Catalogue


The anatomy of the senses : natural symbols in medieval and early modern Italy /
Piero Camporesi ; translated by Allan Cameron.
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; Cambridge, Mass. : Polity Press, 1994.
description
209 p.
ISBN
0745605060 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; Cambridge, Mass. : Polity Press, 1994.
isbn
0745605060 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
723182
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-06:
Camporesi (Univ. of Bologna) is well known in Italy as a historian of popular culture, folklore, and the symbolism of everyday life, especially as reflected in texts of the early modern period. This very competent translation of Le Officine dei sensi (Milan, 1985) is a welcome addition to the shelf of Camporesi in English, alongside The Incorruptible Flesh: Bodily Mutation and Mortification in Religion and Folklore (1988), Bread of Dreams: Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Europe (1989), The Fear of Hell: Images of Damnation and Salvation in Early Modern Europe (1991), and The Magic Harvest: Food, Folklore, and Society (1993). In the present volume, Camporesi studies eight "natural symbols"--apples, flowers, cheese, abstinence, anatomy, dissection, the bodies of saints, and "peasant knowledge"--with characteristic verve. His impressionistic, even meditative approach will not satisfy rigorous pragmatists, and his rapid movement between instances that are often widely separated in time, place, and context can be disconcerting; but the mass of detailed evidence collected here remains consistently fascinating. This is an important book by an important historian. General; upper-division undergraduate; graduate; faculty. S. Botterill; University of California, Berkeley
Reviews
Review Quotes
'Comprehensive, lucid and original, the Anatomy of the Senses will stand high amongst Camporesi's works.' Roy Porter, Wellcome Institute for the History of medicine 'Piero Camporesi is one of the most stimulating and path-breaking historians.' Roy Porter 'These are essays in the fullest sense. Camporesi eschews the footnotes.... He reaches for the opposite: a personal response to subjects shaped by wide reading, inspired insights, and reflexive prejudices.' the Times Higher Education Supplement '... the mass of detailed evidence collected here remains consistently fascinating. This is an important book by an important historian." Choice
'Comprehensive, lucid and original, The Anatomy of the Senses will stand high amongst Camporesi's works.' Roy Porter, Wellcome Institute for the History of medicine 'Piero Camporesi is one of the most stimulating and path-breaking historians.' Roy Porter'these are essays in the fullest sense. Camporesi eschews the footnotes.... He reaches for the opposite: a personal response to subjects shaped by wide reading, inspired insights, and reflexive prejudices.' The Times Higher Education Supplement'... The mass of detailed evidence collected here remains consistently fascinating. This is an important book by an important historian." Choice
'Comprehensive, lucid and original, The Anatomy of the Senses will stand high amongst Camporesi's works.' Roy Porter, Wellcome Institute for the History of medicine'Piero Camporesi is one of the most stimulating and path-breaking historians.' Roy Porter'These are essays in the fullest sense. Camporesi eschews the footnotes.... He reaches for the opposite: a personal response to subjects shaped by wide reading, inspired insights, and reflexive prejudices.' The Times Higher Education Supplement'... The mass of detailed evidence collected here remains consistently fascinating. This is an important book by an important historian." Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 1995
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Summaries
Back Cover Copy
Piero Camporesi is one of the foremost historians of folklore and popular beliefs in Europe today. This book is a brilliant account of medieval and early modern attitudes to the cosmos in general and the human body in particular. 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.
Back Cover Copy
Piero Camporesi is one of the foremost historians of folklore and popular beliefs in Europe today. This book is a brilliant account of medieval and early modern attitudes to the cosmos in general and the human body in particular.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.
Main Description
This book is a brilliant account of medieval and early modern attitudes to the cosmos in general and the human body in particular, written by one of the foremost historians of folklore and popular beliefs in Europe today.
Table of 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
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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