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Italian book "L'adorazione del piede" - Culture

Feet hold us up and take us where we want to go. This makes them important, and also a little cute. With their feet, the men began to count the numbers: up to twenty by adding the fingers, twenty-two by including the nose and chin. Most of the world's businesses have been accomplished on foot, men have crossed the planet on foot. Washing feet is among the most significant sacred gestures in Christian history: Christ washes them with the apostles, and Magdalene with Christ, and then dries them with her hair. With her bare foot, the Madonna crushes Satan's head; and then there are the crooked feet of Oedipus, the winged ones of Mercury, and the fragile foot of Achilles, the famous heel... Feet, in short, are a relevant matter, even if it doesn't seem like it: and now their story is told through images a book published in 2006 by Castelvecchi, with the dreamy title L' adorazione del piede. Written by a very young Berarda del Vecchio - who like millions of women confesses herself "addicted to shoes" - the book mixes together the crunchy tap dance with Indian brides who dye their feet with henna; the swollen and humble feet of Caravaggio's paintings with the story of nylon stockings, the Buddha, who built the world with seven steps of his robust and powerful feet, with Paolo Conte who wrote a song about his feet and their good humor ( «happy feet, music for your feet madame»). Obviously a relevant part is dedicated to the sexy side of the feet, the so-called fetish (painted, stiletto, squeezed, sheathed, painted, adored feet). For the fetishism of the feet that Sigmund Freud also spoke of, Junichiro Tanizaki is worth one for all. The author of the novel The Key confesses in his diary: «I admire my wife's extraordinary feet. Yet he almost never lets me see them. If I want to kiss her instep she says: disgusting.' There is also an association of people who show up barefoot in living rooms and offices, people who don't wear shoes when it rains, people, many in Sweden and some in Italy, who practice life barefoot. The "barefooters", as they are called, argue that for thousands of years human beings have lived barefoot and that it is the shoes that are abnormal. On their website they explain why, at cocktail parties or at work, being without shoes is always an advantage. The writer Erri de Luca, who climbs the mountains barefoot, wrote a poem for his feet in compensation: «...Because they don't know how to accuse and they don't take up arms / because they were crucified / because like goats they love salt /because they are in no hurry to be born, but then when the point of dying comes they kick in the name of the body against death».

Credits images: from web


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