The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing

The Breathless Zoo Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing From sixteenth century cabinets of wonders to contemporary animal art The Breathless Zoo Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing examines the cultural and poetic history of preserving animals in lively

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  • Title: The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing
  • Author: Rachel Poliquin
  • ISBN: 9780271053721
  • Page: 491
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From sixteenth century cabinets of wonders to contemporary animal art, The Breathless Zoo Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing examines the cultural and poetic history of preserving animals in lively postures But why would anyone want to preserve an animal, and what is this animal thing now Rachel Poliquin suggests that taxidermy is entwined with the enduring human lonFrom sixteenth century cabinets of wonders to contemporary animal art, The Breathless Zoo Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing examines the cultural and poetic history of preserving animals in lively postures But why would anyone want to preserve an animal, and what is this animal thing now Rachel Poliquin suggests that taxidermy is entwined with the enduring human longing to find meaning with and within the natural world Her study draws out the longings at the heart of taxidermy the longing for wonder, beauty, spectacle, order, narrative, allegory, and remembrance In so doing, The Breathless Zoo explores the animal spectacles desired by particular communities, human assumptions of superiority, the yearnings for hidden truths within animal form, and the loneliness and longing that haunt our strange human existence, being both within and apart from nature.

    One thought on “The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing”

    1. Beautifully written and fascinating history of taxidermy. Poliquin's reflections on the practice are thoughtful and intriguing and I found lots to ponder here. In addition, this book gets a little bump in its rating for being a lovely physical artifact.

    2. This book is both sad and uplifting, unsettling and charming, poetic and informative - just like the art of taxidermy itself. Some chapters could use a bit of pruning, but in general it's an easy and enjoyable read. Definitely one of the TOP5 nonfiction books I've read this year.

    3. This is a really excellent, academic look at what taxidermy is, what it means, and how it is a reflection of its historical moment. However, I found that after the first few chapters I got bored. There's only so much one can read about gazing upon the skins of dead animals and what that says about us. The pictures in this book are beautiful. I really enjoyed looking at all the full colour plates. That's probably deeply ironic. Here I am, more interested in gazing upon pictures of the skins of de [...]

    4. This is a beautifully presented book, of interest to practising taxidermists as well as those simply curious about this art form. The essays can be overly academic and a little bit repetitive at times, but are generally easy to read. Very informative and well researched, The Breathless Zoo really gets under the skin of taxidermy.

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