Days later, Debra complained that she had not had enough time with the card. She described the stamp and the postmark. When she finally let go, she pictured the card’s position in the trash. Later, she confessed she had cheated by writing down everything about the card she could remember and then saving the notes.
In “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things,” Frost, a professor at Smith College, and Gail Steketee, a professor and dean of the school of social work at Boston University, invite us graciously into territory that might otherwise make us squirm. They have spent nearly 20 years working with hoarders, sometimes in settings where tunnels lead through trash and roaches roam freely. Frost and Steketee introduce collectors who acquire through shopping, Dumpster diving and stealing. The resulting assemblages encompass broken machines and living things (cats and dogs, mostly).
People justify hoarding as curating and recycling, deeming odd objects beautiful and useful. Sometimes they act as if history were at stake. Andy Warhol, “straddling the border between eccentricity and pathology,” the authors write, would periodically sweep everything — cash, artwork, apple cores — off his desk and into a cardboard box. He stored hundreds of these “time capsules.”..." More
Released: April 2010
By: Prof. Randy Frost Ph.D. (Author), Prof. Gail Steketee Ph.D. (Author)
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