Lévi-Strauss. A Biography

  • ID: 4460852
  • Book
  • 740 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Academic, writer, figure of melancholy, aesthete   Claude Lévi–Strauss (1908–2009) not only transformed his academic discipline, he also profoundly changed the way that we view ourselves and the world around us.

In this award–winning biography, historian Emmanuelle Loyer recounts Lévi–Strauss s childhood in an assimilated Jewish household, his promising student years as well as his first forays into political and intellectual movements. As a young professor in 1935 Lévi–Strauss left Paris for São Paulo to teach sociology. His rugged expeditions into the Brazilian hinterland, where he discovered the Amerindian Other, made him into an anthropologist. The racial laws of the Vichy regime would force him to leave France yet again, this time for the US in 1941, where he became Professor Claude L. Strauss, to avoid confusion with the jeans manufacturer.

His return to France, after the war, ushered in the period during which he produced his greatest works: several decades of intense labour in which Lévi–Strauss reinvented anthropology, establishing it as a discipline that offered a new view on the world. In 1955, Tristes Tropiques offered indisputable proof of this the world over. During those years, Lévi–Strauss became something of a national monument, a celebrity intellectual in France. But he always claimed his perspective was a view from afar, enabling him to deliver incisive and subversive diagnoses of our waning modernity.

Loyer s outstanding biography tells the story of a true intellectual adventurer whose unforgettable voice invites us to rethink questions of the human and the meaning of progress. Lévi–Strauss was less of a modern than he was our own great and disquieted contemporary.
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Acknowledgements
Foreword Adam Kuper
Introduction. The Worlds of Claude Lévi–Strauss
Part I Yesterday s Worlds (É–1935)
Chapter 1 The Name of the Father
Chapter 2 Revelations (1908–1924)
Chapter 3 Revolutions (1924–1931): Politics vs. Philosophy
Chapter 4 Redemption: Anthropology (1931–1935)
Chapter 5 The Enigma of the World
Part II New Worlds (1935–1947)
Chapter 6 France in São Paulo
Chapter 7 In the Heart of Brazil
Chapter 8 Massimo Lévi with the Nambikwara
Chapter 9 Crisis (1939–1941)
Chapter 10 A Frenchman in New York City: Exile and Intellectual Invention (1941–1944)
Chapter 11 Structuralism Ð the American Years
Part III The Old World (1947–1971)
Chapter 12 The Ghosts of Marcel Mauss
Chapter 13 Manhood
Chapter 14 The Confessions of Claude Lévi–Strauss
Chapter 15 Structuralist Crystallization (1958–1962)
Chapter 16 The Manufacture of Science
Chapter 17 The Scholarly Life
Chapter 18 The Politics of Discretion
Part IV The World (1971–2009)
Chapter 19 Immortal
Chapter 20 Metamorphoses
Chapter 21 Claude Lévi–Strauss, our Contemporary
Notes
Works by Lévi–Strauss
Archives consulted
Abbreviations of Works by Lévi–Strauss
Illustration credits
Index
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Emmanuelle Loyer
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