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The Breathless Zoo : Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing, Paperback / softback Book

The Breathless Zoo : Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing Paperback / softback

Part of the Animalibus series


From sixteenth-century cabinets of wonders to contemporary animal art, The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing examines the cultural and poetic history of preserving animals in lively postures.

But why would anyone want to preserve an animal, and what is this animal-thing now?

Rachel Poliquin suggests that taxidermy is entwined with the enduring human longing to find meaning with and within the natural world.

Her study draws out the longings at the heart of taxidermy-the longing for wonder, beauty, spectacle, order, narrative, allegory, and remembrance.

In so doing, The Breathless Zoo explores the animal spectacles desired by particular communities, human assumptions of superiority, the yearnings for hidden truths within animal form, and the loneliness and longing that haunt our strange human existence, being both within and apart from nature.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 272 pages, 31 Halftones, color; 5 Halftones, black and white
  • Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Cultural studies
  • ISBN: 9780271053738

Other Formats

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Also in the Animalibus series   |  View all