Works and lives : the anthropologist as author /

Saved in:
Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Geertz, Clifford
Imprint:Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1988.
Description:vi, 157 p. ; 23 cm.
Subject:Ethnology -- Authorship
Ethnology -- Authorship.
Format: Print Book
Local Note:University of Chicago Library's copy 1 is cloth and has original dust jacket; copy 2 is a paperback.
URL for this record:
Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:0804714282 (alk. paper) : $19.95
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Review by Choice Review

The authorial nature of anthropological work is the focus of this book. To convince readers of the authenticity of their observations anthropologists must convince readers that they have ``been there.'' Geertz claims that such persuasion is accomplished not so much by amassing ``scientific'' data as by a style of writing. He analyzes the writing styles of C. Levi-Strauss (deconstructionist/symbolist/mythic), E.E. Evans-Pritchard (descriptive slide-show ``realism''), B. Malinowski (introspective native voice) and R. Benedict (didactic relativism/humorous juxtaposition) in order to see just how it is that each anthropologist/author achieves the goal of writing convincing ethnographies. Malinowski's introspective style seems to evoke a more negative response in Geertz than do the others; the author even brings a few recent introspective-style writers into the discussion such as V. Crapanzano, P. Rabinow, and K. Dwyer, and expresses his discomfort with the way in which self and text seem to merge in their writings. Whatever his sentiment, Geertz's final chapter discusses the changing nature of anthropology, and of anthropological writing, as the lines between cultures become less distinct. Styles must change, he claims, as anthropologists become more aware of their roles and responsibilities as authors. Appropriate for all reader levels.-H. Ottenheimer, Kansas State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review