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Prescription Narratives: Re-reading Joseph Cornell’s Pharmacy Series as Modernist Anti-dote

McAra, Catriona (2009) Prescription Narratives: Re-reading Joseph Cornell’s Pharmacy Series as Modernist Anti-dote. In: Apothecary's Chest: Magic, Art and Medication. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 59-70. ISBN 978-1-4438-0494-3

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Abstract

‘The Apothecary’s Chest: Magic, Art and Medication’ was a one-day symposium held at the University of Glasgow on November 24, 2007. The symposium called for a discussion on the evolution of the notions of mysticism, knowledge and superstition in the way they are intertwined in both science and the literary imagination in the figure of healers such as the apothecary, the alchemist, the shaman. There were three main areas of interest. The first involved traditional perceptions of physicians, who combined knowledge and superstition and thus bordered, in their practices, on the sphere of the occult. The second theme, evolving from the first, proposed an inquiry of the overlapping interests and processes of science, magic and prophesy, as well as of the implications and consequences of a privileged access to medical knowledge, while the third subject of discussion concentrated on the development of the symbolism of the healer in literature, history, philosophy of science, anthropology, theology, film and art.

The twelve papers included in this volume, papers presented by doctoral candidates and young scholars from across a range of geographical regions and disciplines, result in a collection of approaches to an investigative field with topics ranging from mystical traits of mundane materials to the origins of the occult and gender struggles. The thirteenth and final essay included in the volume, Professor Bill Herbert’s ‘From Mere Bellies to the Bad Shaman’, is an exploration of the modern role of the contemporary poet in the form of an extended conversation initiated at the closing of the conference, when Professor Herbert was asked to combine a poetry reading with a few observations on the relationship between the poet and the shaman.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Schools: School of Art, Design and Architecture
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Depositing User: Graham Stone
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2011 13:35
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2012 13:50
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/11948

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