By Michael Taussig
Beauty and the Beast begins with the query: Is good looks destined to finish in tragedy? Drawing on large fieldwork in Colombia, Michael Taussig scrutinizes the nervous, audacious, and infrequently damaging makes an attempt humans make to rework their our bodies via plastic surgery and liposuction. He balances an exam of surgical procedures intended to reinforce an individual’s attractiveness with a frequently disregarded counterpart, surgical procedures performed—often on excessive profile criminals—to hide one’s identification. Situating this globally shared phenomenon in the monetary, cultural, and political heritage of Colombia, Taussig hyperlinks the country’s lengthy civil warfare and its physically mutilation and torture to the sweetness at huge, sketching Colombia as a rustic whose excessive aesthetic stakes make it a level the place probably the most vital and frustrating principles concerning the physique are performed out.
Central to Taussig’s exam is George Bataille’s inspiration of depense, or “wasting.” whereas depense is usually used as a critique, Taussig additionally appears on the exuberance such squandering creates and its place as a riding monetary strength. Depense, he argues, is exactly what those tactics are all approximately, and the beast at the different facet of attractiveness shouldn't be pushed aside as uncomplicated recompense. right away theoretical and colloquial, public and intimate, Beauty and the Beast is a true-to-place ethnography—written in Taussig’s trademark voice—that tells a thickly layered yet constantly available tale in regards to the lengths to which individuals will visit be bodily remade.
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Beauty and the Beast by Michael Taussig