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Taking the Waters: Spirit, Art, Sensuality Hardcover – September, 1992

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Croutier ( Harem ) visited many of the world's famed spas, including Evian in France and Baden-Baden in Germany. Her tour of watering places from California to Switzerland is the core of this charming, copiously illustrated volume, which accentuates the role of spas as therapeutic havens, hedonistic retreats and oases of artistic creativity. She opens with a look at water's mythical associations; nymphs, mermaids, sacred springs, Venus/Aphrodite and water monsters (like the plesiosaurs said to swim in Loch Ness) get their due. Croutier surveys bottled waters, warns of pollution and global overconsumpton of H2O HO and samples water motifs in art, literature, movies and plays. She devotes short, entertaining sections to water rituals, rainmaking, music inspired by water, dowsing, fountains. Paintings by Botticelli, Klimt, Turner, Degas and Picasso as well as photographs and posters are featured in 140 plates (60 in color). BOMC and QPB selections.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Pr; 1st edition (September 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558592199
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558592193
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book which describes the importance of the element water. The world mythology around water, to the sacred springs in the world, to ritual use as well asll the bathing rites. This book evokes sensuality, gratitude and reverence for the role that water plays as well as inspires how we can artistly incorpate this element into our lives.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ms Croutier gives a well researched and thorough perspective on the human history and adoration for our "Noblest Element", water. The focus of this book is spas, health retreats, baths and drinking water- and that's great, but there is so much more!

The many posters, photos, renown paintings and drawings are well chosen and beautiful and makes this book a beautiful table top addition.

Ms Croutier states that "...I was born under the sign of Aquarius-the Water Bearer-in a house facing the sea... and now living in a house facing another sea". No wonder she shows such remarkable sensitivity to the subject.

All through the book are quotes, lines and poetry from notables throughout history regarding their observations on the value and dynamics of water. In the Preface for instance, there is: ["As Benjamin Franklin's `Poor Richard's Almanac' observes: "When the well's dry, we know the worth of water".] and in Ms Croutier's own words: "Water has it's own language. I believe that by observing the ways that people have danced with it throughout history, we can gain a deeper awareness of this most precious element. A responsible appreciation of water is fundamental to our ecological, environmental, and spiritual values." Well put and what a "dance" she portrays!

From Hegel: "Water is the element of selfless contrast, it passively exists for others... water's existence is thus an existing-for-others... Its fate is to be something not yet

specialized... and therefore it soon came to be called `the mother of all that is special'." (p 13)

On page 14 in "Myths of Creation" is: "Among ancient civilizations, water was sanctified as the source of life, the seminal fluid, the juice of the earth's womb. It formed a common thread in their creation myths.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lovely reproductions of paintings, most on the subject of bathing. This is one of those books you can pick up, open it at any place and just start reading. Great coffee table book.
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Format: Hardcover
Very beautiful book! Very lovely artwork. Just wish I had the money to afford to go the spas she writes about. Still a girl can dream :)
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By A Customer on August 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
TAKING THE WATERS is just a warm-up for Alev Lytle Croutier. Her previous book, HAREM, was a blockbuster breakthrough in nonfiction, selected by independent book clubs all over the world. Ms Croutier will soon be the author of remarkable fictional works that will stun many readers with their profound sensitivity. I predict a sensation.
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