Metamorphoses of the Body

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U of Minnesota Press, 1998 - Social Science - 333 pages
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Explores the relationship between power and the body.

This investigation of power and the body is a brilliantly original account of the nature of force as it functions in religious rituals, sorcery, political relations, and other social domains. Laying the foundation for an "anthropology of forces", it is crucial reading for anyone interested in how bodies and power circulate in a range of human contexts and cultures.

For Jose Gil the body, with its capacity to translate forces into signs, is the source of power. Analyzing the language of mime and gestures, comparing magical cures to psychiatric ones, contrasting the flayed body of Kafka's "In the Penal Colony" with the anatomical body in Vesalius's De Humani Corporis Fabrica, he develops a typology of metamorphoses of the body as they correspond to systems of signs.

A major intervention that marks the first appearance of Gil's work in English, Metamorphoses of the Body gives us an entirely new way of looking at relationships between bodies, forces, politics, and people.


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Translators Preface
The Antinomies of Power 1
Second Antinomy on the Forms of Power 25
Third Antinomy on the Ends of Power 41
Fourth Antinomy on the Limits of Power 57
The Floating Signifier 93
The Body Transducer of Signs 107
The Body and the Traditional Community 153
6The Body and the Voice 187
The Body in Penal Settlements 197
Note on the Frontispiece of De Human Corporis Fabric
Anthropology and the Problem of the Origin
Conditions Under Which Societies without States
The Origin of the State 261
Conflict exchanges and debtThe judiciary processJustice and State law
s The Surplus Value of the Power of the State 305

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Dance and the Laughter of Bodies 165
s Seriousness of Symbols and Incarnation 175
Printed in the United States of America on acidfree paper

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