Blood Rush

The Dark History of a Vital Fluid

Jan Verplaetse

Blood Rush

Jan Verplaetse

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Translated by Andy Brown
320 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth $20.00 ISBN: 9781789141962 Will Publish March 2020 For sale in North and South America only
As a young man, Jan Verplaetse saw a hare suspended from a meat hook, skinned and gutted. What struck him so forcefully at the time was not the animal itself, but the blood gently dripping from its mouth. His reaction prompted the start of a quest he undertakes in this book: to investigate our fascination with blood, the most vital of fluids.
 
Blood Rush shows how, throughout history, blood has had the capacity to intoxicate us, to the point that we lose ourselves, whether in violence, through hunting, fighting, or killing, or in the vicarious thrill of watching sporting events, horror films, or video games. Are these feelings physical, or in our imagination? Where does the magic of blood come from? In his deeply researched and provocative narrative, Verplaetse moves from antiquity to the present, from magic to experimental psychology, from philosophy to religion and scientific discoveries, to demonstrate why blood at once attracts and repels us.
Contents
Introduction Part One: Blood Magic Blood Mist Sacrificial Blood Evil Blood Red Urine Part Two: Blood Thirst Haemothymia Wild Origins Chemosignals Part Three: Blood Aesthetics Blood Horror Sublime Blood Bloodless References Bibliography Acknowledgements Index
Review Quotes
Raymond Corbey, Leiden University
“Circling around a dark, unfathomable beyond, Blood Rush cuts violently across a cultural modernity that celebrates rationality and science. Both rigorous and highly creative, it will leave many readers awestruck.”
Leslie S. Klinger, editor of "New Annotated Dracula"
“‘The blood is the life!’ intones the madman Renfield, in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, in a parody of the biblical phrase. Blood—without which we die—has fascinated humankind for millennia, and Verplaetse’s remarkable book explores both its physical and metaphysical aspects, throughout history and literature. Highly recommended!”
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