|Abstract:||My focus, within a broader field of the history of emotions and the history of the senses, is on through what bodily strata, and what signs and symptoms modernity was (and is) literally embodied. Defining “modernity” I am following Marshall Berman’s definition: a kind of vital experience - “of space and time, of me and the other, of the possibilities and threats of life” – displaying itself at different points in time, but mostly with reference to the turn of the century 1900.|
The aim is to show how intensified social change, on a collective and individual level (i.e. to the elite and bourgeoisie) is deeply related to embodiment. A new body was appearing, characterized by painfully sensitive senses. This modern, and hastily modernized body, was thus highly sensibilized, even “agonized” and phobic, demonstrating a broad spectrum of nervous and burn-out symptoms. Not only perceptions but the senses themselves, like emotions, are culturally flexible, illustrating a transgressive, versatile body.