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UGLINESS: A CULTURAL HISTORY. Gretchen E. Henderson. Reaktion Books Ltd, London, 2015. Distributed in the U.S.A. by University of Chicago Press. 240 pp. with 66 ills. 23 x 15 cm. ISBN 9781780235240 In English.
Publisher's description: Ugly as sin, the ugly duckling -- or maybe you fell out of the ugly tree? Let's face it, we've all used the word "ugly" to describe someone we've seen -- hopefully just in our private thoughts -- but have we ever considered how slippery the term can be, indicating anything from the slightly unsightly to the downright revolting? What really lurks behind this most favored insult? In this actually beautiful book, Gretchen E. Henderson casts an unfazed gaze at ugliness, tracing its long-standing grasp on our cultural imagination and highlighting all the peculiar ways it has attracted us to its repulsion. Henderson explores the ways we have perceived ugliness throughout history, from ancient Roman feasts to medieval grotesque gargoyles, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to the Nazi Exhibition of Degenerate Art. Covering literature, art, music, and even the cutest possible incarnation of the term -- Uglydolls -- she reveals how ugliness has long posed a challenge to aesthetics and taste. She moves beyond the traditional philosophic argument that simply places ugliness in opposition to beauty in order to dismantle just what we mean when we say "ugly."
Indexing: Western, International (Western Style) — Several Periods — Several Media
Plans: 71,73
Worldwide Number: 172840
Hardcover $25.00x (libraries receive a 10% discount on this title)    

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