Levi-Strauss, Anthropology, and Aesthetics
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.
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Art and the logic of sensible qualities
The work of art as a system of signs
Structuralism Symbolist poetics and abstract art
The anthropologist as art critic
Nature culture chance
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abstract art aesthetic sign Alexander Baumgarten Amerindian mythology Amerindian myths analysis anthropological art forms artist Baudelaire Baudelaire’s becomes bricolage bricoleur Caduveo body painting chapter characterised classificatory systems colour conception concrete logic connections constitutes construed context create creative Cubism culture discourse elements essay example expression Grail Guercino human ideas imagination Impressionism interpretation kind language Le´vi Le´vi-Strauss Le´vi-Strauss argues Le´vi-Strauss puts Le´vi-Strauss’s theory Le´vi-Strauss’s thought Le´vi-Strauss’s writings Le´vi-Straussian Marcel Mauss meaning metaphor mode`le re´duit modern modes of thought mytheme mythical thought mytho-poetic Mythologiques nature Neolithic object Parsifal particular passage perceived perception philosophical poetic primitive problem QUENTIN SKINNER readymade reality relation relationship representation reveals Savage Mind says schemas semiotic sense sensible qualities sensory shaman signifier social specific Strauss structural anthropology structuralist thinking totalising totalising function totemic transformations translation Tristes Tropiques unconscious understanding Vale´ry Wagner’s wild Wintu words