With an eye for the sensual bloom of young schoolgirls, and the torrid style of the romantic novels of her day, Herculine Barbin tells the story of. As Michel Foucault notes in his preface to Herculine Barbin, the nineteenth century was haunted by the theme of the hermaphrodite. Among. Find Herculine Barbin by Foucault, Michel at Biblio. Uncommonly good collectible and rare books from uncommonly good booksellers.

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Herculine Barbin was a hermaphrodite born inraised in the purely feminine environment of convents and normal schools, who at the age of 22 was declared a male and at the age of 30 committed suicide in a dismal Paris room. Then she is off to Paris and a job on the railroad–“”like Achilles.

Herculine Barbin – Michel Foucault – Google Books

My heart positively ached for Herculine and Sara. Sex and Gender are two different things. Quotes from Herculine Barbin It was just sad to read about a life that held so much promise, but ended so tragically. I think this book should be required reading for everyone in life.

Herculine Barbin

Still, I can recommend this story to anyone who doubts the reality of the human condition called hermaphrodism. Also by Michel Foucault.


It’s a tragic little tale, made worse by the good intentions however pompous and condescending of Herculine’s surgeons. The ingenousness of Herculine, the passionate yet equivocal tenderness which thrusts her into the arms, even into the beds, of her companions, gives these pages a charm strangely erotic…Michel Foucault has a genius for bringing to light texts and reviving destinies outside mmichel ordinary.

As this is supposed to be a memoirs of a nineteenth century French Hermaphrodite, hdrculine added an interesting perspective.

Apr 15, Mary rated it it was amazing. In our world, hermaphrodism made a splash with the novel Middlesex.

The Book of Shadows”, by James Reese. As in the vein of Ian Hacking the story of “Herculine Barbin” brings to light social constructions that emerge then disappear. And finally, the hefculine line of an article reporting on the case, no doubt written by a man, so clearly showing how the world saw the two sexes: The graphic descriptions of hermaphrodite genitalia in medical reports on one hand satisfied my curousity but on the ot The memoir was heartbreaking.

It was very difficult to read.

Read it Forward Read it first. Nov 28, Kate Esten rated it liked it Shelves: Rodrigo hercu,ine, have a look at my profile’s description. Luckily for the reader, Foucault only introduces the materials, and then remains silent for the rest of the book. Here’s a lost voice of the sexual past in an erotic diary.


The documents were fascinating, amazingly detailed, I thought, for such a time and place but those thoughts are no doubt my own prejudices. Please provide an email address.

Herculine Barbin by Foucault, Michel

Like a mix between Lolita and The Bell Jar, not in content, just in how it made me feel. The collection of memoirs inspired Jeffrey Eugenides to write Middlesex. Curious indeed, and affecting.

The ingenousness of Herculine, the passionate yet equivocal tenderness which thrusts her into the arms, even into the beds, of her companions, gives these pages a charm strangely erotic We do live in a very different world were the ideas of the freedom of choice and individualism is an exalted public cry, but what can be gathered in this book is how the notion of human nature is formed and exercised.

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It can certainly teach us about tolerance and understanding. But even sex is not a fixed entity; as the case of the hermaphrodites clearly illustrates, sex can also be a compound phenomenon. As such, I have patients who have the diagnosis of intersex.