The Consumption of 'Touching' Images


This article examines several mimetic manifestations of excessive ‘wildness’ in Western societies and cultures. It focuses on their appearance in novels, (horror)films, theatrical plays, ballets, operas, pop music, videogames, digital highways and the metaphysical funfair attraction Virtual Reality. The hypothesis is launched that one cannot properly understand the outburst of ‘wildness’ in these different genres without paying attention to the tabooization of touching others whom one wants to love or redress. Through the consumption of ‘wild’ products one remains in con-tact with an essential dimension of the self. Finally, it is argued one should systematically study the relation between ‘wild’ and‘civilized’ phenomena in order to avoid an overemphasis on our degree of civilization.

How to Cite

Verrips, J., (1996) “The Consumption of 'Touching' Images”, Ethnologia Europaea 26(1), p.51-64. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.



Jojada Verrips (University of Amsterdam)



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