Book Review – Bodies in Revolt, a Primer in Somatic Thinking – Thomas Hanna

Thomas Hanna is a seminal names in the world of embodiment. He coined the word “somatics” and was one of the teachers of my teacher Richard Strozzi-Heckler. With that in mind I finally got around to reading one of his books. “Bodies in Revolt, A Primer in Somatic Thinking” takes a wide-angle view and broad definition of somatics suggesting that the work of everyone cool from Piaget to Freud to Darwin to Nietzsche is somatic. The book’s language if both deliciously poetic and revoltingly wordy. Call me an MTV brat but paragraph sentences and 14 syllable words don’t cut it for me.
I can’t say I understood the whole book, what I did like was the placing of somatics in a broad intellectual/historical discourse – “Freud and Darwin started it Miss!”

Hanna’s discussion of “mutants” – the 60s and 70s emergence of the embodied green meme – is enjoyable but dated. While it remains to be seen whether the term “somatics” will become widespread, what is clear for me, and this books helps explain why, is that the cultural trend of denying the body is on the way out. Being a proud “somatic mutant” I’m happy to be surfing the edge of the disembodied world’s immanent…education 🙂
So What: The cultural trends of dis and re-embodiment have long-term causes.