authoritative book

Why do onions make us cry?

Many a poet has pondered. Is it because their beautiful, multilayered complexity moves us to weep? Are we mourning the majestic bulb as we cut it up and consume it?

Or are these tears induced by the tragic tedium of chopping, chopping, chopping?

Yes, yes. All of the above.

But also, it’s because of a chemical irritant called syn-propanethial-S-oxide, says chemist Eric Block, who has written the authoritative book on onions — and other alliums.

The Science Of Why Onions Make Us Cry

Photo: Tastyart Ltd Rob White/Getty Images


Art Nouveau

Norbert Wolf

Prestel , Munich 2011 , 304 pages

euro 54,00

This sumptuous volume explores key aspects of Art Nouveau— decorative arts, architecture, fashion, dance, advertising, and more—with an in-depth approach and stunning illustrations.

The Art Nouveau movement became an international phenomenon at the beginning of the twentieth century that ushered in the era of modernity in almost every aspect of cultural life. For decades critics have argued that Art Nouveau was not an artistic period in its own right, but an amalgam of artists and styles that served as a bridge between neoclassicism and modernism. In this comprehensive, authoritative, and copiously illustrated book, art historian Norbert Wolf explores Art Nouveau as a logical outgrowth of the historic forces in which it arose. This book focuses on the movement’s wide variety of applications and reclaims its prominence in the pantheon of modern art history. Chapters on aesthetics, spirituality, and the cult of beauty offer luminous examples of works by Mucha, Gaudi, Hoffman, Klimt, Horta, Munch, and Tiffany, among many others. Wolf’s text is both informed and accessible, providing an exciting narrative that brings the Art Nouveau movement into clear focus. Beautifully produced to appeal to a wide range of readers, this new volume gives one of the world’s most popular styles the serious consideration it deserves.

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In 2014, after nearly three decades in retirement, Pelican was reborn. In its new incarnation Pelican continues the same mission: to publish truly accessible books from authoritative and award-winning writers on a wide range of essential subjects. Pelicans are for those topics you are interested in, but feel you don’t know enough about, whether it’s architecture or the brain, evolution or Islam. You can expect many more Pelicans to take flight in 2015 and beyond.
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