Soeine's Reviews > An Intellectual History of Cannibalism

An Intellectual History of Cannibalism by Catalin Avramescu
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Feb 15, 12

bookshelves: philosophy, shamanism-prehistory
Read from August 03 to December 10, 2011

This book deals with the genealogy of the literature about cannibalism, rather than the history of cannibalism itself: how the conception of cannibalism developed, influenced by the political and economic invasion by the old western world of the newly discovered lands of what were called "savages." Furthermore, the book deals with how the physical entity of body has disappeared from people's everyday consciousness and has been abstracted to a mere concept. This re-framing coincides with humanity's struggle to walk away from its animality and to remain as a pure, de-animalised cultural species. The French revolution is introduced as an example. Its cannibalistic acts were disguised and justified by its ideologies. The book ends somewhat abruptly, with a commentary that needs further development, to wit: contemporary citizens are subject to institutionalized cannibalism under the monstrous tyranny of the nation-state. The writing loses its rhythm in some places, becoming tedious. Nonetheless, it provides compelling and refreshing insights into our conception of the body.
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