Click to see close-up of book cover

The Body of Frankenstein’s MonsterPoint here for more book info
Essays in Myth and Medicine
by Cecil Helman

Paraview Special Editions
ISBN: 193104483X
Culture, 156 pages
Trade paperback, $14.95

Order Now

Frankenstein. Werewolves. Dracula. These images aren’t just imaginary creatures -- they’re also powerful symbols of the body. The body can be thought of as a machine made up of parts like Frankenstein’s monster, or as a creature ruled by animalistic urges, or as an entity that’s vulnerable to infection from a diseased fiend. In The Body of Frankenstein’s Monster, Cecil Helman, M.D., expands our view of our bodies by exploring its cultural and artistic representations. His lyrical essays draw on images from literature, art, history, myth, television, and film to provide new insights into our physical selves. Helman explores how X-rays create a snapshot of our future, why we use germs to express our modern anxieties, how the machine metaphor has changed the doctor-patient relationship, and how anatomical dissection is influenced by the political climate. Deeply personal and original, The Body of Frankenstein’s Monster reconnects the body to myth, art, and imagination.

“[Helman] has the rare gift of looking inwards and then outwards, turning clinical experience into a kind of poetry. In this he resembles Oliver Sacks….His language is delicious.” -- The Times (London)

“These inquisitive essays are a strong antidote to modern medicine’s tendency to treat the body as a machine….Helman undertakes poetic, cross-disciplinary forays for high-tech medicine’s connections to myth, magic and medicine.” -- Publishers Weekly

“Helman…draws on his wide-ranging interests to offer a vivid, personable, and insightful exploration of physiology and fiction….With its sweep, perception, originality, and felicitous use of language--an artistic and intellectual achievement.” -- Kirkus Reviews

  Cecil Helman, M.D.

Cecil Helman, M.D.,
is a London-based physician and medical anthropologist. He is the author of the textbook Culture, Health, and Illness, as well as of a novella, a book of short stories, and a collection of prose poems, and he edited Doctors and Patients: An Anthology, and his writing has appeared in many magazines including Vogue (UK) and The London Magazine. He holds academic posts at the Royal Free and University College Medical School and Brunel University, and has been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Read about Cecil Helman's recent award in medical anthropology!

Film Rights & Sub Rights

Back one page         Back to top of page