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Vale Claude Levi-Strauss

4 November, 2009

I woke up this morning to read that Claude Levi-Strauss has passed away, aged 100.  As a testament to his stature as a world-shaping thinker, he has received prominent obituaries in newspapers around the world.  This New York Times piece by Edward Rothstein is especially worth a read.

As one wit wrote in the comments to that article, “He will be mythed!”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 4 November, 2009 9:00 am

    Reading Levi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques when I was in high school in Venezuela was my first introduction to anthropology. I still think with his writings, all the time, and what has influenced me is not just his theories, but also the way he wrote. His chatty travelogue of ironies in Tristes Tropiques heavily influenced my own approach to writing my first ethnography half a century later, and now that I’m working on my second book, I am meditated through his theory of kinship as the exchange of women and trying to think about what that might mean in the context of the Cairo demi-monde where men exchange mistresses instead of wives. Meanwhile, back to TT (where I always return), I still think that this is the best academic book cover EVER:

    But I don’t suppose he’s responsible for the cover design…


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