By Claude Lévi-Strauss
Accumulating for the 1st time all of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s writings on jap civilization, the opposite Face of the Moon varieties a sustained meditation into the French anthropologist’s dictum that to appreciate one’s personal tradition, one needs to regard it from the perspective of another.
Exposure to eastern paintings used to be influential in Lévi-Strauss’s early highbrow progress, and among 1977 and 1988 he visited the rustic 5 instances. The essays, lectures, and interviews of this quantity, written among 1979 and 2001, are the made from those trips. They examine an superb diversity of subjects—among them Japan’s founding myths, Noh and Kabuki theater, the uniqueness of the japanese musical scale, the artisanship of Jomon pottery, and the connection among eastern photograph arts and food. For Lévi-Strauss, Japan occupied a distinct position between international cultures. Molded within the historical previous through chinese language affects, it had extra lately included a lot from Europe and the U.S.. however the substance of those borrowings used to be so conscientiously assimilated that jap tradition by no means misplaced its specificity. as if considered from the hidden aspect of the moon, Asia, Europe, and the US all locate, in Japan, photos of themselves profoundly transformed.
As in Lévi-Strauss’s vintage ethnography Tristes Tropiques, this new English translation provides the voice of 1 of France’s so much public intellectuals at its such a lot own.
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Extra info for The Other Face of the Moon
22 t h e p l a c e o f j a p a n e s e c u l t u r e i n t h e w o r l d On the Unpredictability of Beings In the West, lifestyles and Â�modes of production appear in succession. In Japan, they may be said to coexist. But are they in themselves radically different from our own? When I read your classical authors, I feel not so much disoriented in space as out of sync. Â€Full of subtle psychological commentary, it is awash in a melancholic lyricism that makes as large a place for the feeling for nature as for the sense of the impermanence of things and the unpredictability of beings.
16 t h e p l a c e o f j a p a n e s e c u l t u r e i n t h e w o r l d sea and with the endless efforts imposed on human beings to overcome it? Let us complete the analysis. At the beginning of the sequence, the abridged duration of human life provides a resolution to the antinomy between life and death, which belongs to the temporal dimension. At the end of the sequence, the antinomy between land and sea, which belongs to the spatial dimension, also finds an intermediate resolution: the hero returns from his visit to the king of the seas as the master of tides.
In various modalities, in fact, Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism deny what in the West is self-Â�evident at a fundamental level: the self, whose illusory character these doctrines are intent on demonstrating. For such doctrines, evÂ�ery being is only a provisional arrangement of biological and psychological phenomena, with no lasting element such as a “self”: it is vain appearance, destined ineluctably to dissolve. In terms of discourse, the West has believed since the Greeks that human beings have the ability to apprehend the world by using language in the serÂ� vice of reason: a well-Â�constructed discourse coincides with reality, it gains access to and reÂ�flects the order of things.