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Human RemainsMedicine, Death, and Desire in Nineteenth-Century Paris$
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Jonathan Strauss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233793

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233793.001.0001

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A Hostile Environment

A Hostile Environment

Chapter:
(p.80) Three A Hostile Environment
Source:
Human Remains
Author(s):

Jonathan Strauss

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823233793.003.0004

New, medically formulated anxieties about death were exacerbated by the belief that the conditions of modern life, especially the population densities of major cities, facilitated the mutual contamination between life and death. This chapter examines ways in which urban space, and Paris in particular, was seen to embody death, describing some of the medical procedures that were used to combat that ambient toxicity, looking in particular at the metaphorical fluidity uniting its various manifestations. More important, however, than particular practices, their utility, or their signification for the progress of hygiene as a means to combat disease, are the theories of death underlying this notion of toxicity.

Keywords:   history of hygiene, urbanism, life, death, putrefaction, miasma

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