ALAIN CORBIN THE FOUL AND THE FRAGRANT PDF

Author by : Mark M. Nowhere is this truer than in the nerve-shattering chaos of warfare, where sight seems to confer objective truth and acts as the basis of reconstruction. Smith considers how all five senses, including sight, shaped the experience of the Civil War and thus its memory, exploring its full sensory impact on everyone from the soldiers on the field to the civilians waiting at home. From the eardrum-shattering barrage of shells announcing the outbreak of war at Fort Sumter; to the stench produced by the corpses lying in the mid-summer sun at Gettysburg; to the siege of Vicksburg, once a center of Southern culinary aesthetics and starved into submission, Smith recreates how Civil War was felt and lived.

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It traces back the social history of smell, particularly in the French capital, with the aim to better understand the "deodorized" world in which we live today. Ever wondered how we ended up being so intolerant towards stench and body odor? You may think the answer lies in the invention of modern hygiene and deodorants, but according to French historian Alain Corbin, things are not that simple.

Indeed, we sometimes forget just how radically science has changed our outlook on Nature in the past centuries; what looks obvious to us, may have been inconceivable to our ancestors. It was falsely identified as a source of contagious and incurable diseases such as pestilence; doctors looked for ways to purify and control so-called "miasmas" by means of pleasant fragrances.

The "stench of the city" was considered a major health threat to all people, regardless of their social class or fortune. In midth century Paris, smell had become a public issue: those who could afford it, made sure to stay clear from the putrid, fecal odors of the streets.

Water was considered another conveyor of malady, therefore bathing was highly discouraged. The bourgeois elite turned to mountain air to preserve their health, and the first plans were devised to restrict urban, public malodors as much as possible.

In the first half of the 19th century, smell started to play a role in the private domain as well. Deodorization became a new means of distinction: a way for the elite to "physically remove" themselves as much as possible from the stinky masses.

The Foul and the Fragrant is certainly not an easy book; there are countless references and footnotes on each page, and the subject matter is intricate, not to mention rather philosophical at times.

Kochan, R. Porter and C. Included in

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The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination

It traces back the social history of smell, particularly in the French capital, with the aim to better understand the "deodorized" world in which we live today. Ever wondered how we ended up being so intolerant towards stench and body odor? You may think the answer lies in the invention of modern hygiene and deodorants, but according to French historian Alain Corbin, things are not that simple. Indeed, we sometimes forget just how radically science has changed our outlook on Nature in the past centuries; what looks obvious to us, may have been inconceivable to our ancestors. It was falsely identified as a source of contagious and incurable diseases such as pestilence; doctors looked for ways to purify and control so-called "miasmas" by means of pleasant fragrances.

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Perfume books ~ The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination by Alain Corbin

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