FINALIST - ANAGRAMA ESSAY PRIZE
"Hair is one of those small things that no one thinks about, but which has the power to change entire cultures." The quote comes from the autobiography of Keith Richards, guitarist with the Rolling Stones, but could also have been the first line of this unclassifiable book that, with an excessiveness that occasionally verges on the fetishistic or even the provocative, takes a look at the fraudulent and prosthetic, as an oblique way of elaborating a picture of Western civilization. Mammalian and artificial, a plaything of the ego which has become a sign of power and the accompaniment to a malleable idea of beauty; both a disguise and simulation, the wig has accompanied the search for identity as well as a parody and irreverence and even, until recently, despite its manifest ridiculousness, it has fulfilled a ritual function within the British justice system, and in another age made the flamboyant and useless fashionable. But fake hair is not just a powdered eccentricity from another age:it is a synthetic doorway to an ephemeral freedom, or a dead body worn as a kind of replacement. The wig today isas present at parties as it is at chemotherapy clinics, aspopular with criminal gangs as it is with pop groups, present in both transvestite fantasies and contemporary art. With a humorous eloquence that does not avoid profundity, Luigi Amara explores the curious episodes in which the wig has been a protagonist throughout history. Ignoring chronological order and instead creating a mosaic or tapestry, the book creates a gallery as obsessive as it is disconcerting: one of the successes of this Historia descabellada de la peluca, whose methodology, like the books of miscellany of old, consists in creating juxtapositions of anecdotes that propitiate and focus reflection, traced with the ironic lucidity of someone who reveals himself to be a sagacious observer.
RIGHTS: spanish ANAGRAMA | german BERENBERG VERLAG
Read en excerpt in English in Asymptote Journal.
BY LUIGI AMARA: La liberación de la mosca ESSAYS, 2016 Nu)n(ca POETRY, 2015 Historia descabellada de la peluca ESSAYS, 2014 Los disidentes del universo ESSAY, 2013 Cuaderno flotante APHORISMS, 2012 La escuela del aburrimiento ESSAY, 2012 Los calcetines solitarios CHILDREN'S, 2011 A pie POETRY, 2010 Las aventuras de Max y su ojo submarino CHILDREN'S, 2007 Sombras sueltas ESSAY, 2006 Pasmo POETRY, 2003 El peatón inmóvil ESSAY, 2003 Envés POETRY, 2003 El cazador de grietas POETRY, 1998 El decir y la mancha POETRY, 1994