Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pushing the Limits by Angelina Whalley

Who is Gunther von Hagens? To some, the creator of BODY WORLDS is an imposter, to others, he is a genius, and then there are those who see him as a monster and troublemaker. For the first time, relatives, friends, and colleagues who have accompanied him through various periods of his life reveal deep insights into this controversial personality. By means of their stories and anecdotes, they spotlight the hitherto unknown facets of this idiosyncratic anatomist. They tell of the serious and the funny, of the exciting and the offensive; but in any case, their tales of one of the mysterious figures of our times are adventurous and enthralling. Like pieces of a mosaic, the illustrated articles on his childhood, his escape from the socialist German Democratic Republic, his time as a university anatomist, and his role as producer of exhibitions form a multifarious encounter with the inventor of plastination and with his work. 

I bought this book when I went to the Body Worlds Exhibition in Cape Town (which has been extended to 10 March, so you should definitely go if you haven't yet). It's strange to read as it's all different contributions on people thruout Gunther's life, as opposed to a regular biography. It's still very interesting and I enjoyed it. He seems like a fascinating man.

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