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At the Threshold to the New World

Equator Crossings, Sunsets, and Claude Lévi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques

Michael Bies

also internal transgression. Particular attention is then devoted to the description of the passage to Brazil that Claude Lévi-Strauss unfolds in two chapters of his famous Tristes Tropiques . This postromantic representation is interesting for two

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“Like Alice through the Looking Glass”

Claude Lévi-Strauss in New York

Vincent Debaene

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.

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Les structures d'une pensée d'exil

La formation du structuralisme de Claude Lévi-Strauss

Laurent Jeanpierre

Lévi-Strauss considered that the birth of structuralism was mainly caused by his chance encounter with Roman Jakobson: the experience of war and exile had nothing to do with it. This article contends the opposite. It analyzes, from a sociological perspective, the articles Lévi-Strauss produced in New York in the 1940s. Focusing on political and cultural anthropology through the prism of primitive societies, these texts express in sociological terms Lévi-Strauss's self-representation, his hopes and strategies. He regards war as a moment in a cycle of reciprocal exchanges between groups. He sees power as the product of an ability to serve as an intermediary between groups and group members, and anthropological knowledge as the product of the social distance to groups necessary to compare their cultural models. Levi-Strauss's theories in exile are in affinity with his social position of a broker and intermediary between distant social groups among the French émigrés and between them and the Americans. Between the lines, all these formative texts show the efforts of Lévi-Strauss's consciousness to reverse the negative signs of his condition of exile. They played a role in the birth of structuralism even as they represent Lévi-Strauss's first auto-analysis (before Tristes Tropiques).

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New Mobilities, Spaces, and Ideas to Market

European Travel Writers and the Making of a Genre—Comment

Steven D. Spalding

particular order, I should like to frame my comments on each contribution in terms of how they answered this call, beginning with Michael Bies’s work “At the Threshold to the New World: Equator Crossings, Sunsets, and Claud Lévi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques

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Transfers at a Crossroads

An Anthropological Perspective

Noel B. Salazar

Threshold to the New World: Equator Crossings, Sunsets, and Claude Lévi-Strauss's Tristes Tropiques,” Transfers 6, no. 3 (2016): 83–98 21 James Clifford, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century , (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University

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Laura Levine Frader, Ian Merkel, Jessica Lynne Pearson, and Caroline Séquin

history of surrealism and Negritude. The passage between Marseille and Fort-de-France is one of the most well-documented and memorialized escapes of the twentieth century, figuring prominently in Claude Lévi-Strauss's Tristes Tropiques , Victor Serge

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Mimetic Governmentality, Colonialism, and the State

Patrice Ladwig and Ricardo Roque

imaginary list by pretending to read it. When Lévi-Strauss’s (1961: 290 ) description and interpretation of this event was published as a chapter in Tristes Tropiques , the anthropologist concluded that the Nambikwara chief had made a crucial discovery

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Ann Grodzins Gold

Ann Grodzins Gold, Bhrigupati Singh, Farhana Ibrahim, Edward Simpson, and Kirin Narayan

’s “Comparison of Cultures,” for which the first book we read in its entirety was Lévi-Strauss’s (1965) Tristes Tropiques . This was my first anthropology book in my first anthropology course. I was hooked at once on what quite mistakenly I then imagined

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Bringing Slavery into the Light in Postcolonial Portugal

The rhetoric and poetics of a slavery exhibition

Paula Mota Santos

) Tristes Tropiques is about alterity as the foundational element of the social, Freyre's (1953) Aventura e Rotina is implicated in the underlining of similitude as the foundational element of exceptionalism in Portuguese colonization ( Bastos 1998

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The Uncanniness of Missionary Others

A Discursive Analysis of a Century of Anthropological Writings on Missionary Ethnographers

Travis Warren Cooper

. The Slain God: Anthropologists and the Christian Faith . New York : Oxford University Press . 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657872.001.0001 Lévi-Strauss , Claude . 1961 . Tristes Tropiques . Trans. John Russell . New York : Criterion Books . Lévi