We do not have direct, real-time visual access to the entities and events inside living human bodies. Despite the increasingly precise apparent access facilitated by medical-imaging technology, we still rely, finally, on representational and discursive tools in order to visualize and think about living organs, or microbes, or pathophysiological processes that we cannot simply watch. Focusing on a range of representations of events beneath surfaces, from Jaws to X-rays to a short story about a white blood cell, this article examines the ways in which metaphor and narrative function, both in biomedical science and the popular imagination, as interdependent technologies for visualizing entities and events inside human bodies.
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© 2011 by University of Oklahoma