Original Skin: Exploring the Marvels of the Human Hide

Original Skin: Exploring the Marvels of the Human Hide

by Maryrose Cuskelly


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“Like the air we breathe, we take our skin for granted . . . Yet it is remarkable; it mitigates and ameliorates the sometimes harsh world we dwell in, and is at the interface of so much of what we encounter. It is our border, the edge of ourselves, the point where we meet our universe.”

Original Skin is at times a scientific study, remarking on the biological magic behind the human body’s largest organ. At others it becomes an anthropological survey, dissecting separate societies’ attitudes towards bare bodies, and the motives behind cultural rituals such as tattoos. However, Original Skin is, above all, a celebration of the human body; its tone one of absolute awe for the simultaneously protective and fragile membrane that divides us all from the world that surrounds us. Maryrose Cuskelly’s book—in its examinations of everything from tickling to Botox to books bound in human derma—is a delightful meditation on skin.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582437392
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 05/17/2011
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Maryrose Cuskelly is a freelance writer and editor. She has had essays and articles published in a range of magazines, journals, and newspapers, including Family Circle and The Melbourne Times. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and their two sons.

Table of Contents

Empresses of the Japanese Bath 1

Skin: the body's envelope 4

Touch Me 20

Melting Pot: the colour of skin 43

O, No! It Is an Ever-fix'd Mark: scars, moles, and other blemishes 60

Peculiar to Humanity: blushing and tickling 84

Unclean, Unclean: skin and disease 101

She's Got Perfect Skin 117

The Lure of the Tattoo 132

Alison Whyte's Boots: skinning and the human pelt 150

Bound in Human Skin: anthropodermic bibliopegy 164

You're Nicked: the romance of fingerprints 177

Peering into the Abyss: burns injuries 192

Leaves on the Tree of Life: the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria 222

Second Skins: semi-living sculpture 233

The Skin We're In 249

Sources 257

Acknowledgements 273

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