Supported by the ILC research travel fund, Dr Aude Campmas recently presented a paper at the Association of Medical Humanities Annual Conference ‘The Art of Compassion’, on 7–9 July 2014 at the University of Southampton.
Martyrdom and (com)passion in Huysmans’s St. Lydwine of Schiedam
In the presentation I explore the influence of medical models in the novel, St. Lydwine of Schiedam by the fin de siècle author Joris-Karl Huysmans. St Lydwine embodied compassion, from the Latin cum passio (suffering with) as she is suffering in order to expiate the word’s sins. The book describes the martyrdom of the Saint who sees her body destroyed until its complete disintegration by endless attacks of diseases. I would like to present how Huysmans used the depictions and models he saw at the Hospital St Louis to create both horrific and grotesque descriptions which challenge the reader’s own sense of compassion.
You can read more about Dr Campmas’ research in her research story.
Posted By : Lisa Bernasek