In both plays, the phthisic
hero is a middle-class crosser of national boundaries: in Dalila, Andre Roswein is a German composer in Naples, while in Les Filles de Marbre Raphael Didier is a French sculptor who has studied in Italy.
He ends the missive by ostentatiously describing his poor health as "stereoraceous, lateritic, phthisic
, mephitic, canicular".
See also pages 21-22 and 38 on the romanticization of "phthisic
beauty" and its "erotic appeal" in the nineteenth century, particularly in La Traviata.
He was looking for a will--which later turned up in the law offices of Immabod MucMarphy--but all that his uncle's desk contained was a slip of paper with eleven words scratched on it in his uncle's phthisic
handwriting: Bass Bow Buffet Invalid Lead Sewer Singer Tear Tower Peer Colonized.
When asked to explain the strange spelling he said: "Look, the phth is like phthisic
, which is pronounced t; olo is like colonel, which is pronounced ur; gn as in gnat is pronounced n; and yrrh, as in myrrh, is pronounced er.
metaphor of consumption in the 19th century, the idea that the phthisic
body is consumed from within by its passions, "the bloom ...
Another unusual description of the moon appears in "The Corner of the Eye" where it is depicted as "Phthisic
and wan, above the East River" (473, 1.
On the one hand it was denounced as an epicurean and obnoxious toy from England, designed to corrupt the democratic simplicity of the Republic, and on the other hand it was attacked by the medical faculty as dangerous to health and a certain inviter of "phthisic
, rheumatic fevers, inflammation of the lungs, and the whole category of zymotic diseases." (I quote from the Western Medical Repository of April 23, 1843.)