4 BODIES ‘And why murder? The central mystery of a detective story need not indeed involve a violent death, but murder remains the unique crime and it carries an atavistic weight of repugnance, fascination and fear.’203 Swedish crime fiction is a showcase for murder’s bloody allure. Corpses pile up, despatched in a huge variety of surreptitious, inventive, and frenzied ways. The killing of another human being represents the crossing of a final set of boundaries: moral, legal, psychological, and physical, as the knife drives home. As the novels, films, and
The appearance of corpses in rubbish tips is not a recent phenomenon. In Argentina, tips have served not only as sites for the disposal of bodies but also as murder scenes. Many of these other bodies found in such places belong to individuals who have suffered violent deaths, which go on to become public issues, or else are ‘politicised deaths’. Focusing on two cases that have received differing degrees of social, political and media attention – Diego Duarte, a 15-year-old boy from a poor background who went waste-picking on an open dump and never came back, and Ángeles Rawson, a girl of 16 murdered in the middle-class neighbourhood of Colegiales, whose body was found in the same tip – this article deals with the social meanings of bodies that appear in landfills. In each case, there followed a series of events that placed a certain construction on the death – and, more importantly, the life – of the victim. Corpses, once recognised, become people, and through this process they are given new life. It is my contention that bodies in rubbish tips express – and configure – not only the limits of the social but also, in some cases, the limits of the human itself.
The ‘bog bodies’ of north-western Europe have captured the imagination of poets as much as archaeologists, confronting us with human remains where time has stopped – allowing us to come ‘face to face’ with individuals from the past. Their exceptional preservation allows us to examine unprecedented details of both their lives and deaths, making us reflect poignantly upon our own mortality. Yet this book argues that they must be resituated within a turbulent world of endemic violence and change, reinterpreting the latest Continental research and new discoveries in this light. The book features a ground-breaking ‘cold case’ forensic study of Worsley Man: Manchester Museum’s ‘bog head’ and brings the bogs to life through both natural history and folklore, as places that were rich, fertile, yet dangerous. Finally, it argues that these remains do not just pose practical conservation problems but philosophical dilemmas, compounded by the critical debate on if – and how – they should be displayed, with museum exemplars drawn from across the globe
Bodies Two 1964 paintings by Francis Bacon are reproduced in the credit sequence of Bertolucci’s Ultimo tango a Parigi (1972) : Portrait of Lucian Freud (1969) and Study for a Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne (1966). The portraits in the film first appear separately, then, towards the close of the sequence, are framed together. Both Freud and Rawsthorne were painters, and, like Bacon, concentrated on portraiture and figures. Their paintings are expressionist, distorted by colour, light, line and position, at once realistic because figurative, and unrealistic by
Body hair is constantly mentioned in magazines aimed at a female reading public (but increasingly also to a male readership), and is a relatively recent entry in art. Paradoxically, women’s magazines’ preoccupation with body hair only relies on a series of images in which female bodies are hairless, except for the genital area. 1 Advertising campaigns about body hair only consider it as refuse that needs to be removed from female bodies, and therefore just refer to it, but never show it. On the other hand, in recent years
The body was radical – people died on the streets in Romania … there were bodies in the street, so it was something real. – Dan Perjovschi, speaking about the 1989 Romanian Revolution, 2014 Our sole treasure is our bodies and our ideas. – Raša Todosijević In the socialist spaces of Eastern Europe, the body had a unique resonance. Since public (and to a certain extent, private) space was controlled by the state, the individual was constantly subject to the power and discipline that derives from living in the panopticon. 1 Surveillance took