The Rear View: A Brief And Elegant History Of Bottoms Through The Ages
Publish Date: 1997-04-01
Author: Jean-Luc Hennig
Witty, cultured, provocative, and shamelessly enjoyable, The Rear View is a celebration of the behind, ranging from its physical evolution to its history as a source of artistic and literary inspiration and as a barometer of social attitudes.
The ancient Greeks revered the buttocks as being an aspect of the divine and portrayed them enthusiastically on marble statuary. With the Christian era, however, depiction of the nude figure sank into shameful ignominy until the fifteenth century, when Florentine artists once more raised the bottom to subliminal heights, from which lofty eminence it was dashed by the prudish Victorians, who found everything from the waist down a source of embarrassment. Today dress designers decree that the bottom should once more be the focus of attention, and no dedicated followers of fashion can afford to neglect their rear view--or this well-rounded appraisal of it.
Jean-Luc Hennig, a French linguist and essayist, begins the book by writing that Buttocks date from remotest antiquity. They appeared when men conceived the idea of standing up on their hind legs and remaining there--a crucial moment in our evolution since the buttock muscles then underwent considerable development.But more important, Hennig surmises that as a result, man's hands were freed and the engagement of the skull on the spinal column was modified, which allowed the brain to develop. Therefore, man's buttocks are in some ways partly responsible for the early emergence of his brain. This is the brilliant and hilarious starting point of The Rear View.
Beautifully written and incredibly humorous, it makes a perfect gift for an intimate of either sex.