In Literature and Art, Smell Is a Powerful Means to Convey Risk
In a new book, Hsuan L. Hsu investigates how writers, artists, and activists use scent in their work to create a sense of uncertainty or danger.
By Tom Morris
December 12, 2020
2 minute read
Covering everything from a detective story by Edgar Allan Poe to the role that scent plays in racism, the new book The Smell of Risk: Olfactory Aesthetics and Atmospheric Disparities (NYU Press) investigates how, over the past 200 years, writers, artists, and activists have used smell in their work to convey uncertainty or danger. Author Hsuan L. Hsu, an English professor at Concordia University in Montreal, where he’s on the faculty of the Centre for Sensory Studies, goes nose-deep into his subject, and explains the implications of his findings here.
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