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Levi-Strauss, Anthropology, and Aesthetics

$47.99 (C)

Part of Ideas in Context

  • Date Published: November 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521123013

$ 47.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • In a wide-ranging 2007 study of Claude Lévi-Strauss's aesthetic thought, Boris Wiseman demonstrates not only its centrality within his oeuvre but also the importance of Levi-Strauss for contemporary aesthetic enquiry. Reconstructing the internal logic of Lévi-Strauss's thinking on aesthetics, and showing how anthropological and aesthetic ideas intertwine at the most elemental levels in the elaboration of his system of thought, Wiseman demonstrates that Lévi-Strauss's aesthetic theory forms an integral part of his approach to Amerindian masks, body decoration and mythology. He reveals the significance of Lévi-Strauss's anthropological analysis of an 'untamed' mode of thinking (pensée sauvage) at work in totemism, classification and myth-making for his conception of art and aesthetic experience. In this way, structural anthropology is shown to lead to ethnoaesthetics. Lévi-Strauss, Anthropology and Aesthetics adopts a broad-ranging approach that combines the different perspectives of anthropology, philosophy, aesthetic theory and literary criticism into an unusual and imaginative whole.

    • Applies Lévi-Strauss's ideas to an understanding of both ethnographic and Western art
    • Includes succinct explanations of many of Lévi-Strauss's key ideas and theories
    • Features an extensive bibliography of Lévi-Strauss's works in English and in French
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Wiseman’s astonishingly thorough, sympathetic, and comprehensive study is a most persuasive tribute to the work of anthropology’s towering centenarian.” – Museum Anthropology Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521123013
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Ethnoaesthetics
    1. The reconciliation
    2. Art and the logic of sensible qualities
    3. The work of art as a system of signs
    4. Structuralism, symbolist poetics and abstract art
    5. The anthropologist as art critic
    6. Nature, culture, chance
    7. From myth to music
    8. Lévi-Strauss' mytho-poem
    Conclusion: between concept and metaphor.

  • Author

    Boris Wiseman, University of Durham

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