Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Cover image for Crying : the natural and cultural history of tears
Crying : the natural and cultural history of tears
Crying : the natural and cultural history of tears

1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : W.W. Norton, ©1999.
Physical Description:
352 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Why tears? -- Tears of pleasure, tears of grace, and the weeping hero -- The crying body -- The psychology of tears -- Men and women, infants and children -- Cultures of mourning -- Tears of revenge, seduction, escape, and empathy -- Fictional tears -- The end of tears.
"Crying looks at the way people have understood weeping from the earliest known representation of tears in the fourteenth century B.C. through tears found in today's films, advertisements, and therapies. Philosophers from Plato and Aristotle through Descartes, William James, and Sartre have attempted to explain tears, as have physiologists from Hippocrates through Darwin and contemporary neurophysiologists and ophthalmologists. Psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists all have their theories. In addition to consolidating these theories, Tom Lutz also examines paintings from medieval times through Picasso, literary texts from Homer and Shakespeare through the sentimental writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the present, and films from the "weepies" of the 1930s through Titanic to unearth the multifaceted meanings of tears. Despite our most common romantic assumptions, this brilliant book tells us that tears are never pure, and that they are never simple."--Jacket