Alex's Reviews > Tristes Tropiques

Tristes Tropiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss
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's review
Apr 13, 08

Read in April, 2008

This book is really good. It shows that you can't be a structuralist 100% of the time, even if you start structuralism. It shows that you can know entirely all too well how slimy the role of the ethnographer is and how tied it is to the colonial enterprise/the ever-maddening march of the logic of capital, but still be friends with the natives.

Why doesn't anybody ever convert to Bororo religion?

It is in this book that we learn the secret of Lévi-Strauss's longevity (both theoretical and physiological - he was still alive at the time of this review's creation). It is because when he was young he a) ate some bugs in the jungle and b) escaped from the Nazis. Do this, and you too can become a Dean of Structuralism.

In one chapter, L-S cites his three big influences as Freud, Marx, and geology. Chew on that grub!

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