Book information:

Clifford Geertz: Works and lives: the anthropologist as author (1988)
(= HyperGeertz-88Beng1)


Short description:
Noted anthropologist Clifford Geertz analyzes the writings of anthropologists, specifically ethnographers. What makes a reader take an account seriously, he argues, is the ability of the researcher to capture on paper the experience of having been to a place, not just his ability to report facts. Geertz compares the literary styles of Claude Levi-Strauss, Edward Evans-Pritchard and Bronislaw Malinowski, among others, and calls upon present-day ethnographers to enliven and substantiate their work by paying attention not only to what they write, but how they write as well. Work and Lives won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1988.


From Library Journal
In this groundbreaking study, noted anthropologist Geertz focuses on the writing of anthropologists, specifically enthnographers. He argues that what makes readers take an account of field work seriously is not simply the recounting of facts but the ability to capture on paper the experience of having "been there." As exemplars, Geertz analyzes the unique and decidedly different literary approaches of Claude Levi-Strauss, Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard, Bronislaw Malinowski, and Ruth Benedict. Geertz calls upon ethnographers today not only to document their findings but to revitalize their field by paying attention to the crucial role of how they write. An engrossing work for scholars and graduate students.
Joan W. Gartland, Detroit P.L. (Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.)


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