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“Imagine what it would be like to have a brand-new heart”: Biosentimentality and embodied-relationality in Change of Heart: A Novel
, A. Parui
Published in Cogent OA
Volume: 5
Issue: 1
This paper discusses Jodi Picoult’s Change of Heart: A Novel in order to foreground how the received heart triggers anxiety and the narrative crisis in the heart recipient who develops an ambiguous relationship with the heart donated by a death row inmate. The paper foregrounds how the current culture of transplantation medicine evolution of kinship orders such as intercorporeal and intersubjective relationality has problematized the notion of the body as a discrete biological unit with a definite boundary. Interestingly in the novel, the fragments of the human body acquire a symbolic imagery that challenges the medical and commercial understanding of the human body as spare parts and therapeutic tools. The fictional frame of the literary narrative dramatizes how the residual presence of the donor’s subjectivity validates the notion of cellular memories that define memory as a distributive phenomenon not located to the brain alone. The paper highlights how development in the domain of organ transplantation has enabled us to reconceptualize the significance of body in the construction of human subjectivity and has allowed us to retrospect on the concept of the fluidity of the human bodily boundary that has problematized our traditional understanding of the body as an organic integrated whole. © 2018 The Author(s).
About the journal
JournalCogent Arts and Humanities
PublisherCogent OA