Culture

Misreading Claude Lévi-Strauss the Man

After the well-deserved hosannas of praise for the centenary, and subsequent dignified mourning for the demise, of the great French Jewish anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, a backlash seemed inevitable. On October 7, “Claude Lévi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory,” by Patrick Wilcken, presented as the “definitive account of the life, work, and legacy,” was published by The Penguin Press.

Wilcken trained as an anthropologist in the UK, and currently works defending indigenous populations in Brazil for Amnesty International, although he has also published on Israeli politics. Despite this wide range of authorial interests, “Claude Lévi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory,” is gallingly clueless about Lévi-Strauss the man.

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Misreading Claude Lévi-Strauss the Man

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