Ereignis: 0, (Max.: 500+)

[...]of nature =/= types of subject matter, methods of investigation
interest in irregularities (=/= end of 17th century interest in nature's uniformity and order)


Lazarus exhibition, the parasitic twin (the italian conjoined twins who toured freak shows in 17th century europe)

(Daston --> a case study of) the changing relationship between popular & learned culture

legal status of monsters
infanticide in antiquity


earlier tradition of interest in monster:
Aristotle --> Albertus Magnus
divine sign --> Cicero, Augustine, Isidore of Sevill
cosmographical & anthropologic --> Solinus


monsters in a context of a whole natural phenomen (bestiary):
earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, celestial apparitions, strange rains (of blood), stones, and miscellanea

(monsters --> shift from) signs of God's wrat --to--> signs of nature's fertility
(by the end of 17th century) --to--> comparative anatomy and embryology (teratology)
(from) اعجوبه prodigy --to--> examples of medical pathology

*peasant and professional had participated to a significant extent in a shared culture of intellectual and religious interest* ---->{
(literate culture evolved far more rapidly ==> sharpening of social boundaries of)
city dwellers =/= peasants
urban literate elite =/= unlettered day laboure
--> for the educated layman: (religious associations of) monsters = another manifestation of popular ignorance and superstition --fostering--> uncritical wonder =/= sober investigation of natural cause


animating power footnote feeling metamorphic transformation desire think imagine attention difference worlding interruption story [source: Adilnor Collection - al-Jawahir al-Khams] prodigy --> contrary to nature --> attributable directly to God (divine displeasure)
-the sunne shal suddenly shine againe in the night, and the moone thre times a day. blood shal drop out of the wood, and the stone shal give his voyce [...] There shalbe a confusion in many places, and the fyre shal oft breake forthe, and the wilde beastes shal change their places, and menstruous women shal beare monstres[...]

monstrum = prodigium ==> monstrat [monstro: i wonder --> i indict --> i teach, demonstrate] = god's will
apocalyptic association --> world reformation, the overthrow of the wicked --> vindication of god's elect

(bestiaries were a lot commentaries)

various bestial parts...

bestial vices and errors (of...)

ephemeral literature
displayed and recited publicly
characteristically illustrated
appeal through spoken word & image to the illiterate


Pierre Boaistuau [<== Peucer, Lycosthenes, Swiss surgeon Jakob Rueff, naturalist Konrad Gesner, Pierre Belon]
histoire tragique
histoire prodigieuse (monster literature, bestiary?)
two-headed woman seen in Bavaria in 1541
three-legged Siamese twins from 1552
calf without forelegs reported in 1556
celebrated monster of Cracow

ghoulish tone, religious didacticism, erudite آموزنده, monsters as polemical weapons
nature's wonder?--> to “discovre the secret judgment and scourge of the ire of God”

The Scripture sayth, before the ende
Of all thinges shall appeare,
God will wounders straunge thinges send,
As some is sene this yeare.
The selye infantes, voyde of shape,
The calues and pygges so straunge,
With other mo of suche mishape,
Declareth this worldes chaunge.


...monsters began to lose their religious resonance
it was unlawful to “delight” in the undesirable
portentous meaning of monster

(from) fear --to--> delight
(from) prodigy --to--> wonder
(from) sermon --to--> table-talk
(from) horrible, terrible, effrayable, espouventable --to--> strange, wonderful, merveilleux (marvelous جالب)
(from) final cause --to--> proximate cause (physical explanations and the natural order)
}==> nature began to assume the role of an autonomous entity with a will (and sense of humour of her own) ~~> natural wonder



wonder literature ([lavishly illustrated bestiary, cosmography, travel literature, geological curiosa, herbal and astrological lore,] of later 16th and 17th century Daston) --> secularization of an interest in (monsters as) prodigies
--part-of--> the great body of common culture
--affinity--> popular 16th century genre of diverses lefons (selections from famous authors)

catalogues of strange instances or hidden properties of animals, vegetables and mineral
(middle class culture in elizabethan england)

prodigies denuded of their supernatural aura & (presented) to surprise and entertain the reader =/= to acquaint the reader with imminent apocalypse and judgeme

Certaine Secrete Wonders of Nature

portentous events بد شگون

(crocodiles) to be granted honorary monstrous status by virtue of their rarit

many will reade them [monsters], heare them and haue profit by them, that otherwise whould neuer haue knowen them. For many (I suppose) will buye this Booke for the things whereto they are affectioned, that neuer coulde or would have bought, or looked on the bookes, wherein all they are. -Lupton

common and popular forms of escapist literature: *travel books* and *chivalric romanc*
(--> don Quixote)
monstrous races (men with a single giant foot, or huge ears, or their faces on their chests, giants and dwarfs)

medically oriented monster literature

[Daston:] Pare was forced to eliminate a section on lesbianism, with a graphic description of the female genitals, before including Des monstres in later editions of his collected work


A Helpe to Memorie and Discourse (of Wonders, Foreign and Domestic)
*the passages and occurrences of the world* #ajayeb
the creatures thereof
the casualties therein

little-known properties of... (wine and water, fish, dogs, cuckolds, hunchbacks and monsters)

popular ignorance
solitary efforts of the professional scholar
culture of the educated layman (lawyer, businessman, government official, and their wives and daughters)

[change in sensibility (&-=>? change in interpretation)]
beginning of the withdrawal of the educated classes from more popular culture
@Goda

monsters (familiar canon of prodigies) became a subject of great fashion and not vulgar

(Daston tracing how) “in the wonder literature, then, monsters--along with the rest of the canon of prodigies--began to cast off their religious associations. this trend was accompanied by a movement to emphasize natural causes over supernatural ones.”

Pare represented [the causes of monstrous births] an elaboration on the natural explanations offered by Aristotle and writers in the Aristotelian tradition (too much or too little seed, maternal imagination, a narrow womb, a traumatic pregnancy, hereditary disease, bestiality and so on) + a new causal category: artifice (to include fakes and children mutilated by their parents to enhance their take as beggars)

shift in *causal thinking* --> (expanded the power of) maternal imagination covering eventuality ==> a new way of talking about nature
{(from) in the prodigy literature nature was effectively transparent (a veil through which God's purposes could be discerned)}--to--> nature gained a new autonomy ( fertility of invention =/= wrath) --> *nature personified* (the artisan) [Pare: “chambermaid to our great God"], monsters were treated as jokes or “sports” (lusus) of a personified nature

transcorporeal fields of sensoriality =/= boundedness of isolated bodies and things

nonanthropocentric zoological studies



Bacon's (tripartite division of) natural history:
1. *natural: the study of nature “in course”, or natural history
2. *preternatural: the study of nature “erring”, or the “history of marvels” --> a coherent category (=/= miscellaneous collection of phenomen)
3. *artificial: the study of nature “wrought, or the history of arts

nature's aberrations for the finest examples of her workmanship

nature imagery of the wonder book

renaissance thought -->{ (antithesis of) art =/= nature }--> art may aid, imitate, modify or surpass nature
----> Bacon: art (formal and final causes) should become more natural & nature (material and efficient causes) should be made more artificial --> monster: nature's artificial work
[...]