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The devil's rope : a cultural history of barbed wire

Author: Alan Krell
Publisher: London : Reaktion, 2002.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Barbed wire cuts across more than just property, war zones and borders. This method of control has played a critical role in modern experience, whether it be domestic or political, for territorial expansion or border protection. But it has other histories too: those constructed through image and text in the arts, media and popular culture. These representations - in paintings, photography, poetry, personal memoirs,  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alan Krell
ISBN: 186189144X 9781861891440
OCLC Number: 50494711
Description: 223 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Contents: The devil's in the detail --
Tortured bodies/touching sites --
Making familiar --
Entangled intimacies --
Grasping the nettle.
Responsibility: Alan Krell.

Abstract:

Barbed wire, as a tool of control, has played a critical role in the modern experience. It also has another history constructed through image and text in the arts, media and popular culture. This  Read more...

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   schema:reviewBody ""Barbed wire cuts across more than just property, war zones and borders. This method of control has played a critical role in modern experience, whether it be domestic or political, for territorial expansion or border protection. But it has other histories too: those constructed through image and text in the arts, media and popular culture. These representations - in paintings, photography, poetry, personal memoirs, cartoons, advertisements and film - have never before been investigated. In The Devil's Rope Alan Krell examines the place that barbed wire holds in the social imagination." "Following its invention in France in 1860, barbed wire was developed further in the USA, where it was reviled by cowboys and native Americans for fencing in the open prairies as much as it was loved by farmers for protecting their livestock. It became a tool for implementing the American Dream, a symbol of entrepreneurial ingenuity and the taming of the West. But by the time the epithet 'Devil's Rope' had been coined in the late 19th century, the wire's menacing qualities had come to the fore. From Kitchener's blockhouses in the Boer War to the barbed no-man's-land of the First World War and the electrically wired fences of the Nazi concentration camps, the 'visible fence' was a ubiquitous instrument of oppression." "This conflicting character has made barbed wire a key symbol in modernity. In contemporary art, fashion and literature, it expresses a postmodern ambiguity. Fought over, looked through yet often overlooked, in Alan Krell's story this idiosyncratic invention takes on its full range of meanings."--BOOK JACKET." ;
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