chapter  6
14 Pages

The Matter of Kissing

ByAnna Malinowska

This chapter delineates a new understanding of physicality by analyzing the act of kissing in relation to the changing modes of human interaction and the cultural representation of kissing. It examines the meanings of kissing coming from a variety of cultural discourses: cultural anthropology, psychology, psychoanalysis, semiotics, and self-help literature. The chapter outlines the film and literary imageries of kissing, explaining the role of popular culture in fashioning kissing styles and its transfer onto the live, and amorous lip contact. It analyzes the condition of kissing in the era of digitalism, specifically in relation to technologies and communication modes. Literature and cinema materialize the act of kissing in ways reflective of the role that a kiss plays in the production of love imagery. The cultural interest in kissing and the manifold engagement with its bodily forms render obsolete the conventional categories that have so far evaluated its meaning for human relations.