Cover: The Predicament of Culture in PAPERBACK

The Predicament of Culture

Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$35.50 • £28.95 • €32.00

ISBN 9780674698437

Publication: May 1988

Academic Trade

398 pages

6 x 9-1/4 inches

15 halftones

World

The Predicament of Culture is a work of sustained brilliance, packed with simply wonderful gifts for the reader. The several chapters on French anthropology and ethnographic surrealism are fascinating, and somehow as urgent as the ones on collecting or on the relentless intertranslating of cultural demands, or as the theme that we must rethink this entire dimension of human existence. It is also an extremely wise book. Since wisdom and brilliance rarely go together, it is plain that James Clifford is himself one of our cultural treasures.—Arthur C. Danto, The New York Times Book Review

With an intellectual modesty that belies his sweeping global perspective, Clifford focuses on who has the authority to speak for any group’s identity and authenticity. As he traces the development of twentieth-century anthropology, Clifford locates affinities between anthropology and avant-garde art, making this book one of the most readable introductions to contemporary cultural criticism.—Mary Warner Marien, Utne Reader

Clifford’s reflections are salutory. They are not self-serving, allowing Clifford entry by a backdoor into a community which often threatens the exclusivity of a private club. By breaking with narrow professional definitions of anthropology, Clifford broadens its vision. Anthropology again becomes the exploration of the grounds of humanity in its original, general, and philosophically fundamental sense.—Bruce Kapferer, Critique of Anthropology

Clifford is original and very nearly unique. He is one of the few persons who connects history, literature, and anthropology. He’s had an enormous impact because he provides a new perspective on the study of culture that would almost certainly never have been generated from within anthropology itself.—Clifford Geertz