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ASTI HUSTVEDT


The photograph, then, becomes a representation of a representation of a disease that represents. In other words, in order to produce the most perfect images of hysteria, the hysteric – a woman whose illness simulates the symptoms of other diseases – was transformed, through hypnosis, into an artificial hysteric who perfectly simulated the simulations of hysteria. The medical photograph becomes a copy of a copy of a copy, a representation so far removed from the original that all duplicitous traits, were easily erased, leaving the deranged and chaotic nature of the original far behind. The photograph succeeded in turning the hysteric into a wholly artificial being, literally a flat, framed, unmoving image. - Asti Hustvedt - From the book: "The Decadent Reader: Fiction, Fantasy, and Perversion from Fin-de-Siècle France" by Asti Hustvedt

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