Download e-book for kindle: After the Fact: Two Countries, Four Decades, One by Clifford Geertz

By Clifford Geertz

ISBN-10: 0674008715

ISBN-13: 9780674008717

"Suppose," Clifford Geertz indicates, "having entangled your self each from time to time over 4 a long time or so within the goings-on in provincial cities, one a Southeast Asian bend within the street, one a North African outpost and passage aspect, you wanted to assert anything approximately how these goings-on had changed." a story provides itself, a travel of indices and developments, probably a memoir? None, although, will suffice, simply because in 40 years extra has replaced than these towns--the anthropologist, for example, anthropology itself, even the highbrow and ethical international within which the self-discipline exists. And so, in in retrospect on 4 many years of anthropology within the box, Geertz has created a piece that's often unclassifiable, a private background that also is a retrospective mirrored image on advancements within the human sciences amid political, social, and cultural adjustments on this planet. a sublime summation of 1 of the main amazing careers in anthropology, it truly is while an eloquent assertion of the needs and probabilities of anthropology's interpretive powers.

To view his cities in time, Pare in Indonesia and Sefrou in Morocco, Geertz adopts quite a few views on anthropological examine and research through the post-colonial interval, the chilly conflict, and the emergence of the recent states of Asia and Africa. all through, he clarifies his personal place on a extensive sequence of matters right away empirical, methodological, theoretical, and private. the result's a very unique booklet, person who monitors a selected means of working towards the human sciences and therefore a particular--and quite efficacious--view of what those sciences are, were, and will turn into.

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Extra resources for After the Fact: Two Countries, Four Decades, One Anthropologist (The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures)

Example text

But not very much. The mid-seventeenth century, the late eighteenth, and the early twentieth look hardly differentonly the weaponry changes. The picture of a cloud of assertive somebodies, rural and urban, religious and military, mercantile and hereditary, schooled and popular, settled and peripatetic, piecing together opportune coalitions and but partially, momentarily, and unevenly succeeding is thematical. And not only of the past. Even after the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the Alawite dynasty, by then in Meknes, its first encastlement, organizes something that starts to look like a professional army, or the middle of the nineteenth, when, drawn at last into the diplomacies of Fez, it organizes something that starts to look like a proper administrative staff, the basis of power remains personal, brittle, situational, and dispersed.

The difficulty lies in articulating that experience, making it available to common view. Impressionism, invocations of camels and minarets, rice terraces and shadow puppets, produces a travel poster view of things. Empiricism, magpie amassment of cultural detail, produces an ethnographical telephone book. And thematicism, grand sentiments and large ideas, produces historical opera. Yet Morocco, the Riviera South, is something of a poster, Indonesia, three thousand islands (fourteen thousand, if you count the rocks) and perhaps a couple hundred languages, a bit of a telephone book, and both of them, never quiet for very long, are historical operas; and so such images, as vulgar and reductive as they are (and they are not the worst-zealotic Morocco and dreaming Indonesia are probably that), are where one, perforce, begins when one starts to think about where one is, and, then, after the fact, works to replace them with something a little less summary, a little less external, and a little less charged.

No matter when you look, or where, what you find in Morocco is regionally generated movements, advancing, retreating, or hanging on; what you find in Indonesia is culturally discrete communities, aggrandizing, dwindling, or warding off. What lasts, or anyway has for a long time lasted, is not what it is these countries are. They are still terrains on which ambitions cross. What lasts is what it is they are up against: diversity, dispersion, and the enormous tenac- 30 • AFT E R THE F ACT ity of immediate allegiance-to individuals, the force of character, in the one case; to we-ness, the force of likeness, in the other.

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After the Fact: Two Countries, Four Decades, One Anthropologist (The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures) by Clifford Geertz


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