A female surgeon grafts onto different bodies the head, legs, and arms of an executed murderer called Fletcher. The legs and arms turn out to be autonomous. Their present owners display various asocial behaviors, and a painter of corny landscapes becomes successful creating violent scenes; they also have memory flashes of Fletcher’s crimes. The character with the murderer’s head manages to recover one arm and the legs before having his neck broken by the recipient of the other arm. Given that after the head dies, the memory flashes cease and the surviving patient regains control of the grafted arm, the scenario depends on Fletcher’s brain, not on body parts that would autonomously function as loci of personhood. Neither the heart nor the hands ever reach the status of the brain in the making of personal identity.
Photo by Vista Street Entertainment. ©1991
Inspired by the homonymous book by Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega, this timespace presents the authors' genealogy of the cerebral subject and the influence of the neurological discourse in human sciences, mental health and culture.