Claude lévi-strauss

A 50-year obsession with the white stuff: Milk, by Peter Blegvad, reviewed

It’s been a while since I read a good cento, from the Latin and derived from the Greek, I need not remind Spectator readers, meaning ‘patchwork’, and thus a literary work composed of quotations from other writers, the earliest known example being Hosidius Geta’s Medea, consisting entirely of lines from Virgil and which is almost as good as it sounds. Contemporary literary centos, or cento-like creations, include a lot of very bad found poems but also Graham Rawle’s simply incredible Woman’s World (2005), a novel collaged from cut-up lines from women’s magazines, and David Shields’s profoundly plagiaristic work of literary criticism, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (2010).  Peter Blegvad’s Milk: Through

A frictionless history of fieldwork: In Search of Us reviewed

To be an anthropologist today is to understand, as few in the secular modern university can, what it is to be marked by a consciousness of original sin. Contemporary ethnographies are full of passionate mea culpas from scholars concerned that they have inherited the guilt of their discipline’s founding fathers, men who inhabited a world of red-cheeked missionaries and pith-helmeted viceroys. Lucy Moore is not the most natural candidate for a historian of the discipline. Her back-catalogue shows her to be a generalist and belletrist – a book on the Roaring Twenties, one on Indian princesses and another on Georgian rakes. Her prose is fluent and soothing, her narratives informative