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"Deep deep into the river of her mind": "Meneseteung" and the Archival Hysteric

Katrine Raymond
2014 English studies in Canada  
While the diagnosis may be officially defunct, the language of hysteria is still rampant in popular, cultural, literary, and scientific discourses. A search on the term "hysteria" in PubMed returns over five hundred hits from the year 2000 to date. As one of the slipperiest illnesses of the mind, hysteria continues to invoke fear, curiosity, and the desire for interpretive mastery.1 Studied by a range of scholars including historians, feminists, psychiatrists, sociologists, and ethnologists,
more » ... nd ethnologists, hysteria has been defined primarily by its protean and varied symptoms such as headaches, dysmenorrhea, alterations in mood, pain, non-organic paralysis, and general weakness that resemble symptoms of other, more fully understood diseases. According to Canadian historian Wendy Mitchinson, nineteenthcentury hysterics suffered from the nebulous symptoms of violent emo-
doi:10.1353/esc.2014.0009 fatcat:7s5ekvzh2zcaxhhtsb4r6gq4uy