An extract from a recent book review of Cassandra S. Crawford’s, Phantom Limb: Amputation, Embodiment and Prosthetic Technology. New York: New York University Press, 2014. Pp. vii + 307. £15.99. ISBN 978 0 8147 6012 3.
‘George Dedlow, a fictional nineteenth-century amputee said: ‘About one half of the sensitive surface of my skin is gone, and thus much of [my] relation to the outer world destroyed …’ (p. 110).
‘This quote, like much of this book left me thinking. Some of those thoughts flitted around being fascinated, surprised, but also a bit depressed. With that maelstrom of impressions, if you are interested in thinking about the nature of bodies and how our (supposed) relationship with them has developed, then I think this book is a must. Crawford’s aim is to dig under and around the nature and concepts surrounding body parts that hold no corporeality—phantom limbs. This is a look at the ghostly appendage from a mostly American, twentieth- and twenty-first-century perspective. Thus, it is a modern Western analysis. Moreover, whilst those who experience phantom limbs can be found in this work, the focus of this book is on medical discourse.’
A full review of the book can be found here.