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The Eternal Enigma. A Cultural History of the Flea.

Literaturhaus Basel

Amongst parasites, the flea occupies an exalted position: unlike the louse, the bug, the tick and the mosquito, it is regarded with great ambivalence. No other animal has provoked such tirades of hate and declarations of love. Nothing has been so admired, so fondly microscoped and so cruelly mistreated. And its diminutive size has seen the flea squeezed into the service of all manner of metaphors.

This book takes a close look at the flea and the intimate relationships between fleas and people. Stadler´s texts and images offer surprising insights about humans, their sexual behaviour, relationship with nature and their view of themselves as social beings.

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