This chapter discusses nervous exhaustion in the eighteenth century and the advent of the neurasthenia diagnosis at the end of the nineteenth century, and in particular George M. Beard's and Richard von Krafft-Ebing's theories of neurasthenia. Neurasthenia was though to be a somatic reaction to the increasingly draining demands of modernity (acceleration, urbanization, industrialization, technologization, and so on). Key literary example: J. K. Huysman's 'Against Nature'.
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