By Michael Taussig
Beauty and the Beast begins with the query: Is good looks destined to finish in tragedy? Drawing on wide fieldwork in Colombia, Michael Taussig scrutinizes the worried, audacious, and occasionally 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 forgotten counterpart, surgical procedures performed—often on excessive profile criminals—to cover one’s identification. Situating this globally shared phenomenon in the financial, cultural, and political background of Colombia, Taussig hyperlinks the country’s lengthy civil battle and its physically mutilation and torture to the wonder at huge, sketching Colombia as a rustic whose excessive aesthetic stakes make it a degree the place probably the most very important and complex principles concerning the physique are performed out.
Central to Taussig’s exam is George Bataille’s proposal of depense, or “wasting.” whereas depense is usually used as a critique, Taussig additionally seems on the exuberance such squandering creates and its place as a riding financial strength. Depense, he argues, is strictly what those techniques are all approximately, and the beast at the different aspect of good looks shouldn't be brushed off as easy recompense. instantly 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 regularly available tale concerning the lengths to which individuals will visit be bodily remade.
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Beauty and the Beast by Michael Taussig