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The Portrait's SubjectInventing Inner Life in the Nineteenth-Century United States$
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Sarah Blackwood

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652597

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652597.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Bones

Bones

The X-ray and the Inert Body

Chapter:
(p.137) Chapter Five Bones
Source:
The Portrait's Subject
Author(s):

Sarah Blackwood

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652597.003.0006

In 1895, a radical new visual technology was invented. This chapter explores X-ray imagery of the human body as an important coda to the story of portraiture’s changing representations of subjectivity and soma. X-ray imagery was a major aesthetic development, making manifest and somewhat literal much of nineteenth-century art’s imaginative drive inward. Here I explore the first few years of X-ray imagery and practices, focusing on how scientists, reporters, and writers figured the X-ray in writing. In particular, this chapter explores how in those first experimental years, writers were disturbed by the X-ray’s ability to alter human surfaces, particularly the skin.

Keywords:   X-ray, Experimental, Vitality, skin

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