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Cannibal Talk: The Man-Eating Myth and Human Sacrifice in the South Seas di [Obeyesekere, Gananath]
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Cannibal Talk: The Man-Eating Myth and Human Sacrifice in the South Seas Formato Kindle

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Lunghezza: 320 pagine Word Wise: Abilitato Lingua: Inglese

Descrizione prodotto


In this radical reexamination of the notion of cannibalism, Gananath Obeyesekere offers a fascinating and convincing argument that cannibalism is mostly "cannibal talk," a discourse on the Other engaged in by both indigenous peoples and colonial intruders that results in sometimes funny and sometimes deadly cultural misunderstandings. Turning his keen intelligence to Polynesian societies in the early periods of European contact and colonization, Obeyesekere deconstructs Western eyewitness accounts, carefully examining their origins and treating them as a species of fiction writing and seamen's yarns. Cannibalism is less a social or cultural fact than a mythic representation of European writing that reflects much more the realities of European societies and their fascination with the practice of cannibalism, he argues. And while very limited forms of cannibalism might have occurred in Polynesian societies, they were largely in connection with human sacrifice and carried out by a select community in well-defined sacramental rituals. Cannibal Talk considers how the colonial intrusion produced a complex self-fulfilling prophecy whereby the fantasy of cannibalism became a reality as natives on occasion began to eat both Europeans and their own enemies in acts of "conspicuous anthropophagy."

Dettagli prodotto

  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 3646 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 340
  • Editore: University of California Press; 1 edizione (6 giugno 2005)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B004L62H4Q
  • Da testo a voce: Abilitato
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  • Miglioramenti tipografici: Non abilitato
  • Media recensioni: Recensisci per primo questo articolo
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: #345.142 a pagamento nel Kindle Store (Visualizza i Top 100 a pagamento nella categoria Kindle Store)
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21 di 28 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
2.0 su 5 stelle Interesting, but too polemical and selective 26 giugno 2006
Di David Andrew Thomas - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
Obeyesekere's "Cannibal Talk" contains eight chapters which read like self-contained journal articles. Each chapter considers different aspects of European and American discourses on South Pacific cannibalism, focusing on New Zealand and Fiji. Obeyesekere's goal throughout is to discredit the authenticity any descriptions of cannibalism by attacking the witness's honesty, the coherence of his narratives, his motives, the expectations of his audience, and anything else that might call into question the text's veracity. The books are well selected in that Obeyesekere only talks about texts that he can successfully attack, and while the reader is never presented with a comprehensive image of what was said by Europeans and Americans about South Pacific cannibalism, Obeyesekere nonetheless offers the readers good reasons for being suspicious. But the discussion is one-sided, often sarcastic, sometimes badgering, and ultimately more argumentative than analytical. "Cannibal Talk" is academic polemics at its best, which means that it is not very good academic writing, but it is controversial. Obeyeskere, in other words, is playing an Ann Coulter-role in contemporary Anthropology: offering passionate, one-sided and poorly justified readings of the world, and inspiring equally passionate, one-sided, and poorly justified counter-attacks. "Cannibal Talk" may inspire readers who already agree with its sentiments, but it does little to further any interesting debate.
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