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The Way of All Flesh: The Romance of Ruinsby Midas Dekkers
Synopses & Reviews
A wonderfully witty, erudite, and insightful book about the way "things fall apart" — about the inevitable ruin of everything from bodies and works of art to ideals and whole societies
In The Way of All Flesh Midas Dekkers argues that things are at their most beautiful when they decay, provided they are given the chance. Old buildings are usually pulled down or restored. Aging people desperately try to act and look young, becuase novelty, youth and beauty are equated in our minds with what is desirable. Only mankind is bothered by the realization that "life is a way of dying slowly." By ignoring or evading the lure of decay, which has its own attractions, are we simply trying to escape from the truth?
With the idiosycratic erudition of the european intellectual — Roberto Calasso
and Umberto Eco come to mind — Dekkers stresses that our aversion to decay and mortality makes our lives shallow. This is the meditative essay as written by Fellini; Dekkers that ancient Rome's days of decline were its finest, and The Way of All Flesh is a profound and entertaining meditation on what it means to outlive one's usefulness, when the wheel of fortune has gone full circle.
Book News Annotation:
Dekkers, a biologist and writer in the Netherlands, wrote De vergankelijkeid in 1997; this is its first publication in English. The subject is decay, and Dekkers writes fatalistically about the human desire to save things from age and destruction, an impulse he sees as hopelessly naive in the face of evolution, human activity, and the basic force of change. Discussing diverse topics that include cremation and burial, extinction, the long history of touring ruins, and evolution, he argues that we would do well to relinquish our love of youth and our sentimental attachment to things and find the beauty that exists in mortality.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In "The Way of All Flesh", Dekkers argues that things are at their most beautiful when they decay, provided they are given the chance, and that society's aversion to decay and mortality makes our lives shallow. 140 B&W illustrations.
About the Author
Midas Dekkers was born in 1946 in Haarlem, the Netherland's and is his country's most popular writer-biologist. He is also the author of Dear Pet: On Beastiality
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