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The Deepest Sense by Constance Classen
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The Deepest Sense (edition 2012)

by Constance Classen

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212711,641 (3.5)None
Member:Marina-Manetti
Title:The Deepest Sense
Authors:Constance Classen
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Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:History, sensual, haptic, sociological

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The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch by Constance Classen

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An erudite astounding delight. Has opened worlds for me. ( )
  Marina-Manetti | Dec 6, 2018 |
Classen presents a deep, well-researched, and fascinating story of the most intimate of our five senses. Readers will be challenged in their thinking. They will see new ways of interpreting history and home life. Ideas will continue to come back to them as they go about their lives. The downside of this depth is that Information is densely packed, making it hard to read. Laypersons may struggle through it, though the information is interesting and relevant enough to make it worth the effort. ( )
  MartyAllen | Apr 7, 2012 |
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Epigraph
Among men it is in virtue of fineness of touch, and not of any other sense, that we discriminate the mentally gifted from the rest. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Aristotle's De Anima.
Until the eighteenth century at least, touch remained one of the master senses ... It verified perception, giving solidity to the impressions provided by the other senses, which were not as reliable. Robert Mandrou, Introduction to Modern France.
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If a history could be written of touch, what would it embrace?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0252078594, Paperback)

From the softest caress to the harshest blow, touch lies at the heart of our experience of the world. Now, for the first time, this deepest of senses is the subject of an extensive historical exploration. The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch fleshes out our understanding of the past with explorations of lived experiences of embodiment from the middle ages to modernity. This intimate and sensuous approach to history makes it possible to foreground the tactile foundations of Western culture--the ways in which feelings shaped society. Constance Classen explores a variety of tactile realms including the feel of the medieval city; the tactile appeal of relics; the social histories of pain, pleasure, and affection; the bonds of touch between humans and animals; the strenuous excitement of sports such as wrestling and jousting; and the sensuous attractions of consumer culture. She delves into a range of vital issues, from the uses--and prohibitions--of touch in social interaction to the disciplining of the body by the modern state, from the changing feel of the urban landscape to the technologization of touch in modernity. Through poignant descriptions of the healing power of a medieval king's hand or the gruelling conditions of a nineteenth-century prison, we find that history, far from being a dry and lifeless subject, touches us to the quick.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

From the softest caress to the harshest blow, touch lies at the heart of our experience of the world. Now, for the first time, this deepest of senses is the subject of an extensive historical exploration. The Deepest Sense: A Cultural History of Touch fleshes out our understanding of the past with explorations of lived experiences of embodiment from the Middle Ages to modernity. This intimate and sensuous approach to history makes it possible to foreground the tactile foundations of Western culture--the ways in which feelings shaped society. Constance Classen explores a variety of tactile realms including the feel of the medieval city; the tactile appeal of relics; the social histories of pain, pleasure, and affection; the bonds of touch between humans and animals; the strenuous excitement of sports such as wrestling and jousting; and the sensuous attractions of consumer culture. She delves into a range of vital issues, from the uses--and prohibitions--of touch in social interaction to the disciplining of the body by the modern state, from the changing feel of the urban landscape to the technologization of touch in modernity. Through poignant descriptions of the healing power of a medieval king's hand or the grueling conditions of a nineteenth-century prison, we find that history, far from being a dry and lifeless subject, touches us to the quick."--Publisher's website.… (more)

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