Book review: The Face
The vast majority of our interaction with the outside world takes place through a 10 cm square patch of our total surface area. Hide it away and we become almost anonymous. Take away all the sensations perceived through it and life for most of us would be unimaginable and unbearable. The importance of the face in our lives and society is almost incalculable.
McNeill's book covers a vast range of topics, from evolutionary and man made changes to the structure of the face, to the sensory functions that are centred on it and their reason for being there. He dips into the psychology behind the universality of certain facial expressions and how they are subtly changed or suppressed by different societies.
Chapter headings such as “The lie and the veil,” “Emblems of self,” and “Constellation of desire” give you a taste of the other areas McNeill explores. The subject area