By David Caron
The deluge of metaphors brought on in 1981 in France by means of the 1st public experiences of what may develop into the AIDS epidemic unfold with some distance higher pace and potency than the virus itself. to appreciate why it took France see you later to react to the AIDS hindrance, AIDS in French Culture analyzes the intersections of 3 discourses—the literary, the scientific, and the political—and strains the starting place of French attitudes approximately AIDS again to nineteenth-century anxieties approximately nationhood, masculinity, and sexuality.
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Extra info for AIDS in French Culture: Social Ills, Literary Cures
In the bourgeois nation-state, however, future prosperity and hold on power depended as much on the reproduction of the working (and fighting) masses as on the transmission of wealth. Heterosexuality was no longer the motor of the clan alone, but that of the whole nation. Significantly, after the disaster of 1870, it was against Germany’s perceived health that France would measure its own degradation. 19 Until the 1890s, when a wave of right-wing nationalism began to swell and the focus on the Jew consigned the homosexual to a supporting role, the latter remained the central figure in a discourse whose entire purpose was to identify an internal cause for the national collapse.
It was everywhere present in him. . written immodestly on his face and body. . It was consubstantial with him, less as a habitual sin than as a singular nature. . The sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species. (43) [L’homosexuel du XIXème siècle est devenu un personnage: un passé, une histoire et une enfance, un caractère, une forme de vie; une morphologie aussi, avec une anatomie indiscrète et peut-être une physiologie mystérieuse. Rien de ce qu’il est au total n’échappe à sa sexualité.
The fog had cleared, and the streets were filled with sunlight. (219) [Vers la place du collège, la carriole qui emportait le maréchal, se perdait au milieu de la foule grossie, parmi laquelle circulaient déjà les plus extraordinaires nouvelles du champ de bataille. Le brouillard se dissipait, les rues s’emplissaient de soleil. (616)] The man’s presence is first felt as a rough, hence masculine, voice, giving orders to be obeyed without question. Unlike the women who make up most of the crowd, and who remedy their ignorance of the situation with irrational fantasies and false knowledge, the doctor uses language to restore order.
AIDS in French Culture: Social Ills, Literary Cures by David Caron