Prometheus’s reckless gift to mankind ensured his never-ending torment, and the invention of civilization as we know it. Even the Ancient Greek root of economics, or oikos, indicates “hearth and home,” although the concept of social reproduction as women’s work in particular (within the patriarchy of Western capitalism) was not radically theorized until the 1970s. Yet we still have plenty of (weak) metaphors for tending to the home fires, an expression which is sometimes taken to mean sustained passion – or maybe: sex. Shame, tuberculosis, and other pathological ailments may also cause the body to burn, or shiver, by turns; in an unregulated frenzy that may alert calmer passers-by to the hot-blooded atmosphere. Tensions are said to boil. And when the fever breaks, you sweat.
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