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Books about the future of Beauty

. Books about the future of Beauty


Uncontrollable Beauty: Toward a New Aesthetics
by Bill Beckley (Editor), David Shapiro (Editor)

What ever happened to beauty? Since the late 1960s she seems to have been in exile. Postmodern artists traded her in for flirtations with truth, strength, and purity of form. It was then that women started stripping off their heavy makeup and Barbie doll clothing in an effort to gain equal footing with men. And men, anxious too to break some of society's molds, shed their business suits and leisurewear -- then the paragons of male beauty. But as art critic Dave Hickey unwittingly predicted during the '80s, that quality -- which Plato believed to be eternal and absolute -- is the "issue of the '90s."

After three decades of playing wallflower because she was thought by many artists to be frivolous, easy, tired, and even shallow, beauty is dancing again. Uncontrollable Beauty is filled with exciting essays by artists, critics, curators, and philosophers whose definitions of this elusive quality are often at odds with the Platonic ideal. When beauty besets critic Peter Schjeldahl, his mind is "hyperalert," his body eases, and he is often aware of his "shoulders coming down as unconscious muscular tension lets go." Renowned sculptor Louise Bourgeois also experiences beauty as opposed to encountering it: "Beauty is a series of experiences. It is not a noun ... beauty in and of itself does not exist." Artist and coeditor Bill Beckley blames beauty's banishment on Wittgenstein -- who, in a 1938 lecture at Cambridge, said that beauty is most often meant as an interjection "similar to Wow! or rubbing one's stomach" -- and his undue influence on conceptual artists of the '60s and '70s. Each essay collected here is rigorous in its definition of this elusive yet powerful force in art and aesthetics. Taken together, the writings are an invigorating read for artists and viewers alike.





Beauty and the Contemporary Sublime (Aesthetics Today)
by Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe

Refuting established views, this book questions today's ideas of beauty, including those applied to contemporary art, and proposes a secular theory of beauty as being glamorous rather than good, frivolous rather than serious.







Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime
by Immanuel Kant

When originally published in 1960, this was the first complete English translation since 1799 of Kant's early work on aesthetics. More literary than philosophical, Observations shows Kant as a man of feeling rather than the dry thinker he often seemed to readers of the three Critiques.

 


History of Beauty
by Umberto Eco

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it also has a lot to do with the beholder's cultural standards. In History of Beauty, renowned author Umberto Eco sets out to demonstrate how every historical era has had its own ideas about eye-appeal. Pages of charts that track archetypes of beauty through the ages ("nude Venus," "nude Adonis," and so forth) may suggest that this book is a historical survey of beautiful people portrayed in art. But History of Beauty is really about the history of philosophical and perceptual notions of perfection and how they have been applied to ideas and objects, as well as to the human body. This survey ranges over such themes as the mathematics of ideal proportions, the problem of representing ugliness, the fascination of the exotic and art for art's sake. Along the way, the text examines the intersection of standards of beauty with Christian belief, notions of the Sublime, the philosophies of Kant and Hegel, and bourgeois culture. More than 300 illustrations trace the history of Western art as it relates, in the broadest sense, to the topic of beauty.

Yet despite its wealth of information, History of Beauty is an odd and unsatisfying book. Beginning with ancient Greece and ending with a too-brief chapter on "The Beauty of the Media," the text focuses exclusively (and unapologetically) on the Western world. Ultimately, it seems that "beauty" serves simply as a sexy peg on which to hang an abbreviated history of Western culture. Readers expecting a sophisticated treatment of the subject will be surprised at the textbook-like design, with numbered sections and boldfaced words keyed to small-type excerpts from writings by thinkers ranging from Boethius to Barthes. The main narrative (or perhaps the translation from the Italian?) can be ponderous and awkward. Only nine of the 17 chapters were written by Eco; the remainder are by lesser-known Italian novelist Girolamo de Michele. All in all, it looks as though someone had the bright idea of translating a textbook for Italian students into English, hoping to coast on the fame of Eco's name. - Cathy Curtis


Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)
by Arthur W. Perry

The public’s recent exuberance toward cosmetic surgery has spurred an unprecedented demand for appearance-changing procedures. But how can an average consumer discern the hype from solid truth? Which of the many treatments available can fulfill the promise of a more youthful look, or more beautiful skin, or a more pleasing body shape? Which procedures don’t work at all?

In this up-to-the-minute guide, Dr. Arthur W. Perry, a practicing plastic surgeon for more than two decades, examines in close detail each of today’s surgical and nonsurgical procedures. In everyday language, aided by more than a hundred illustrations, he assesses the benefits and potential complications of legitimate treatments. He also identifies and frankly discusses ineffective treatments. Dr. Perry’s empowering book guides you through the seductive and somewhat slick world of cosmetic surgery. He offers criteria for selecting good doctors and facilities. In short, he has written an essential book for anyone who is contemplating cosmetic surgery or other skin-care procedures.

Includes expert advice on:
· Facial rejuvenation including lifts, wrinkle fillers, and peels
· Body contouring from liposuction and tummy tucks to breast implants, reductions, and lifts
· Botox and laser treatments
· Avoiding fraud and procedures that don’t work
· And much more





The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews (Llewellyn's Practical Magick)
by Scott Cunningham

One of the secrets of real magic is that it is controlled by the mind. The more things in your ritual to help your mind associate with your goal, the more powerful your ritual may be. Colored candles, scented oils, natural incenses, and more all add to the impact of the magic you wish to do.

But how do you know which incense to burn? Is it possible to add scented oils together to get a more powerful oil? And how do you make your own, appropriately-scented tools?

The answers to questions like these and hundreds more can be found in The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews by world-famous author Scott Cunningham. This is a greatly expanded and rewritten version of The Magic of Incenses, Oils and Brews. It includes over 100 new formulas, proportions for each element of the recipes (the most requested feature from his previous book), how to substitute ingredients, and much more. Besides the formulas, it also includes the exact methods of making all of these scented tools, including how to extract the essences from the herbs.

Each one of the formulas is precise and easy to make. Do you need luck? Take 2 parts vetivert, 2 parts allspice, 1 part nutmeg, and 1 part calamus, grind them together as finely as possible, then sprinkle the powder in a circle around you, beginning and ending in the East and moving clockwise. Sit within this circle and absorb the powder's energies. Also included are other ways to use magical powders that will have you coming up with your own ideas for them, too.

There is a legion of recipes for incenses. There are three for the sun and two for consecrating talismans. There are incenses for each of the astrological signs and ones to help you study better and gain success. You'll also find incenses for each of the planetary influences. There are four for Saturn alone!

This compendium of magical lore is a vital tool for every magical person on any magical path, whether you are a beginner or an expert.





Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry
by Stacy Malkan


Lead in lipstick? 1,4 dioxane in baby soap? Coal tar in shampoo? How is this possible? Simple. The $35 billion cosmetics industry is so powerful they’ve kept themselves unregulated for decades. Not Just a Pretty Face chronicles the quest that led a group of health and environmental activists to the world’s largest cosmetics companies to ask some tough questions:

  • Why do companies market themselves as pink ribbon leaders in the fight against breast cancer, yet use hormone-disrupting and carcinogenic chemicals that may contribute to that very disease?
  • Why do products used by men and women of childbearing age contain chemicals linked to birth defects and infertility?

As doors slammed in their faces and the beauty myth peeled away, the industry’s toxic secrets began to emerge. This scathing investigation peels away less-than-lovely layers to expose an industry in dire need of an extreme makeover. The good news is that while the major multinational companies fight for their right to use hazardous chemicals, entrepreneurs are developing safer non-toxic technologies and building businesses on the values of health, justice and personal empowerment.

 





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