The Body Fantastic (Hardcover)

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The Body Fantastic (Hardcover)

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The body in dreams, myths, legends, and anecdotes of the fantastic as expressions of human corporeality.

In The Body Fantastic, Frank Gonzalez-Crussi looks at the human body through the lens of dreams, myths, legends, and anecdotes of the bizarre, exploring the close connection of the fictitious and the fabulous to our conception of the body. He chronicles, among other curious cases, the man who ate everything (including boiled hedgehogs and mice on toast), the therapeutic powers of saliva, hair that burst into flames, and an "amphibian man" who lived under water. Drawing on clinical records, popular lore, and art, history, and literature, Gonzalez-Crussi considers the body in both real and imaginary dimensions.

Myths and stories, Gonzalez-Crussi reminds us, are the symbolic expression of our aspirations and emotions. These fantastic tales of bodies come from the deepest regions of the human psyche. Ancient Greeks, for example, believed that the uterus wandered around inside a woman's body--an "animal within an animal." If a woman sniffed an unpleasant odor, the uterus would retreat. Organized "digestive excess" began with the eating and drinking contests of antiquity and continue through the hot-dog eating competitions of today. And the "libido-podalic association," connecting male sexuality and the foot, insinuated itself into mainstream medicine in the sixteenth century; meanwhile, the feet of women in some cultures were scrupulously kept from view. Gonzalez-Crussi shows that the many imaginary representations of the body are very much a part of our corporeality.
Frank Gonzalez-Crussi is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Pathology of Northwestern University Medical School. He is the author of On Seeing: Things Seen, Unseen and Obscene, Carrying the Heart, and other books.
Product Details ISBN: 9780262045889
ISBN-10: 0262045885
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: August 10th, 2021
Pages: 288
Language: English
"Playful, erudite, expansive, the book gives one much to chew on, widening our understanding of our corporeal selves, as well as how that understanding has shifted and evolved over time." '
—The Boston Globe

"I cannot recommend this book enough . . . I guarantee that the book will contain information you’ve not read before, and that it will fascinate and delight any new reader."

— The Folklore Podcast website

THE SANTA FE LITERARY FESTIVAL

Celebrating the power of story, the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival will be an unforgettable weekend dedicated to a shared love and language of ideas. Collected Works Bookstore is thrilled to be the official bookstore of the Festival. 

Bestselling, prizewinning authors and literary legends like Margaret Atwood, Joy Harjo, Colson Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros, John Grisham, amongst others, will headline the festival, discussing their work with readings and book signings that set the stage for further inspired conversations.

NOTE: If you purchase a festival event ticket that is INCLUSIVE of the author's book, you will receive that book upon check-in for your event at the festival.

To order books by festival authors directly from CW, see below. Collected Works will be carrying a wide selection of books by all participating authors available for online pre-order and at the on-site festival bookstore May 20-23.

Purchase your tickets from the SF Literary Festival website here.

Purchase your books by festival authors directly from CW below:

Margaret Atwood     Freddie Bitsoie     Sandra Cisneros

Lynn Cline     William deBuys     Ashley Ford

John Grisham     Roshi Joan Halifax     Joy Harjo

Anne Hillerman     Cheryl Alters Jamison     Craig Johnson

Asma Khan     Phil Klay      Jon Krakauer

Valeria Luiselli     Deborah Madison      Emily St. John Mandel

George R. R. Martin      James McGrath Morris     Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co. 

Carmella Padilla     Douglas Preston     Kirstin Valdez Quade

Bob Shacochis     Henry Shukman     Hampton Sides

Bryant Terry     Darryl Lorenzo Wellington     Colson Whitehead

Don Winslow     Lawrence Wright