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Fat : a cultural history of the stuff of life

Author: Christopher E Forth
Publisher: London, UK : Reaktion Books Ltd, 2019.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Fat. Such a little word evokes big responses. While "fat" describes the size and shape of bodies -- their appearance -- our negative reactions to corpulence also depend on something tangible and tactile. As this book argues, there is more to fat than meets the eye. Fat: A Cultural History of the Stuff of Life offers reflections on how fat has been perceived and imagined in the West since antiquity. Featuring  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Christopher E Forth
ISBN: 9781789140620 1789140625
OCLC Number: 1041803699
Description: 358 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
Contents: One. The Stuff of Life: Thinking and Doing with Fat --
Two. Fertile Ambiguities: The Agricultural Imagination --
Three. Ancient Appetites: Luxury and the Geography of Softness --
Four. Christian Corpulence: The Belly and What Lies Beneath --
Five. Noble Fat? Corpulence in the Middle Ages --
Six. The Fat of the Land; or, Why a Good Cock is Never Fat --
Seven. Spartan Mirages: Utopian Bodies and the Challenges of Modernity --
Eight. Grease and Grace: The Disenchantment of Fat? --
Nine. Savage Desires: 'Primitive' Fat and 'Civilized' Slenderness --
Ten. Bodily Utopianism: Modern Dreams of Transcendence. One.The Stuff of Life: Thinking and Doing with Fat --
Two.Fertile Ambiguities: The Agricultural Imagination --
Three.Ancient Appetites: Luxury and the Geography of Softness --
Four.Christian Corpulence: The Belly and What Lies Beneath --
Five.Noble Fat? Corpulence in the Middle Ages --
Six.The Fat of the Land; or, Why a Good Cock is Never Fat --
Seven.Spartan Mirages: Utopian Bodies and the Challenges of Modernity --
Eight.Grease and Grace: The Disenchantment of Fat? --
Nine.Savage Desires: `Primitive' Fat and `Civilized' Slenderness --
Ten.Bodily Utopianism: Modern Dreams of Transcendence.
Responsibility: Christopher E. Forth.

Abstract:

Fat. Such a little word evokes big responses. While "fat" describes the size and shape of bodies -- their appearance -- our negative reactions to corpulence also depend on something tangible and tactile. As this book argues, there is more to fat than meets the eye. Fat: A Cultural History of the Stuff of Life offers reflections on how fat has been perceived and imagined in the West since antiquity. Featuring fascinating historical accounts as well as philosophical, religious, and cultural analyses -- including discussions of status, gender, and race -- the book digs deep into the past for the roots of our current notions and prejudices. Two central themes emerge: how we have perceived and imagined corpulent bodies over the centuries, and how fat -- as a substance as well as a description of body size -- has been associated with vitality and fertility as well as perceptions of animality. By exploring the complex ways in which fat, fatness, and fattening have been perceived over time, this book provides rich insights into the stuff our stereotypes are made of.

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"Fat is the definitive overview of what bodily excess means and has meant in Western society. . . . Forth's dramatic account of how we got to this point, written with grace and a touch of irony, Read more...

 
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