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Mark Wigley

“The first treatise on the interior of the body, which is to say, the treatise that gave the body an interior , written by Henri De Mondeville in the fourteenth century, argues that the body is a house, the house of the soul, which like any house can only be maintained as such by constant surveillance of its openings. The woman’s body is seen as an inadequate enclosure because its boundaries are convoluted. While it is made of the same material as a man’s body, it has ben turned inside out. Her house has been disordered, leaving its walls full of openings. Consequently, she must always occupy a second house, a building to protect her soul. Gradually this sense of vulnerability to the exterior was extended to all bodies which were then subjected to a kind of supervision traditionally given to the woman. The classical argument about her lack of self-control had been generalized.”


Mark Wigley
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