A History of the Heart
Distributed for Reaktion Books
A History of the Heart
A provocative examination of the deepest vaults of our souls and the efforts of the many lonely hunters who have tried to unlock its secrets, A History of Heart upends the clichés to reveal a symbol of our fundamental humanity whose beats can be felt in every aspect of our lives.
251 pages | 20 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2007
History: General History
"A History of the Heart is about far more than the changing representation of the most charismatic organ. The ease with which the central storyline opens into a wide-ranging intellectual history of Western culture is the book’s chief delight and major achievement. . . . A beautifully presented volume. . . . Høystad does well to guide the reader towards an understanding of how erotic and spiritual love became sharply separate yet powerfully interdependent forces, and how passion and suffering became integral to the sublimination of desire."—Lynne Pearce, Times Higher Education Supplement
Lynne Pearce | Times Higher Education Supplement
"The book is a cultural account of the heart in primarily Western civilization. . . . A bonus is the inclusion of 20 color illustrations including Aztec drawings, artwork by Matisse and Munch, and a dazzling painting by Jose de Paez. . . . Informative and eye-opening."
Tony Miksanek | Journal of the American Medical Association
"Høystad can play a linguistically subtle tune of scholarly brilliance."
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
"An entertaining, clearly written and knowledgeable tour de force through European intellectual history."
"Contains some worthwhile analysis and conjecture."
C.E. O'Neill | Choice
Table of Contents
THE HEART IN DIFFERENT CULTURES
The oldest of high civilizations – Sumer and Gilgamesh
The mythical heart in ancient Egyptian culture
The many-sided human being of Greek antiquity
Mankind in Homer
Laughter and passion
The Dionysian and the Apollonian
Homosexuality in antiquity
The Platonic human image
From Aristotle to Galen
The history of Plato’s legacy
The heart in the Bible and in Christianity
The Old Testament
The New Testament
Augustine’s legacy and the Middle Ages
The greatest and most beautiful European creation?
Islam – last surviving heart culture?
The wisdom of the heart and the heart of wisdom in Sufism
Arabian influences on European culture
Aztecs – Why so heartless?
I am fat, even at the heart-roots – Norse anthropology
THE EMERGENCE OF THE MODERN EUROPEAN – THE CONFLICT ABOUT THE HEART
The emotional turn in the High Middle Ages
Novels of chivalry
Eroticism and religion: Abélard og Héloïse
The heart in romantic love
Tales of everyday love
The new subject
Descartes and the body-soul dualism
Montaigne: Man is his work
The body of the text and the text of the body
Eros and Thanatos: Ars moriendi
Shakespeare the heartbreaker
”I cannot heave my heart into my mouth”
Rousseau – philosopher of the heart
Herder and the expressive turn
The Faustian Goethe
Long live individualism! From Nietzsche to Foucault and Campbell
POSTSCRIPT: THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM OF THE EMOTIONS