The Body in Literature

Photo Credit: Albert Lung

Do you define language as a way to experience life, to express yourself, to communicate, to clarify and/or to explain? After exploring other forms of language such as non-verbal body language, the language of systems inside the body and the language of the environment, what is your new perspective on verbal language? Why did we choose to construct our thoughts with a noun, (a doer), a verb (an action), an object (a victim) and adjectives and adverbs to describe the quality of this event? Does our sentence structure reflect a sexist, hierarchical attitude about life? Is poetry the only kind of language that mimics the subtle, osmotic nature of other forms of communication?
What is the language you would write if you wanted to really express yourself?

Click on the following categories to explore the relationships between literature and the body:

Describing the Body
Disease, Health and Character
Biological Rhythms of Literature
The Body In Poetry

Student Julia Melancon struggles with the question, "Must the body be transcended, rejected, or ignored to free the spirit/creativity?

Julia Melancon:"This question is certainly pertinent to my studies because I am looking at writers who habitually abused and poisoned their bodies for the sake of their creativity. It wasn't necessary, but it was, somehow, compulsory for these people.
We know that the body and mind are inextricably linked and that if one is unhealthy, the other will eventually deteriorate as well. If that is so, how is it possible that people can create imaginative and beautiful writings when their brains, indeed entire systems are soaked in alcohol? Is there power in the mystique itself? Is that enough to keep a poor soul writing, not to mention breathing, when the physical is barely surviving?
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