The Strait Gate: Thresholds And Power In Western History

The Strait Gate: Thresholds And Power In Western History

  • Publish Date: 2015-09-22
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Daniel Jtte (Jutte)
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Yale University Press
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A prize-winning scholar offers a sweeping exploration of the role doors have played in history

Exploring a chapter not yet probed in the cultural history of the West, The Strait Gate demonstrates how doors, gates, and related technologies such as the key and the lock have shaped the way we perceive and navigate the domestic and urban spaces that surround us in our everyday lives. Jtte reveals how doors have served as sites of power, exclusion, and inclusionand, by extension, as metaphors for salvationin the course of Western history.

This book makes it clear that doors, more than any other parts of the house, are the objects onto which we project our ideas of and anxieties about security, privacy, and shelter. Without doors, of course, houses could not exist. But even though we each walk through doorways well over a hundred times a day, we typically pay little attention to the doors we encounter. We regard them simply as a means of entering or leaving a building or room. Yet when our doors stop working as they shouldwhen we find that we cannot lock or open them, for instancewe react with discomfort and anxiety.

Drawing on a wide range of archival, literary, and visual sources, as well as on research literature across various disciplines and languages, Jtte pays particular attention to the history of the practices that have developed over the centuries in order to handle and control doors in everyday life.

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