Thursday, October 2, 2008

Prodigious Redux

Curator of Rare Books Stephen Ferguson shared a wonderful quote prompted by the earlier posting:

“The open mouth, and raised arms with open hands turned outwards, is an expression of astonishment very general all over the world. Mr. Darwin explains the open mouth by a complication of causes, but he omits to notice, what seems to me a very probable one, that it represents an incipient cry of alarm or fear, or call for help. The raising of the arms and the open hands are explained by antithesis, they being the opposite of a state of indifference or listlessness.”

This quote is from a review of Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, 1879.

Be sure to pop over to Stephen's Blog from the Princeton University Library Rare Books and Special Collections. Thanks Stephen!


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