Caroline Eliacheff

The Indomitables Portraits of Anorexics Publication date : March 1, 1996

Glory aside, what was it that Empress Sissi of Austria, Sophocles' Antigone, philosopher Simone Weil and Saint Catherine of Sienna had in common?Each one of these women illustrate an essential facet of an enigmatic illness that is widespread today: anorexia. In her own way, each figure poses the same crucial questions: What cause could possibly merit the sacrifice of the physical self? What is the meaning of womanhood? Why live rather than die? Each of these women attempted to speak her truth in volunteering, and sacrificing, her body.In narrative, portrait and theory, this book explores the sometimes tenuous frontiers that separate the normal from the pathological. The authors have conducted a fascinating inquiry to find the key to the enigma of anorexia that touched each of these extraordinary lives. A penetrating work that allows us to understand these young women whose revolt presents each one of us with important questions about the fundamental difference between desire and need, order and disorder, life and survival.