Son of an Anthropologist

Now that we have a president elect whose mother was an anthropologist, it is safe, advisable even, for non-academics and average Joe types to read the Times Literary Supplement.   The rest of the world could, after all, start taking us seriously.  But what strange creatures the uninitiated finds within the pages of this publication.  David Hawkes’ review of Fiction Sets You Free, by Russell A. Berman encapsulates a previously thought to be extinct theory from the dubious outer reaches of thought, and stretches it like a taut, trans-Atlantic cable in a tug of war between American and European Intellectualism–Berman’s thesis: that market capitalism is actually good for fiction.  As anybody who has ever spun the paperback best sellers rack at their local grocery can almost instantly see, this is a load of hogwash.  Still, the resulting debate is amusing–Berman’s previous book, incidentally, is Anti-Americanism in Europe (2004).  Further recommended for this new era in which the nerds will no longer be compelled to cower behind their iPhones, and will find their involvement actually welcomed into the national and international conversation: the title piece for the Oct. 31st issue of the TLS about the great anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss who celebrates his 100th birthday by making a selection of his works for Pléide.  What a life. And for those of you who wouldn’t be caught dead reading the TLS on the bus, more anthropology influenced reading (I can’t flog this book enough: even Stephen King has ranted about how underpublicized and underappreciated it is): Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski, a novel about the mysterious suicide of an anthroplogist imprisoned in Indonesia. –Ed Scripsi

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 6:30 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Levi-Strauss to replace George Pelecanos at Remke’s? Ed, Ed, Ed. Nobody’s going to care if you read the TLS on the bus. In the first place, depending on your route, there may be two, maybe three riders tops mildly […]


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