By James Clifford (ed.), George E. Marcus (ed.)
In those new essays, a gaggle of skilled ethnographers, a literary critic, and a historian of anthropology, all recognized for complex analytic paintings on ethnographic writing, position ethnography on the middle of a brand new intersection of social background, interpretive anthropology, commute writing, discourse concept, and textual criticism.The authors research vintage examples of cultural description, from Goethe and Catlin to Malinowski, Evans-Pritchard, and Le Roy Ladurie, displaying the patience of allegorial styles and rhetorical tropes. They investigate fresh experimental developments and discover the features of orality, ethnicity, and gear in ethnographic composition. Writing tradition argues that ethnography is in the course of a political and epistemological problem: Western writers not painting non-Western peoples with unchallenged authority; the method of cultural illustration is now inescapably contingent, old, and contestable. The essays during this quantity aid us think a completely dialectical ethnography appearing powerfully within the postmodern international process. They problem all writers within the humanities and social sciences to reconsider the poetics and politics of cultural invention.
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Additional info for Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
Which brought me back to my seat again; and I at length quieted my stifled curiosity as well as I could, upon learning the fact, that so sacred was that object, and so important its secrets or mysteries, that not / alone, but even the young men, who were passing the ordeal, and all the village, save the conductor of the mysteries, were stopped from approaching it, or knowing what it was. ( 1 8 4 1 : 162) Surrounded by imps and demons as they appear, a dozen or more, who seem to be concerting and devising means for his exquisite agony, gather around him, when one o f the number advances toward him in a sneering manner, and commences turning him around with a pole which h e brings in his hand for the purpose.
I n t e r p r e t a t i o n has b e e n u n d e r s t o o d as a phallic, a p h a l l i c - a g g r e s s i v e , a c r u e l a n d violent, a d e s t r u c t i v e act, a n d as a fertile, a fertilizing, a fruitful, a n d a creative o n e . W e say a text, a c u l t u r e e v e n , is p r e g n a n t with m e a n i n g . D o the e t h n o g r a p h e r ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n s b e c o m e p r e g n a n t with m e a n i n g b e c a u s e o f his inter p r e t i v e , his phallic fertilizations?
5o MARY L O U I S E P R A T T S u r e l y a first step t o w a r d s u c h c h a n g e is to r e c o g n i z e that one's t r o p e s a r e n e i t h e r n a t u r a l n o r , in m a n y cases, native to the discipline. T h e n it b e c o m e s possible, if o n e wishes, to liberate o n e s e l f f r o m t h e m , n o t b y d o i n g away w i t h t r o p e s (which is n o t possible) b u t by a p p r o p r i a t i n g a n d i n v e n t i n g n e w o n e s (which is). VINCENT CRAPANZANO Hermes' Dilemma: T h e Masking of Subversion in Ethnographic Description " A l l translation," Walter B e n j a m i n ( 1 9 6 9 : 75) w r o t e , "is o n l y a s o m e w h a t p r o v i s i o n a l way o f c o m i n g to t e r m s with the f o r e i g n n e s s o f l a n g u a g e s .