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The anatomy of the senses : natural symbols in medieval and early modern Italy

Author: Piero Camporesi
Publisher: Cambridge, UK : Polity Press ; Cambridge, MA : Basil Blackwell, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Drawing on a large body of literature, Camporesi builds up a remarkable picture of the everyday beliefs and practices of medieval and early modern Italy. He examines the symbolism relating to food and the overtones of vampirism which have haunted the Christian sacraments. He discusses the eating habits of monks and hermits which were held up as a religious model for the community. He offers a striking analysis of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Piero Camporesi
ISBN: 0745605060 9780745605067
OCLC Number: 31207030
Language Note: Translation of: Le officine dei sensi.
Description: 209 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: The hieroglyphic for pleasure --
Plants as symbols --
The cursed cheese --
The "stupendous abstinences" --
The "dreadful desire to study" --
The anatomy of emptiness --
"Juicy, soft and flexible" --
Retarded knowledge.
Other Titles: Officine dei sensi.
Responsibility: Piero Camporesi ; translated by Allan Cameron.

Abstract:

Drawing on a large body of literature, Camporesi builds up a remarkable picture of the everyday beliefs and practices of medieval and early modern Italy. He examines the symbolism relating to food and the overtones of vampirism which have haunted the Christian sacraments. He discusses the eating habits of monks and hermits which were held up as a religious model for the community. He offers a striking analysis of medieval views of the body, and of humanity situated at the centre of the symbolic universe. Moving from the anatomical table to the kitchen table, he shows the similarities between the anatomist and the cook, both of whom worked with dead flesh, with corpses which had to be cut up, greased, severed, skinned, diced and gutted. Vivid in detail and engagingly written, The Anatomy of the Senses will be welcomed by students and researchers in social and cultural history, as well as anyone interested in the history of the body, food and popular beliefs.

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