Prehistories of the Future

Prehistories of the Future : The Primitivist Project and the Culture of Modernism

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Description

Examining the emergence of modernism from the fin-de-siecle primitivist project this volume shows how ethnographic materials shaped a variety of high and low discourses (ethnology, social theory, gender construction, classical scholarship, as well as travel photography) at the turn of the century. Illustrated with 98 photographs and drawings.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 161.04 x 236.73 x 31.5mm | 771g
  • Palo Alto, United States
  • English
  • 0804723907
  • 9780804723909

Back cover copy

"This is an unusually rich, subtle, and rewarding collection that brings varied approaches to a crucial topic in modern cultural history. . . . The essays recognize the multi-faceted and complicated nature of the fin-de-siecle conundrum of modernism and primitivism."--Michael P. Steinberg, Cornell University
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Table of contents

Introduction Elazar Barkan and Ronald Bush; Part I. Savage Anxieties: 1. The presence of the past: ethnographic thinking/literary politics Ronald Bush; 2. Savage crowds, modernism, and modern politics Robert Nye; 3. Victorian promiscuity: Greek ethics and primitive exemplars Elazar Barkan; Part II. Raw Anthropology: 4. The moment of prestidigitation: magic, illusion and mana in the thought of Emile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss Vincent Crapanzano; 5. Patterns of strangeness: Franz Boas, modernism, and the origins of anthropology Julia E. Liss; Part III. Victorian Vertigo: 6. In a glass darkly: photography, the premodern, and Victorian horror Joss Lutz Marsh; Part IV. (Ethno)graphic Images: 7. Manipulated images: European photographs of Pacific peoples Virgina-Lee Webb; 8. Travel engravings and the construction of the primitive Christopher B. Steiner; 9. Gauguin's French baggage: decadence and colonialism in Tahiti Nancy Perloff; 10. Modernism's African mask: the Stein-Pica sso collaboration Michael North; Part V. Culture and Displacements: 11. The kind of person you have to sound like to sing 'Alexander's Ragtime Band' Robert Dawidoff; 12. Primitive self: colonial impulses in Michel Leiris's L'Afrique fantome Marie-Denise Shelton; 13. Tolerance and taboo: modernist primitivisms and postmodernist pieties Marjorie Perloff; Part VI. Modernism Reconsidered: 14. Modernism, postmodernism and explanation Frank Kermode; Notes; Index.
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Review quote

"This is an unusually rich, subtle, and rewarding collection that brings varied approaches to a crucial topic in modern cultural history. . . . The essays recognize the multi-faceted and complicated nature of the fin-de-siecle conundrum of modernism and primitivism."-Michael P. Steinberg, Cornell University
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