What were the significance and the impact, for Claude Lévi-Strauss, of his experience as a refugee in New York between May 1941 and December 1944? If one follows Lévi-Strauss's late reconstructions, his exile appears surprisingly as an almost enchanted experience, marked by various encounters (Roman Jakobson, André Breton, Franz Boas), the first contact with North-West Coast Amerindian art, and the discovery of New York, an almost surrealistic city “where anything seemed possible.” Without contesting such an a posteriori reading, this article shows how such a reconstruction has been made possible through a complex reorganization of a traumatizing past. It then appears that the exile, and its remembrance in later texts, played a pivotal role in the development of Lévi-Strauss's anthropological work to come: his experience as a refugee was at the root of his reinvention of symbolism as well as of his reflections on humanity as a whole.
Claude Lévi-Strauss in New York
Some Comparisons on his Vichy Years with My Family Story
“Self-Ensnared: Collaboration with Nazi Germany,” 2 and “In the Looking Glass: Sorrow and Pity?” 3 reprinted in a substantial collection of essays 4 that included notable pieces on Charles de Gaulle; contributions to important volumes such as La
Planning, Discourse, and State Power in Post-War France
, planning is concerned with anticipating the look, feel, and requirements of a projected future, as Delouvrier’s preoccupation with the Year 2000 as horizon and frontier makes clear. It aims to create urban futures in the present, a desire made manifest in