Skin: On the Cultural Border Between Self and World (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism)

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9780231125031: Skin: On the Cultural Border Between Self and World (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism)
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"Only skin deep," "getting under one's skin," "the naked truth": metaphors about the skin pervade the language even as physical embellishments and alterations―tattoos, piercings, skin-lifts, liposuction, tanning, and more―proliferate in Western culture. Yet outside dermatology textbooks, the topic of skin has been largely ignored.

This important cultural study shows how our perception of skin has changed from the eighteenth century to the present. Claudia Benthien argues that despite medicine's having penetrated the bodily surface and exposed the interior of the body as never before, skin, paradoxically, has become a more and more unyielding symbol. She examines the changing significance of skin through brilliant analyses of literature, art, philosophy, and anatomical drawings and writings. Benthien discusses the semantic and psychic aspects of touching, feeling, and intellectual perception; the motifs of perforated, armored, or transparent skin; the phantasma of flaying; and much more through close readings of such authors as Kleist, Hawthorne, Balzac, Rilke, Kafka, Plath, Morrison, Wideman, and Ondaatje. Myriad images from the Renaissance, anatomy books, and contemporary visual and performance art enhance the text.

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Book Description:

"Only skin deep," "getting under one's skin," "the naked truth": metaphors about the skin pervade the language even as physical embellishments and alterations―tattoos, piercings, skin-lifts, liposuction, tanning, and more―proliferate in Western culture. This important cultural study shows how our perception of skin has changed from the eighteenth century to the present. Claudia Benthien examines the changing significance of skin through brilliant analyses of literature, art, philosophy, and anatomical drawings and writings. Myriad images from the Renaissance, anatomy books, and contemporary visual and performance art enhance the text.

About the Author:

Claudia Benthien is assistant professor of German at Humboldt-University, Berlin. She received the Tiburtius Prize from the Berlin senate for this work.

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ISBN 10:  023112502X ISBN 13:  9780231125024
Publisher: Columbia University Press, 2002
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Book Description Columbia University Press, United States, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. "Only skin deep," "getting under one's skin," "the naked truth": metaphors about the skin pervade the language even as physical embellishments and alterations-tattoos, piercings, skin-lifts, liposuction, tanning, and more-proliferate in Western culture. Yet outside dermatology textbooks, the topic of skin has been largely ignored. This important cultural study shows how our perception of skin has changed from the eighteenth century to the present. Claudia Benthien argues that despite medicine's having penetrated the bodily surface and exposed the interior of the body as never before, skin, paradoxically, has become a more and more unyielding symbol. She examines the changing significance of skin through brilliant analyses of literature, art, philosophy, and anatomical drawings and writings. Benthien discusses the semantic and psychic aspects of touching, feeling, and intellectual perception; the motifs of perforated, armored, or transparent skin; the phantasma of flaying; and much more through close readings of such authors as Kleist, Hawthorne, Balzac, Rilke, Kafka, Plath, Morrison, Wideman, and Ondaatje.Myriad images from the Renaissance, anatomy books, and contemporary visual and performance art enhance the text. Seller Inventory # AAU9780231125031

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Book Description Columbia University Press, 2004. Condition: New. 2004. Paperback. Shows how our perception of skin has changed from the eighteenth century onwards. This title examines the changing significance of skin through brilliant analyses of literature, art, philosophy, and anatomical drawings and writings. Translator(s): Dunlap, Thomas. Series: European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism. Num Pages: 256 pages, ill. BIC Classification: JFC; JHM. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 229 x 155 x 16. Weight in Grams: 430. On the Cultural Border Between Self and World. Series: European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism. 256 pages, ill. Shows how our perception of skin has changed from the eighteenth century onwards. This title examines the changing significance of skin through brilliant analyses of literature, art, philosophy, and anatomical drawings and writings. Cateogry: (P) Professional & Vocational. BIC Classification: JFC; JHM. Dimension: 229 x 155 x 16. Weight: 430. Translator(s): Dunlap, Thomas. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780231125031

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