The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing

Paperback | November 30, 2012

byRachel Poliquin

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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 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.

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From the Publisher

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 i...

Rachel Poliquin is a writer and curator engaged with the cultural and poetic history of the natural world. She has curated taxidermy exhibits for the Museum of Vancouver and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia. Poliquin is the author of www.ravishingbeasts.com, a website dedicated to exploring the cultur...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 8.03 × 0.76 inPublished:November 30, 2012Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271053739

ISBN - 13:9780271053738

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 Wonder

2 Beauty

3 Spectacle

4 Order

5 Narrative

6 Allegory

7 Remembrance

Notes

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Grounded in historical context, as well as current theoretical methodology, The Breathless Zoo provides a well-rounded, reverent, and provocative commentary on taxidermy.”

—Ty Fishkind, Configurations