There is nothing you know as much about as your own body. To say you “know about it” is actually too much distance between you and it; we are our bodies, no matter how separate or at odds with them we sometimes feel. It’s interesting, then, how the body remains one of the great puzzles in all of human thought and science. Medicine, theology, literature, biology, sociology, even math: there are people in every field who have made a lifetime out of just trying to figure out what in the world we actually are, how we’re put together, and why. Think about it: isn’t this just a complicated version of staring at a mirror?
Tell me about your body. Your answer to that will be entirely unique, even in approach, and it will probably differ from your answer if I asked you tomorrow. Yesterday, I sat outside and thought about where writing comes from, and the point at which our creative “muscles” (a metaphor) connect with our literal ones. Today all I can think about is how my shins hurt. We’re so consumed by bodies that we project this thinking on to all our other fields: body of work, the body politic, a body of water. We are never too far removed from this thinking. And good thing, because we’ve got plenty more to figure out.
Some of Rain Taxi’s best body-themed reviews:
Review by Scott Vickers of Incognito by David Eagleman (Winter 2012/2013, Online)
Review by Sarah Fox of The Body and the Book by Julia Kasdorf (Winter 2001/2002, Online)
Review by Ryder W. Miller of Leonardo’s Foot by Carol Ann Rinzler (Fall 2013, Online)