Synopses & Reviews
What's more romantic than two people embracing, looking into each other's eyes, and kissing each other? But how should we make sense of this iconic act? How and when did it become a vital sign of romance and love? When the kiss first started to appear in narratives, poetry, and the songs of the medieval period, it was as something desirable, yet forbidden. Since then it has evolved into a symbol of love-making in the popular imagination. In this provocative book, pop culture expert Marcel Danesi explores how the kiss emerged as an act of betrayal and raw sensuality, in defiance of its spiritual and religious functions, and from there evolved into the amorous cultural gesture we know today. He takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the history of the kiss, from early poems and paintings to current movies and popular songs, and argues that its romantic incarnation signaled the birth of popular culture.
About the Author
Marcel Danesi is Director of the Program in Semiotics and Communication Theory and Professor of Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is the author of many books, including Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things; Cool: The Signs and Meanings of Adolescence and X-Rated! The Power of Mythic Symbolism in Popular Culture. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1998, founded a research center (Center for Communication and Information Sciences), and is the Editor in Chief of Semiotica. Danesi's work has been featured in the New York Times, Toronto Star, and Psychology Today among other print publications, and he has been a guest on broadcast outlets such as National Public Radio.
Table of Contents
1. The Popular Origins of the Kiss
2. The Kiss in Ritual, Symbol, and Myth
3. The Kiss in Stories, Real and Fictional
4. The Kiss in Images
5. The Kiss in Songs
6. The Kiss Goes to the Movies
7. The Kiss in the Internet Age