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I Swear I Saw This - Drawings in Fieldwork Notebooks, Namely My Own (Paperback): Michael Taussig I Swear I Saw This - Drawings in Fieldwork Notebooks, Namely My Own (Paperback)
Michael Taussig
R492 Discovery Miles 4 920 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"I Swear I Saw This" records visionary anthropologist Michael Taussig's reflections on the fieldwork notebooks he kept through forty years of travels in Colombia. Taking as a starting point a drawing he made in Medellin in 2006 - as well as its caption, "I Swear I Saw This" - Taussig considers the fieldwork notebook as a type of modernist literature and the place where writers and other creators first work out the imaginative logic of discovery. Notebooks mix the raw material of observation with reverie, juxtaposed, in Taussig's case, with drawings, watercolors, and newspaper cuttings, which blend the inner and outer worlds in a fashion reminiscent of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs' surreal cut-up technique. Focusing on the small details and observations that are lost when writers convert their notes into finished pieces, Taussig calls for new ways of seeing and using the notebook as form. Memory emerges as a central motif in "I Swear I Saw This" as he explores his penchant to inscribe new recollections in the margins or directly over the original entries days or weeks after an event. This palimpsest of after thoughts leads to ruminations on Freud's analysis of dreams, Proust's thoughts on the involuntary workings of memory, and Benjamin's theories of history-fieldwork, Taussig writes, provokes childhood memories with startling ease. "I Swear I Saw This" exhibits Taussig's characteristic verve and intellectual audacity, here combined with a revelatory sense of intimacy. He writes, "drawing is thus a depicting, a hauling, an unravelling, and being impelled toward something or somebody." Readers will exult in joining Taussig once again as he follows the threads of a tangled skein of inspired associations.

Law in a Lawless Land - Diary of a Limpieza in Colombia (Paperback, New edition): Michael Taussig Law in a Lawless Land - Diary of a Limpieza in Colombia (Paperback, New edition)
Michael Taussig
R565 Discovery Miles 5 650 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

A modern nation in a state of total disorder, Colombia is an international flashpoint--wracked by more than half a century of civil war, political conflict, and drug-trade related violence--despite a multibillion dollar American commitment that makes it the third-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid.
"Law in a Lawless Land" offers a rare and penetrating insight into the nature of Colombia's present peril. In a nuanced account of the human consequences of a disintegrating state, anthropologist Michael Taussig chronicles two weeks in a small town in Colombia's Cauca Valley taken over by paramilitaries that brazenly assassinate adolescent gang members. Armed with automatic weapons and computer-generated lists of names and photographs, the paramilitaries have the tacit support of the police and even many of the desperate townspeople, who are seeking any solution to the crushing uncertainty of violence in their lives. Concentrating on everyday experience, Taussig forces readers to confront a kind of terror to which they have become numb and complacent.
"If you want to know what it is like to live in a country where the state has disintegrated, this moving book by an anthropologist well known for his writings on murderous Colombia will tell you."--Eric Hobsbawm

The Magic of the State (Paperback, New): Michael Taussig The Magic of the State (Paperback, New)
Michael Taussig
R953 Discovery Miles 9 530 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The author describes how through theatres of ecstasy, the State, for the perpetuation of its spiritual authority, needs to tell about itself. Developing concepts of the sacred from Bataille, the post-Surreal College of Sociology, Canetti, Marx, Hobbes and Walter Benjamin, Taussig creates his own theatre of spirit-possession utitlizing popular shrines, official monuments and slogans, money, the police, the freeway system, automobiles, taxis, the stealing of the sword of the state and, through fetishization of Europe's (dead) others, Native Americans and people of African descent.

Palma Africana (Paperback): Michael Taussig Palma Africana (Paperback)
Michael Taussig
R553 R493 Discovery Miles 4 930 Save R60 (11%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"It is the contemporary elixir from which all manner of being emerges, the metamorphic sublime, an alchemist's dream." So begins Palma Africana, the latest attempt by anthropologist Michael Taussig to make sense of the contemporary moment. But to what elixir does he refer? Palm oil. Saturating everything from potato chips to nail polish, palm oil has made its way into half of the packaged goods in our supermarkets. By 2020, world production will be double what it was in 2000. In Colombia, palm oil plantations are covering over onetime cornucopias of animal, bird, and plant life. Over time, they threaten indigenous livelihoods and give rise to abusive labor conditions and major human rights violations. The list of entwined horrors--climatic, biological, social--is long. But Taussig takes no comfort in our usual labels: "habitat loss," "human rights abuses," "climate change." The shock of these words has passed; nowadays it is all a blur. Hence, Taussig's keen attention to words and writing throughout this work. He takes cues from precursors' ruminations: Roland Barthes' suggestion that trees form an alphabet in which the palm tree is the loveliest; William Burroughs' retort to critics that for him words are like animals--cut them and the words are let free. Steeped in a lifetime of philosophical and ethnographic exploration, Palma Africana undercuts the banality of the destruction taking place all around us and offers a penetrating vision of the global condition. Richly illustrated and written with experimental verve, this book is Taussig's Tristes Tropiques for the twenty-first century.

Walter Benjamin's Grave (Paperback, New edition): Michael Taussig Walter Benjamin's Grave (Paperback, New edition)
Michael Taussig
R687 Discovery Miles 6 870 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In September 1940, Walter Benjamin committed suicide in Port Bou on the Spanish-French border when it appeared that he and his travelling partners would be denied passage into Spain in their attempt to escape the Nazis. In 2002, one of anthropology's - and indeed today's - most distinctive writers, Michael Taussig, visited Benjamin's grave in Port Bou. The result is "Walter Benjamin's Grave," a moving essay about the cemetery, eyewitness accounts of Benjamin's border travails, and the circumstances of his demise. It is the most recent of eight revelatory essays collected in this volume of the same name. "Looking over these essays written over the past decade," writes Taussig, "I think what they share is a love of muted and defective storytelling as a form of analysis. Strange love indeed; love of the wound, love of the last gasp." Although thematically these essays run the gamut - covering the monument and graveyard at Port Bou, discussions of peasant poetry in Colombia, a pact with the devil, the peculiarities of a shaman's body, transgression, the disappearance of the sea, New York City cops, and the relationship between flowers and violence - each shares Taussig's highly individual brand of storytelling, one that depends on a deep appreciation of objects and things as a way to retrieve even deeper philosophical and anthropological meanings. Whether he finds himself in Australia, Colombia, Manhattan, or Spain, in the midst of a book or a beach, whether talking to friends or staring at a monument, Taussig makes clear through these marvelous essays that materialist knowledge offers a crucial alternative to the increasingly abstract, globalized, homogenized, and digitized world we inhabit. Pursuing an adventure that is part ethnography, part autobiography, and part cultural criticism refracted through the object that is Walter Benjamin's grave, Taussig, with this collection, provides his own literary memorial to the twentieth century's greatest cultural critic.

Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man - A Study in Terror and Healing (Paperback, New edition): Michael Taussig Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man - A Study in Terror and Healing (Paperback, New edition)
Michael Taussig
R785 Discovery Miles 7 850 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Working with the image of the Indian shaman as Wild Man, Taussig reveals not the magic of the shaman but that of the politicizing fictions creating the effect of the real. This extraordinary book . . . will encourage ever more critical and creative explorations.--Fernando Coronil, [I]American Journal of Sociology[/I] Taussig has brought a formidable collection of data from arcane literary, journalistic, and biographical sources to bear on . . . questions of evil, torture, and politically institutionalized hatred and terror. His intent is laudable, and much of the book is brilliant, both in its discovery of how particular people perpetrated evil and others interpreted it.--Stehen G. Bunker, Social Science Quarterly

What Color Is the Sacred? (Hardcover): Michael Taussig What Color Is the Sacred? (Hardcover)
Michael Taussig
R1,646 Discovery Miles 16 460 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Over the past thirty years, visionary anthropologist Michael Taussig has crafted a highly distinctive body of work. Playful, enthralling, and whip-smart, his writing makes ingenious connections between ideas, thinkers, and things. An extended meditation on the mysteries of color and the fascination they provoke, "What Color Is the Sacred?" is the next step on Taussig's remarkable intellectual path.
Following his interest in magic and surrealism, his earlier work on mimesis, and his recent discussion of heat, gold, and cocaine in "My Cocaine Museum," ""this book uses color to explore further dimensions of what Taussig calls "the bodily unconscious" in an age of global warming. Drawing on classic ethnography as well as the work of Benjamin, Burroughs, and Proust, he takes up the notion that color invites the viewer into images and into the world. Yet, as Taussig makes clear, color has a history--a manifestly colonial history rooted in the West's discomfort with color, especially bright color, and its associations with the so-called primitive. He begins by noting Goethe's belief that Europeans are physically averse to vivid color while the uncivilized revel in it, which prompts Taussig to reconsider colonialism as a tension between chromophobes and chromophiliacs. And he ends with the strange story of coal, which, he argues, displaced colonial color by giving birth to synthetic colors, organic chemistry, and IG Farben, the giant chemical corporation behind the Third Reich.
Nietzsche once wrote, "So far, all that has given colour to existence still lacks a history." With "What Color Is the Sacred?" Taussig has taken up that challenge with all the radiant intelligence and inspiration we've come to expect from him.

What Color Is the Sacred? (Paperback): Michael Taussig What Color Is the Sacred? (Paperback)
Michael Taussig
R607 Discovery Miles 6 070 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Over the past thirty years, visionary anthropologist Michael Taussig has crafted a highly distinctive body of work. Playful, enthralling, and whip-smart, his writing makes ingenious connections between ideas, thinkers, and things. An extended meditation on the mysteries of color and the fascination they provoke, "What Color Is the Sacred?" is the next step on Taussig's remarkable intellectual path.
Following his interest in magic and surrealism, his earlier work on mimesis, and his recent discussion of heat, gold, and cocaine in "My Cocaine Museum," ""this book uses color to explore further dimensions of what Taussig calls "the bodily unconscious" in an age of global warming. Drawing on classic ethnography as well as the work of Benjamin, Burroughs, and Proust, he takes up the notion that color invites the viewer into images and into the world. Yet, as Taussig makes clear, color has a history--a manifestly colonial history rooted in the West's discomfort with color, especially bright color, and its associations with the so-called primitive. He begins by noting Goethe's belief that Europeans are physically averse to vivid color while the uncivilized revel in it, which prompts Taussig to reconsider colonialism as a tension between chromophobes and chromophiliacs. And he ends with the strange story of coal, which, he argues, displaced colonial color by giving birth to synthetic colors, organic chemistry, and IG Farben, the giant chemical corporation behind the Third Reich.
Nietzsche once wrote, "So far, all that has given colour to existence still lacks a history." With "What Color Is the Sacred?" Taussig has taken up that challenge with all the radiant intelligence and inspiration we've come to expect from him.

Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown (Paperback): Michael Taussig Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown (Paperback)
Michael Taussig
R547 Discovery Miles 5 470 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

For centuries, humans have excelled at mimicking nature in order to exploit it. Now, with the existential threat of global climate change on the horizon, the ever-provocative Michael Taussig asks what function a newly invigorated mimetic faculty might exert along with such change. Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown is not solely a reflection on our condition but also a theoretical effort to reckon with the impulses that have fed our relentless ambition for dominance over nature. Taussig seeks to move us away from the manipulation of nature and reorient us to different metaphors and sources of inspiration to develop a new ethical stance toward the world. His ultimate goal is to undo his readers' sense of control and engender what he calls "mastery of non-mastery." This unique book developed out of Taussig's work with peasant agriculture and his artistic practice, which brings performance art together with aspects of ritual. Through immersive meditations on Walter Benjamin, D. H. Lawrence, Emerson, Bataille, and Proust, Taussig grapples with the possibility of collapse and with the responsibility we bear for it.

Mimesis and Alterity - A Particular History of the Senses (Paperback): Michael Taussig Mimesis and Alterity - A Particular History of the Senses (Paperback)
Michael Taussig
R907 Discovery Miles 9 070 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In this ambitious and accomplished work, Taussig explores the complex and interwoven concepts of mimesis, the practice of imitation, and alterity, the opposition of Self and Other. The book moves from the nineteenth-century invention of mimetically capacious machines, such as the camera, to the fable of colonial 'first contact' and the alleged mimetic power of 'primitives'. Twenty years after the original publication, Taussig revisits the work in a new preface which contextualises the impact of Mimesis and Alterity. Drawing on the ideas of Benjamin, Adorno and Horckheimer and ethnographic accounts of the Cuna, Taussig demonstrates how the history of mimesis is deeply tied to colonialism and the idea of alterity has become increasingly unstable. Vigorous and unorthodox, this cross-cultural discussion continues to deepen our understanding of the relationship between ethnography, racism and society.

Defacement - Public Secrecy and the Labor of the Negative (Paperback): Michael Taussig Defacement - Public Secrecy and the Labor of the Negative (Paperback)
Michael Taussig
R656 R582 Discovery Miles 5 820 Save R74 (11%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"Defacement" asks what happens when something precious is despoiled. It begins with the notion that such activity is attractive in its very repulsion, and that it creates something sacred even in the most secular of societies and circumstances. In specifying the human face as the ideal type for thinking through such violation, this book raises the issue of secrecy as the depth that seems to surface with the tearing of surface. This surfacing is made all the more subtle and ingenious, not to mention everyday, by the deliberately partial exposures involved in "the public secret"--defined as what is generally known but, for one reason or another, cannot easily be articulated.
Arguing that this sort of knowledge ("knowing what not to know") is the most powerful form of social knowledge, Taussig works with ideas and motifs from Nietzsche, William Burroughs, Elias Canetti, Georges Bataille, and the ethnography of unmasking in so-called primitive societies in order to extend his earlier work on mimesis and transgression. Underlying his concern with defacement and the public secret is the search for a mode of truth telling that unmasks, but only to reenchant, thereby underlining Walter Benjamin's notion that "truth is not a matter of exposure of the secret, but a revelation that does justice to it."

Recipes for Survival (Hardcover): Maria Thereza Alves Recipes for Survival (Hardcover)
Maria Thereza Alves; Foreword by Michael Taussig
R1,018 R857 Discovery Miles 8 570 Save R161 (16%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In 1983, when acclaimed Brazilian artist Maria Thereza Alves was an art student at Cooper Union in the United States, she returned to her native country to document the backlands of Brazil, where her family is from. Working with the local people in a collaborative process that has become the hallmark of her mature work, Alves photographed their daily lives and interviewed them to gather the facts that they wanted the world to know about them. Unlike documentation created by outsiders, which tends to objectify Brazil's indigenous and rural people, Alves's work presents her subjects as active agents who are critically engaged with history. Recipes for Survival opens with evocative, caption-less black-and-white photographs, most of them portraits that compel viewers to acknowledge the humanity of people without reducing them to types or labels. Following the images are texts in which the villagers matter-of-factly describe the grinding poverty and despair that is their everyday life-incessant labor for paltry wages, relations between men and women that often devolve into abuse, and the hopelessness of being always at the mercy of uncontrollable outside forces, from crop-destroying weather to exploitative employers and government officials. Though not overtly political, the book powerfully reveals how the Brazilian state shapes the lives of its most vulnerable citizens. Giving a voice to those who have been silenced, Recipes for Survival is, in Alves's words, "about we who are the non-history of Brazil."

Beauty and the Beast (Paperback): Michael Taussig Beauty and the Beast (Paperback)
Michael Taussig
R602 Discovery Miles 6 020 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"Beauty and the Beast" begins with a question: Is beauty destined to end in tragedy? Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Colombia, Michael Taussig scrutinizes the anxious, audacious, and sometimes destructive attempts people make to transform their bodies through cosmetic surgery and liposuction. He balances an examination of surgeries meant to enhance an individual's beauty with an often overlooked counterpart, surgeries performed - often on high-profile criminals - to disguise one's identity. Situating this globally shared phenomenon within the economic, cultural, and political history of Colombia, Taussig links the country's long civil war and its bodily mutilation and torture to the beauty industry at large, sketching Colombia as a country whose high aesthetic stakes make it a stage where some of the most important and problematic ideas about the body are played out. Central to Taussig's examination is George Bataille's notion of depense, or "wasting." While depense is often used as a critique, Taussig also looks at the exuberance such squandering creates and its position as a driving economic force. Depense, he argues, is precisely what these procedures are all about, and the beast on the other side of beauty should not be dismissed as simple recompense. At once theoretical and colloquial, public and intimate, "Beauty and the Beast" is a true-to-place ethnography-written in Taussig's trademark voice-that tells a thickly layered but always accessible story about the lengths to which people will go to be physically remade.

The Corn Wolf (Paperback): Michael Taussig The Corn Wolf (Paperback)
Michael Taussig
R491 R443 Discovery Miles 4 430 Save R48 (10%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Collecting a decade of work from iconic anthropologist and writer Michael Taussig, The Corn Wolf pinpoints a moment of intellectual development for the master stylist, exemplifying the "nervous system" approach to writing and truth that has characterized his trajectory. Pressured by the permanent state of emergency that imbues our times, this approach marries storytelling with theory, thickening spiraling analysis with ethnography and putting the study of so-called primitive societies back on the anthropological agenda as a way of better understanding the sacred in everyday life. The leading figure of these projects is the corn wolf, whom Wittgenstein used in his fierce polemic on Frazer's Golden Bough. For just as the corn wolf slips through the magic of language in fields of danger and disaster, so we are emboldened to take on the widespread culture of academic-or what he deems "agribusiness"-writing, which strips ethnography from its capacity to surprise and connect with other worlds, whether peasant farmers in Colombia, Palestinians in Israel, protestors in Zuccotti Park, or eccentric yet fundamental aspects of our condition such as animism, humming, or the acceleration of time. A glance at the chapter titles-such as "The Stories Things Tell" or "Iconoclasm Dictionary"-along with his compelling drawings, testifies to the resonant sensibility of these works, which lope like the corn wolf through the boundaries of writing and understanding.

Beauty and the Beast (Hardcover, New): Michael Taussig Beauty and the Beast (Hardcover, New)
Michael Taussig
R1,400 Discovery Miles 14 000 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

"Beauty and the Beast" begins with a question: Is beauty destined to end in tragedy? Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Colombia, Michael Taussig scrutinizes the anxious, audacious, and sometimes destructive attempts people make to transform their bodies through cosmetic surgery and liposuction. He balances an examination of surgeries meant to enhance an individual's beauty with an often overlooked counterpart, surgeries performed - often on high-profile criminals - to disguise one's identity. Situating this globally shared phenomenon within the economic, cultural, and political history of Colombia, Taussig links the country's long civil war and its bodily mutilation and torture to the beauty industry at large, sketching Colombia as a country whose high aesthetic stakes make it a stage where some of the most important and problematic ideas about the body are played out. Central to Taussig's examination is George Bataille's notion of depense, or "wasting." While depense is often used as a critique, Taussig also looks at the exuberance such squandering creates and its position as a driving economic force. Depense, he argues, is precisely what these procedures are all about, and the beast on the other side of beauty should not be dismissed as simple recompense. At once theoretical and colloquial, public and intimate, "Beauty and the Beast" is a true-to-place ethnography-written in Taussig's trademark voice-that tells a thickly layered but always accessible story about the lengths to which people will go to be physically remade.

Mimesis and Alterity - A Particular History of the Senses (Paperback, New): Michael Taussig Mimesis and Alterity - A Particular History of the Senses (Paperback, New)
Michael Taussig
R1,119 Discovery Miles 11 190 Ships in 10 - 15 working days


Mimesis: the idea of imitation. Alterity: the idea of difference, the opposition of Self and Other. For anthropologists, social scientists, cultural critics, artists and everyone else caught up in the enigma of `modernity,' the question `What is reality?' is crucial to knowing what it is we know and what we are. If traditions are inventions, and social life is a construction, how is it that we understand reality as both real and really made up?
In his most ambitious and accomplished work to date, Michael Taussig, widely known for his work on shamanism, undertakes a history of the mimetic faculty. Mimesis and Alterity moves from the nineteenth-century invention of machines capable of mimetic acts, such as the camera, backwards to the fables of colonial ``first contact'' and the alleged mimetic prowess of the ``primitives.'' He then moves forward to contemporary time, when the idea of alterity is increasingly unstable.
Utilizing anthropological theory, the ideas of Benjamin, Adorno and Horckheimer, extensive research on the Cuna Indians, and work on colonialism and postcolonialism, Taussig analyzes mimesis across time and cultures. More than a faculty or one more sensory capability, mimesis\Mdifferently experienced in so-called primitive and modern societies\Mhas a history, too. That history is deeply tied to colonialism, the felt relation of the civilizing process to savagery, to aping, sensateness caught in the net of passionate images spun with wildness for centuries by the colonial trade. Vigorous, unorthodox, and sometimes breathtaking, Taussig's understanding of mimesis in different cultures deepens our meanings of ethnography, racism and society.

Occupy - Three Inquiries in Disobedience (Paperback): W.J.T. Mitchell, Bernard Harcourt, Bernard E. Harcourt, Michael Taussig Occupy - Three Inquiries in Disobedience (Paperback)
W.J.T. Mitchell, Bernard Harcourt, Bernard E. Harcourt, Michael Taussig
R325 Discovery Miles 3 250 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Mic check! Mic check! Lacking amplification in Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street protestors addressed one another by repeating and echoing speeches throughout the crowd. In "Occupy", W. J. T. Mitchell, Bernard E. Harcourt, and Michael Taussig take the protestors' lead and perform their own resonant call-and-response, playing off of each other in three essays that engage the extraordinary Occupy movement that has swept across the world, examining everything from self-immolations in the Middle East to the G8 crackdown in Chicago to the many protest signs still visible worldwide. "You break through the screen like Alice in Wonderland," Taussig writes in the opening essay, "and now you can't leave or do without it." Following Taussig's artful blend of participatory ethnography and poetic meditation on Zuccotti Park, political and legal scholar Harcourt examines the crucial difference between civil and political disobedience. He shows how by effecting the latter - by rejecting the very discourse and strategy of politics - Occupy Wall Street protestors enacted a radical new form of protest. Finally, media critic and theorist Mitchell surveys the global circulation of Occupy images across mass and social media and looks at contemporary works by artists such as Antony Gormley and how they engage the body politic, ultimately examining the use of empty space itself as a revolutionary monument. "Occupy" stands not as a primer on or an authoritative account of 2011's revolutions, but as a snapshot, a second draft of history, beyond journalism and the polemics of the moment - an occupation itself. Each Trios book addresses a pressing theme in critical theory, philosophy, or cultural studies through three extended essays written in close collaboration by leading scholars.

The Nervous System (Paperback): Michael Taussig The Nervous System (Paperback)
Michael Taussig
R1,189 Discovery Miles 11 890 Ships in 7 - 11 working days


In a series of intriguing essays ranging over terror, State fetishism, shamanic healing in Latin America, homesickness, and the place of the tactile eye in both magic and modernity, anthropologist Michael Taussig puts into representational practice a curious type of engaged writing. Based on a paranoiac vision of social control and its understanding as in a permanent state of emergency leaving no room for contemplation between signs and things, these essays hover between story-telling and high theory and thus create strange new modes of critical discourse. The Nervous System will appeal to writers, scholars, artists, film makers, and readers interested in critical theory, aesthetics, and politics.

Defacement - Public Secrecy and the Labor of the Negative (Hardcover): Michael Taussig Defacement - Public Secrecy and the Labor of the Negative (Hardcover)
Michael Taussig
R2,029 Discovery Miles 20 290 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

"Defacement" asks what happens when something precious is despoiled. It begins with the notion that such activity is attractive in its very repulsion, and that it creates something sacred even in the most secular of societies and circumstances. In specifying the human face as the ideal type for thinking through such violation, this book raises the issue of secrecy as the depth that seems to surface with the tearing of surface. This surfacing is made all the more subtle and ingenious, not to mention everyday, by the deliberately partial exposures involved in "the public secret"--defined as what is generally known but, for one reason or another, cannot easily be articulated.
Arguing that this sort of knowledge ("knowing what not to know") is the most powerful form of social knowledge, Taussig works with ideas and motifs from Nietzsche, William Burroughs, Elias Canetti, Georges Bataille, and the ethnography of unmasking in so-called primitive societies in order to extend his earlier work on mimesis and transgression. Underlying his concern with defacement and the public secret is the search for a mode of truth telling that unmasks, but only to reenchant, thereby underlining Walter Benjamin's notion that "truth is not a matter of exposure of the secret, but a revelation that does justice to it."

Ayahuasca and Shamanism - Michael Taussig Interviewed by Peter Lamborn Wilson (Paperback): Michael Taussig, Peter Lamborn Wilson Ayahuasca and Shamanism - Michael Taussig Interviewed by Peter Lamborn Wilson (Paperback)
Michael Taussig, Peter Lamborn Wilson
R113 R106 Discovery Miles 1 060 Save R7 (6%) Out of stock

Michael Taussig first visited the Putumayo region of the Colombian Amazon in 1972, and has returned almost annually since 1976 to drink yage (the hallucinogenic vine ayahuasca) by the Mocoa River with his shaman friend, the late Santiago Mutumbajoy. Research on these trips constituted much of the fieldwork for his 1987 book Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man, which is a primary topic of this interview, along with Colombian politics, cultures of drug use, and changes observed by the author over the last three decades. Pamphlet.

To Dare Imagining - Rojava Revolution (Paperback): Dilar Dirik, David Levi Strauss, Michael Taussig To Dare Imagining - Rojava Revolution (Paperback)
Dilar Dirik, David Levi Strauss, Michael Taussig
R316 R298 Discovery Miles 2 980 Save R18 (6%) Out of stock
Walter Benjamin's Grave (Hardcover): Michael Taussig Walter Benjamin's Grave (Hardcover)
Michael Taussig
R1,696 Discovery Miles 16 960 Out of stock

In September 1940, Walter Benjamin committed suicide in Port Bou on the Spanish-French border when it appeared that he and his travelling partners would be denied passage into Spain in their attempt to escape the Nazis. In 2002, one of anthropology's - and indeed today's - most distinctive writers, Michael Taussig, visited Benjamin's grave in Port Bou. The result is "Walter Benjamin's Grave," a moving essay about the cemetery, eyewitness accounts of Benjamin's border travails, and the circumstances of his demise. It is the most recent of eight revelatory essays collected in this volume of the same name. "Looking over these essays written over the past decade," writes Taussig, "I think what they share is a love of muted and defective storytelling as a form of analysis. Strange love indeed; love of the wound, love of the last gasp." Although thematically these essays run the gamut - covering the monument and graveyard at Port Bou, discussions of peasant poetry in Colombia, a pact with the devil, the peculiarities of a shaman's body, transgression, the disappearance of the sea, New York City cops, and the relationship between flowers and violence - each shares Taussig's highly individual brand of storytelling, one that depends on a deep appreciation of objects and things as a way to retrieve even deeper philosophical and anthropological meanings. Whether he finds himself in Australia, Colombia, Manhattan, or Spain, in the midst of a book or a beach, whether talking to friends or staring at a monument, Taussig makes clear through these marvelous essays that materialist knowledge offers a crucial alternative to the increasingly abstract, globalized, homogenized, and digitized world we inhabit. Pursuing an adventure that is part ethnography, part autobiography, and part cultural criticism refracted through the object that is Walter Benjamin's grave, Taussig, with this collection, provides his own literary memorial to the twentieth century's greatest cultural critic.

My Cocaine Museum (Hardcover, 2nd ed.): Michael Taussig My Cocaine Museum (Hardcover, 2nd ed.)
Michael Taussig
R1,970 Discovery Miles 19 700 Out of stock

In this book, a make-believe cocaine museum becomes a disturbing vantage point from which to assess the lives of Afro-Colombian gold miners drawn into the dangerous world of cocaine production in the rain forest of Colombia's Pacific Coast. Although modeled on the famous Gold Museum in Colombia's central bank, the Banco de la Republica, Taussig's "museum" is also a parody aimed at the museum's lack of acknowledgment of the African slaves who mined the country's wealth for almost four hundred years. In a work combining natural history with political history, Taussig exploits the show-and-tell modality of a museum to engage with the inner life - both material and spiritual - of "artifacts" such as heat, rain, stone, and swamp. As much a contribution to literature as to the study of literature, My Cocaine Museum strives to combine a history of things with a history of people. This effort to find a poetry of words becoming things is brought to a head by the explosive qualities of those supreme fetishes of evil beauty: gold and cocaine. At its core, Taussig's "museum" is about the lure of forbidden things, matter out of place.

Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown (Hardcover): Michael Taussig Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown (Hardcover)
Michael Taussig
R1,534 Discovery Miles 15 340 Out of stock

For centuries, humans have excelled at mimicking nature in order to exploit it. Now, with the existential threat of global climate change on the horizon, the ever-provocative Michael Taussig asks what function a newly invigorated mimetic faculty might exert along with such change. Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown is not solely a reflection on our condition but also a theoretical effort to reckon with the impulses that have fed our relentless ambition for dominance over nature. Taussig seeks to move us away from the manipulation of nature and reorient us to different metaphors and sources of inspiration to develop a new ethical stance toward the world. His ultimate goal is to undo his readers' sense of control and engender what he calls "mastery of non-mastery." This unique book developed out of Taussig's work with peasant agriculture and his artistic practice, which brings performance art together with aspects of ritual. Through immersive meditations on Walter Benjamin, D. H. Lawrence, Emerson, Bataille, and Proust, Taussig grapples with the possibility of collapse and with the responsibility we bear for it.

My Cocaine Museum (Paperback, 2nd ed.): Michael Taussig My Cocaine Museum (Paperback, 2nd ed.)
Michael Taussig
R694 Discovery Miles 6 940 Out of stock

In this book, a make-believe cocaine museum becomes a disturbing vantage point from which to assess the lives of Afro-Colombian gold miners drawn into the dangerous world of cocaine production in the rain forest of Colombia's Pacific Coast. Although modeled on the famous Gold Museum in Colombia's central bank, the Banco de la Republica, Taussig's "museum" is also a parody aimed at the museum's lack of acknowledgment of the African slaves who mined the country's wealth for almost four hundred years. In a work combining natural history with political history, Taussig exploits the show-and-tell modality of a museum to engage with the inner life - both material and spiritual - of "artifacts" such as heat, rain, stone, and swamp. As much a contribution to literature as to the study of literature, My Cocaine Museum strives to combine a history of things with a history of people. This effort to find a poetry of words becoming things is brought to a head by the explosive qualities of those supreme fetishes of evil beauty: gold and cocaine. At its core, Taussig's "museum" is about the lure of forbidden things, matter out of place.

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