Taking the Waters: Spirit, Art, Sensuality

Taking the Waters: Spirit, Art, Sensuality

by Alev Lytle Croutier

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Croutier ( Harem ) visited many of the world's famed spas, including Evian in France and Baden-Baden in Germany. Her tour of watering places from California to Switzerland is the core of this charming, copiously illustrated volume, which accentuates the role of spas as therapeutic havens, hedonistic retreats and oases of artistic creativity. She opens with a look at water's mythical associations; nymphs, mermaids, sacred springs, Venus/Aphrodite and water monsters (like the plesiosaurs said to swim in Loch Ness) get their due. Croutier surveys bottled waters, warns of pollution and global overconsumpton of H2O HO and samples water motifs in art, literature, movies and plays. She devotes short, entertaining sections to water rituals, rainmaking, music inspired by water, dowsing, fountains. Paintings by Botticelli, Klimt, Turner, Degas and Picasso as well as photographs and posters are featured in 140 plates (60 in color). BOMC and QPB selections. (Nov.)
William Beatty
Familiar since her childhood in Istanbul with public and private baths, Croutier writes a paean to them--or more exactly, to water, whether in baths, springs, literature, or art. Quite rightly a coffee-table book (the major ingredient in that drink is water, after all), its text and illustrations provide the sipper--or dipper, if one's in a waterier part of the house--with much to while away the hours. Croutier knows many aspects of her subject: e.g., on three successive pages she brings into the flow Magdalenian caves, a Romanian folk song, and the spring Zamzam in Mecca. The cultural history of bathing and plumbing runs throughout the text, with Croutier best when describing spas she has visited, especially those in which she has immersed herself. Her accounts of the activities and social life at European and U.S. spas are all informative and appealing, but those of the development and current production of several bottled waters are particularly good. It can also be said that this is probably the cleanest Book-of-the-Month Club selection to come through the pipeline lately.

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Product Details

Abbeville Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
7.21(w) x 10.23(h) x 0.94(d)

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