Herculine Barbin (Being the Recently Discovered Memoirs of a Nineteenth Century French Hermaphrodite) [Michel Foucault, Richard McDougall] on. 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.

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There are pseudo-hermaphrodites, male, female and true hermaphrodites, there are girls with CAH, there are boys with varying degrees of unusual formations, shall we say She argues that Barbin’s sexual disposition—”one of ambivalence from the outset”—represents a recapitulation of the ambivalence inherent within the religious law that produces her.

Alone and desolate, he commits suicide at the age of thirty in a miserable attic in Paris. She moved to Paris where she lived in poverty and wrote her memoirs, reputedly as a part of therapy.

Views Read Edit View history. Foucault was not concern with human nature in and of itself, albeit more concerned with the surrounding factors that create “human nature s ” at specific points in history.

Luckily for the reader, Foucault only introduces the materials, and then remains silent for fouacult rest of the book. Please try again later. Herciline is the memoir of Herculine Barbin, a hermaphrodite who lived from todesignated 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. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.


I guess that is the question for this century Oh, please may it now be that long!

Such a sad story. I am really glad this author stumbled upon this and decided to publish it. Views Read Edit View history. Eye opening to my ignorance! It’s a tragic little tale, made worse by the good intentions however pompous and condescending of Herculine’s surgeons. Here, in an erotic diary, is one lost voice from our sexual past.

This page was last edited on 13 Octoberat So I decided to read the book and found it most fascinating. Serendipitously spied Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides as a guest on Oprah, discussing his acclaimed novel Middlesex.

Makes my blood boil. Open Preview See a Problem?

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.

Here’s a lost voice of the sexual past in an erotic diary.

Herculine Barbin by Foucault, Michel

I remember when my brother-in-law white and his wife black had their first child, about ehrculine months before the Census arrived. My library Help Advanced Book Search. Dec 09, Mikki Fisher rated it really liked it. To know that this person Alexina really existed and to know her fate, adds to the heaviness and sadness to this story. Dec 14, Jack rated it it foycault amazing.


Alexina was portrayed scandalously, as practically having raped her lover. Many people avoid books and beyond about different bodies, but if anything we need to have these discussions.

Herculine Barbin

I was actually led to read this book after reading ‘Middlesex’ by Jeffrey Eugenides. Intersex is a subject I knew little about until I read this book and Eugenides’ book, so I barbkn glad I have read both and know a little more on the subject.

See 1 question about Herculine Barbin….

She asked him permission to break the confessional silence in order to send for a doctor to examine her. Like a mix between Lolita and The Bell Jar, not in content, just in how it made me feel. Retrieved 3 February We do live in a very different world were the ideas of the freedom of choice and individualism is an exalted public cry, but what can be gathered in this foucqult is how the notion of human nature is formed and exercised. The second part was extremely informative and carefully detailedbut the third part really rubbed me the wrong barbkn This book was is!

Oct 22, Kevin rated it it was amazing. What a heart wrenching autobiography. She left her lover and her job, changed her name to Abel Barbin and was briefly mentioned in the fuocault.