anyone out there knows of any such quotations, please email them to me at or enter them as comments on this post. I promise to collect and post the best of the lot!

Image: Rossiter, Frederick Magee, The practical guide to health; a popular treatise on anatomy, physiology, and hygiene, with a scientific description of diseases, their causes and treatment, designed for nurses and for home use. Washington, DC: Review & Herald Pub. Assn. [c1908] p. 46; Courtesy the National Library of Medicine

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