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Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author

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Clifford Geertz is known for his work on the interpretation of cultural forms. In this book he develops his view that anthropology should be understood as a kind of writing: doing good anthropology is like writing good literature. Drawing on Foucault and Barthes, Geertz discusses the relations between authors and their works. He then examines the work of some of the great anthropologists: Levi-Strauss, Evans-Pritchard, Malinowski and Benedict. Viewing their ethnographic writings as texts, he highlights their style, imagery and metaphors, analyzing the languages that they invent and employ. Responding to criticisms of his earlier work, the author concludes with a far-reaching reflection on the nature of anthropology and its future in a post-colonial world. Hide synopsis

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