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Steven Peacock

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

in Swedish crime fiction
Open Access (free)
Face to face with the past
Author: Melanie Giles

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

Open Access (free)
Deaths and politicised deaths in Buenos Aires’s refuse
Mariano D. Perelman

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.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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Sam Rohdie

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

in Film modernism
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Between battlefield and fairground
Author: Elza Adamowicz

Dada bodies focuses critical attention on Dada’s limit-forms of the human image from an international and interdisciplinary perspective, in its different centres (Zurich, Berlin, Cologne, Hanover, Paris and New York) and diverse media (art, literature, performance, photography and film). Iconoclastic or grotesque, a montage of disparate elements or reduced to a fragment, machine-part or blob, Dada’s bodily images are confronted here as fictional constructs rather than mimetic integrated unities. They act as both a reflection of, and a reflection on, the disjunctive, dehumanised society of wartime and post-war Europe, whilst also proposing a blueprint of a future, possible body. Through detailed analysis of works by Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Hannah Höch, Marcel Duchamp and others, informed by recent theoretical and critical perspectives, the work offers a reassessment of the movement, arguing that Dada occupies an ambivalent space, between the battlefield (in the satirical exposure of the lies of an ideology that sought to clothe the corpse of wartime Europe) and the fairground (in the playful manipulation of the body and its joyful renewal through laughter, dream and dance).

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Women and body hair in contemporary art and advertising
Laura Scuriatti

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

in The last taboo
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Human variation and racism in early modern English culture, c. 1600–1750
Author: Mark S. Dawson

This book examines early modern English notions of bodily difference. Tracing how the English valued somatic contrasts, both amongst themselves and, as they ventured into and through the Atlantic, among non-Europeans, this book demonstrates that individuals’ distinctive features were thought to be innate, even as discrete populations were also believed to have fleshly characteristics in common – whether similarities in skin-tone, facial profile, hair colour, or demeanour. According to much scholarship, bodies thought to be constituted from the same four elemental fluids as Adam and Eve’s – the phlegmatic, sanguine, choleric, and melancholic humours – were not the stuff of visceral inequality. On the contrary, this book finds that people routinely judged and were judged on sight; according to the ostensible balance, or complexion, of their humours. Belief in monogenesis and Christian universalism notwithstanding, people could be sorted on the basis of their looks, and assumptions made about their ancestry, present condition, and future behaviour. Complexions vouched for distinctions in social status, physical cum moral fitness, national allegiance, and religious affiliation. Humoralism inflected both social politics and international relations. If looking at people racially is to group them according to perceived physical contrasts – in the belief these contrasts mark innate, inherited variations in physical ability, mental agility, or moral aptitude – which simultaneously justify their prejudicial treatment relative to one’s own group, then this book demonstrates how and why racism was fitfully part of early modern English culture.