A Natural History of the Senses

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 1991-09-10
  • Publisher: Vintage

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Diane Ackerman's lusciously written grand tour of the realm of the senses includes conversations with an iceberg in Antarctica and a professional nose in New York, along with dissertations on kisses and tattoos, sadistic cuisine and the music played by the planet Earth. "Delightful . . . gives the reader the richest possible feeling of the worlds the senses take in."--The New York Times. (Literature--Classics & Contemporary)

Table of Contents

In Every Sensep. xv
Smellp. 3
The Mute Sensep. 5
A Map of Smellp. 6
Of Violets and Neuronsp. 9
The Shape of Smellp. 11
Buckets of Lightp. 15
The Winter Palace of Monarchsp. 18
The Oceans Inside Usp. 20
Notions and Nations of Sweatp. 21
The Personality of Smellp. 23
Pheromonesp. 26
Nosesp. 30
Sneezingp. 31
Smell As Camouflagep. 32
Rosesp. 33
The Fallen Angelp. 37
Anosmiap. 40
Prodigies of Smellp. 44
A Famous Nosep. 45
An Offering to the Godsp. 54
Cleopatra's Heirsp. 59
Touchp. 65
The Feeling Bubblep. 67
Speaking of Touchp. 70
First Touchesp. 71
What is a Touch?p. 80
The Code Sendersp. 83
Hairp. 84
The Inner Climatep. 88
The Skin Has Eyesp. 94
Adventures In the Touch Domep. 96
Animalsp. 98
Tattoosp. 99
Painp. 101
Easing Painp. 104
The Point of Painp. 106
Kissingp. 108
The Handp. 115
Professional Touchersp. 119
Taboosp. 121
Subliminal Touchp. 122
Tastep. 125
The Social Sensep. 127
Food and Sexp. 130
The Omnivore's Picnicp. 132
Of Cannibalism and Sacred Cowsp. 135
The Bloom of a Taste Budp. 138
The Ultimate Dinner Partyp. 143
Macabre Mealsp. 146
The Heart of Cravingp. 148
The Psychopharmacology of Chocolatep. 153
In Praise of Vanillap. 157
The Truth About Trufflesp. 161
Ginger, and Other Medicinesp. 163
How to Make Moose Soup In a Hole in the Ground, or Dine in Spacep. 165
Et Fugu, Brute? Food as Thrill-Seekingp. 167
Beauty and the Beastsp. 171
Hearingp. 173
The Hearing Heartp. 175
Phantoms and Drapesp. 180
Jaguar of Sweet Laughterp. 182
Loud Noisesp. 186
The Limits of Hearing, the Power of Soundp. 188
Deafnessp. 191
Animalsp. 193
Quicksand and Whale Songsp. 198
The Violin Remembersp. 202
Music and Emotionp. 205
Is Music a Language?p. 209
Measure for Measurep. 216
Cathedrals in Soundp. 219
Earth Callingp. 222
Visionp. 227
The Beholder's Eyep. 229
How to Watch the Skyp. 235
Lightp. 249
Colorp. 252
Why Leaves Turn Color in the Fallp. 257
Animalsp. 260
The Painter's Eyep. 267
The Face of Beautyp. 270
Watching a Night Launch of the Space Shuttlep. 279
The Force of an Image: Ring Cyclep. 281
The Round Walls of Homep. 283
Synesthesiap. 287
Fantasiap. 289
Courting the Musep. 292
Postscriptp. 301
Further Readingp. 311
Indexp. 317
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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