Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western by Richard Sennett

By Richard Sennett

An outline of city existence from a physique feel standpoint spans 2,500 years trips via historic Athens, Hadrian's Rome, medieval and innovative Paris, Renaissance Venice, Edwardian London, and modern big apple.

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Extra info for Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization

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They had not become like men. The light shone on cloaked bodies transformed in a ritual-mysterious and unknowable by men-which had somehow dignified these bodies. Ritual metonymies, unlike a poet's phrases, make use of space to effect such changes. These spaces alter the condition of the bodies which step within ritual's magic circle. Such an alteration occurred in the Thesmophoria, the ritual pit, cold and dark, giving the cold bodies whom Perikles counseled to live unnoticed a new civic value.

Yet the ritual as practiced in Athens altered the original, agricultural myth. Instead of opposing fertility and sterility, the Thesmophoria invoked sexual abstinence as opposed to fertility. For three days before the Thesmophoria the women did not sleep with their husbands, as well as being sexually abstinent during the festival. The ritual thus changed from the mourning of a daughter whose dead body nourishes the earth to a drama organized around the theme of self-control. In a haunting passage, the classicist Jean-Pierre Vernant has evoked the ritual as practiced in Athens: The time of sowing marks the beginning of the period that is propi- The Thesmophoria The Thesmophoria began as a fertility rite.

Cold" and "passive" came to mean, by the second day, selfdiscipline and fortitude, rather than weakness and inferiority as they did outside. These changes culminated on the third day when the women emerged. They had not become like men. The light shone on cloaked bodies transformed in a ritual-mysterious and unknowable by men-which had somehow dignified these bodies. Ritual metonymies, unlike a poet's phrases, make use of space to effect such changes. These spaces alter the condition of the bodies which step within ritual's magic circle.

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