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Description de l’éditeur
Is “The Origin of Feces” a Darwinian concern? Perhaps not, but it is the title to the preface of this tongue-in-cheek and unexpectedly revealing exploration of human behavior by the webmaster behind the popular PoopReport.com.
This book is not a history of poop, but a study of today. Its goal is to understand how poop affects us, how we view it, and why; to appreciate its impact from the moment it slides out of our anal sphincters to the moment it enters the sewage treatment plant; to explore how we’ve arrived at this strange discomfort and confusion about a natural product of our bodies; to see how this contradiction—the natural as unnatural—shapes our minds, relationships, environment, culture, economics, media, and art.
Paul Provenza, the director of The Aristocrats, says in his foreword: “It’s shocking to think that a book about poop can be considered an act of courage. But it is. Most of us have knee-jerk responses to the topic that we are not even aware of. Attitudes that, like the awful stench of poop itself, permeate all of society and culture. This book has some very profound and beautiful things to say. It takes a dirty, smelly, unpleasant subject like s**t and brings forth ideas that are empowering, dignifying and life affirming.”
The mastermind behind poopreport.com, first-time author Praeger takes a scatological and sociological look at what we so thoughtlessly leave behind. As the title might suggest, Praeger isn't one to mince words (his tone is captured well in the opening line, "With enviable ease, poop slid out of the mechanical anus and onto the conveyor belt below"), but neither does he let the subject matter devolve to sophomoric humor. Instead, Praeger meticulously excavates the politics of poop, societal attitudes toward it and how both affect our culture and everyday lives. Propelled by a keen nose for trivia, Praeger chronicles everything from the rise in epidemics that led to better sanitation practices, culminating in the widespread adoption of the toilet, to the use of feces in art. Readers will also learn about the history of toilet paper, why toilets weren't commonplace in England until World War I and how to use a bidet properly. Happily, Praeger keeps things light but respectful throughout, even in a discussion of scatological satire; as such, his enlightening guide may very well represent the ultimate in bathroom reading material.