By Regina Janes
What is the fascination that decollation holds for us, as contributors and as a tradition? Why does the belief make us giggle and the act make us shut our eyes? Losing Our Heads explores in either creative and cultural contexts the position of the chopped-off head. It asks why the perform of decapitation used to be so frequent, why it has diminished—but now not, as scenes from modern Iraq convey, thoroughly disappeared—and why we discover it so specially repulsive that we use it as a critical marker to split ourselves from a extra “barbaric”or “primitive” past?
Although the subject is grim, Regina Janes’s remedy and conclusions are neither grisly nor ugly, yet constantly instructive in regards to the ironies of humanity’s cultural nature. Bringing to endure an array of facts, the e-book argues that the human skill to create which means from the physique motivates the perform of decapitation, its diminution, the impossibility of its extirpation, and its carrying on with fascination. starting from antiquity to the overdue nineteenth-century ardour for Salomé and John the Baptist, and from the enlightenment to postcolonial Africa’s problem to the severed head as signal of barbarism, Losing Our Heads opens new parts of research, allowing readers to appreciate the surprise of decapitation and to determine the price in relocating previous surprise to research. Written with penetrating wit and that includes impressive illustrations, it really is absolute to captivate a person drawn to his or her head.
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Losing Our Heads: Beheadings in Literature and Culture by Regina Janes