Claude Levi-Strauss R.I.P.

  • Claude Levi Strauss claudelevi
    Portrait by late Irving Penn

    UNESCO pays tribute after death of anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss

    “His thoughts changed the way people perceived each other, striking down such divisive concepts as race and opening the way for a new vision based on recognition of the common bond of humanity.

    NYtimes obit

    The final volume ends by suggesting that the logic of mythology is so powerful that myths almost have a life independent from the peoples who tell them. In his view, they speak through the medium of humanity and become, in turn, the tools with which humanity comes to terms with the world’s greatest mystery: the possibility of not being, the burden of mortality.


    These Swaihwe masks, and the right to wear them in profane ceremonies, belonged exclusively to a few lineages of high rank, were transmitted by marriage, and brought luck and facilitated the acquisition of wealth.

    Swaihwe Mask cowichanswaihwe1
    Claude Levi – Strauss, The Way of the Masks (La Voie des Masques)

    Sontag on Levi-Strauss

    What journalists are saying – (The Atlantic)

    Berkeley graduate school audio lecture

    Claude Levi-Strauss at 100 (Previous post)