2 Jun 2021

Doubling Up

William Viney. Twins; Superstition and Marvels, Fantasies and Experiments. Reaktion Books
(April 2021)
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Human twins have many meanings and different histories. They have been seen as gods and monsters, signs of danger, death and sexual deviance. They are taken as objects of wonder and violent repression, or as the subjects of scientific experiment. Now millions have been born through fertility technologies. Their history is often buried in philosophies and medical theories, religious and scientific practices, and countless stories of devotion and tragedy. In this history of superstitions and marvels, fantasies and experiments, William Viney – himself a twin – shows how the use and abuse of twins has helped to shape the world in which we live. William Viney is a researcher in the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London. His writing has appeared in Cabinet, Critical Quarterly, Frieze, and the Times Literary Supplement. He is the author of Waste: A Philosophy of Things (2014).