Saturday, March 3, 2012

The mistake is to treat bodily margins in isolation from all other margins

Nyotaiori at a Japanese restaurant 
Any structure of ideas is vulnerable at its margins. We should expect the orifices of the body to symbolize its specially vulnerable points. Matter issuing from them is marginal stuff of the most obvious kind. Spittle, blood, milk, urine, faeces or tears by simply issuing forth have traversed the boundary of the body . . . There is no reason to assume any primacy for the individual's attitude to his own bodily and emotional experience, any more than for his cultural and social experience.-- Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger, 1966.