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Showing posts from August, 2014

Alas and a Kind of Field Trip: Is the Back about Pain?

by Mary Ann Hushlak

I do a Google search.  I do several Google searches. On different days, no less. As if  typing in the same or similar keywords will suddenly slip through a crack in the automated “crawlers” and “spiders” and get past popularity.  Alas, not.
I’m looking for a book title or articles about the human back, something akin to Claudia Benthien’s Skin: on the cultural border between self and the world or Steven Connor’s The Book of Skin with its sources from literature, non-fiction and medical texts as well as art, photography, film and folklore, popular song and language. Alas,  I can’t find anything. 
And so I leave the convenience of computer search engines and head into Central London for the pleasure of a bookshop and the possibilities of references that might exist in a chapter or in footnotes.  A more elliptical approach.  The excursion begins to feel like a kind of field trip.
My first stop is the specialist Wellcome Collection bookshop.  True to the Wellcome Colle…