The Pathological Sublime and The Anatomical Unconscious

Tweety Bird skull: Copyright Hyungkoo Lee, all rights reserved.

Tweety Bird skull: Copyright Hyungkoo Lee, all rights reserved.

An illustrated lecture with Mark Dery

***IN MANHATTAN at The Cornelia Street Cafe
as part of the BODY AS FUNHOUSE MIRROR series***

Date: Sunday, April 29
Time: 6 PM
Admission: $10 (includes a drink!)
Presented by Hollow Earth Society and Ted Enik
Originally presented by Morbid Anatomy

Celebrating the publication of his essay collection, I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-By Essays on American Dread, American Dreams, cultural critic and cult author Mark Dery will lecture—with unforgettable slides—on the hallucinatory Crypt of the Capuchin monks in Rome, the uncanny wax mannequins at La Specola in Florence, and the 19th-century Chinese artist Lam Qua’s paintings of patients with eye-poppingly bizarre tumors, which so fascinated Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. that he wrote an article exhorting all “worshippers of morbid anatomy” to see the paintings, a textbook example of what Holmes called “the pathological sublime.”

Mark Dery is a cultural critic. He is best known for his writings on the politics of popular culture in books such as The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink, Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century, Flame Wars, and Culture Jamming. He has been a professor of journalism at New York University, a Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellow at the University of California, Irvine, and a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome. His latest book, I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts, is “a head-spinning intellectual ride through American dreams and American nightmares” and will be available at his Cornelia Street Observatory engagement. He is writing a biography of the artist Edward Gorey for Little, Brown.


About the series:

funhouse2Cornelia Street Cafe and Observatory present a series of Observatory talks in the great borough of Manhattan: BODY AS FUNHOUSE MIRROR: Cultural Reflections On The Human Form. These talks will introduce Observatory to a new audience and give presenters the opportunity to update their work.

Produced by Wythe Marschall and Ted Enik. Originally produced at Observatory by Morbid Anatomy Library’s Joanna Ebenstein. Thanks to our hosts, Cornelia Street Cafe, and our presenters: Amy Herzog, Sharon Shattuck, and Mark Dery.

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