Description : Julia Kristeva turns her famed critical eye to a study of the human head as symbol and metaphor, as religious object and physical fact, further developing a critical theme in her work--the power of horror--and expanding the potential for the face to provide an experience of the sacred. Kristeva's study stretches far back in time to 6,000 B.C.E. with humans' early decoration and worship of skulls, and follows with an examination of the Medusa myth; the mandylion of Laon (a holy relic in which the face of a saint appears on a piece of cloth); the biblical stories of John the Baptist and Salome; tales of the guillotine; modern murder mysteries; and the rhetoric surrounding the fight for and against capital punishment. Drawing numerous connections between these "capital visions" and their experience, Kristeva affirms the possibility of the sacred, even in an era of "faceless" interaction.
Description : Martin believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional re-education. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendour at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. How will he survive it?
Description : When Elijah and his friends find a treasure in an abandoned church, they discover that God has plans for them that they never expected.
Description : Explores actual and literary depictions of beheadings in sixteenth-century Ireland and addresses how violence is transcribed into art.
Description : First published in 1961, The Severed Head is regarded is one of Iris Murdochâe(tm)s most entertaining works. A dark and ferocious comic masterpiece, the novel traces the turbulent emotional journey of Martin Lynch-Gibbon, a smug, well-to-do London wine merchant and unfaithful husband, whose life is turned inside out when his wife leaves him for her psychoanalyst. In The Sea, the Sea the landscape shifts to the seclusion of an isolated house on the edge of Englandâe(tm)s North Sea, where Charles Arrowby, a big name in Londonâe(tm)s glittering theatrical world, has retired to write his memoirs. Arrowbyâe(tm)s plans begin to unravel when he meets his first love and becomes haunted by the idea of rekindling his adolescent passion. The Severed Head and Booker prize-winner The Sea, the Sea are two of Iris Murdochâe(tm)s most accomplished novels, displaying all her talent for combining profundity with playful creativity. Both tragic and comic, brooding and hilarious, they brilliantly reveal how much our lives are governed by the lies we tell ourselves as well as our all-consuming desire for love, significance and, ultimately, redemption.
Description : Our history is littered with heads. Over the centuries, they have decorated our churches, festooned our city walls and filled our museums; they have been props for artists and specimens for laboratory scientists, trophies for soldiers and items of barter. Today, as videos of decapitations circulate online and cryonicists promise that our heads may one day live on without our bodies, the severed head is as contentious and compelling as ever. From shrunken heads to trophies of war; from memento mori to Damien Hirst's With Dead Head; from grave-robbing phrenologists to enterprising scientists, Larson explores the bizarre, often gruesome and confounding history of the severed head. Its story is our story.
Description : Capitalizing upon the enduring fascination with decapitation in European culture, this collection examines--through a variety of critical lenses--the recurring "roles/rolls" of severed human heads in the medieval and early modern imagination.