Putting Medicine and Literature in Dialogue: The Case of the French Doctor Jean-Louis Alibert (1768-1837)
Jean-Louis Alibert (1768-1837) remains a famous French physician, clinician, professor and dermatologist at Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris in the early 19th century. Focused on his life, work and posterity, this talk deals with Alibert’s early poems and explores his literary network, including his role of mentor for poets. It also examines Alibert’s printed texts and their reception. Here the style of the doctor-writer is crucial not only for medical writing but also for questioning fame, recognition, disqualification and image of the great doctor. This case study thus emphasizes different types of interactions and some tensions between literature and medicine during the first decades of the 19th century in France. More broadly, it aims to contribute to an interdisciplinary and cultural history of medicine and physicians.