Levi-Strauss, Anthropology, and Aesthetics

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 22, 2007 - History - 243 pages
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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Contents

The reconciliation
33
Art and the logic of sensible qualities
58
The work of art as a system of signs
80
Structuralism Symbolist poetics and abstract art
100
The anthropologist as art critic
119
Nature culture chance
135
From myth to music
167
LéviStrausss mythopoem
196
between concept and metaphor
217
References
230
Index
241
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Page 7 - The poetic function projects the principle of equivalence from the axis of selection into the axis of combination.

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