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Losing Our Heads
Author: Regina Janes

ISBN: 9780814742693
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 255
Published: 16 June 2007
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9
Description:
View theTable of Contents. Read thePrologue."To readLosing Our Headsis to experience that samefrissonRegina Janes ascribes to the guillotine-a powerful and seductive and (excuse me) heady combination of gossip and scholarship."-Kathryn Davis, author ofVersaillesWhat is the fascination that decollation holds for us, as individuals and as a culture? Why does the idea make us laugh and the act make us close our eyes?Losing Our Headsexplores in both artistic and cultural contexts the role of the chopped-off head. It asks why the practice of decapitation was once so widespread, why it has diminished-but not, as scenes from contemporary Iraq show, completely disappeared-and why we find it so peculiarly repulsive that we use it as a principal marker to separate ourselves from a more ôbarbaricö or ôprimitiveö past?Although the topic is grim, Regina JanesÆs treatment and conclusions are neither grisly nor gruesome, but continuously instructive about the ironies of humanityÆs cultural nature. Bringing to bear an array of evidence, the book argues that the human ability to create meaning from the body motivates the practice of decapitation, its dim...

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