The Other Face of the Moon

Gathering for the 1st time all of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s writings on eastern civilization, The different Face of the Moon types 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.

publicity to jap paintings was once influential in Lévi-Strauss’s early highbrow development, and among 1977 and 1988 he visited the rustic 5 occasions. The essays, lectures, and interviews of this quantity, written among 1979 and 2001, are the fabricated from those trips. They examine an mind-blowing diversity of subjects—among them Japan’s founding myths, Noh and Kabuki theater, the individuality of the japanese musical scale, the artisanship of Jomon pottery, and the connection among eastern image arts and delicacies. For Lévi-Strauss, Japan occupied a different position between global cultures. Molded within the historic earlier by means of chinese language impacts, it had extra lately included a lot from Europe and the USA. however the substance of those borrowings used to be so rigorously assimilated that eastern tradition by no means misplaced its specificity. as if considered from the hidden facet of the moon, Asia, Europe, and the USA 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 such a lot public intellectuals at its so much personal.

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A Japa- * E. L. Hibbard, “The Ulysses Motif in jap Literature,” magazine of yank Folklore fifty nine, no. 233 (1946). † H. L. Lorimer, Ho­mer and the Monuments (London: Macmillan, 1950), pp. 298–300, 493–494. 87 herodotus in the china sea nese ancient paintings, compiled within the 11th or 12th centuries through an unknown writer, alludes to “the guy of previous [who] dug a gap and talked into it” simply because he used to be bursting to inform a section of stories. * A Korean chronicle from the 13th century, yet which contained many parts courting again to archaic times,† recounts with much more gildings than Ovid a narrative within which King Kyongmun, who reigned from 861 to 875, met an analogous destiny as Midas: One morning whilst the King woke up, he stumbled on that his ears had grown in a single day into lengthy bushy ones like these of a donkey. . . . He was once forced to hide his head with a type of turban . . . in order that not anyone ever knew his mystery other than the tailor who made the turban. He, after all, used to be given the strictest orders to inform not anyone. trustworthy servant of the King even though he was once, the * Helen C. McCullough, Okagami: the nice reflect, a research and Translation (Prince­ton: Prince­ton college Press, 1980), p. sixty five. † IryŸn, Samguk Yusa: Legends and His­tory of the 3 Kingdoms of historic Korea, translated by means of Ha Tae-­Hung and Grafton ok. Mintz (N. p. [Rockville, Md. ]: Silk Pagoda, 2006), p. 106. 88 herodotus in the china sea tailor was once constantly stricken by his lack of ability to talk of this unusual and detailed occasion. Fi­nally he turned in poor health and was once obliged to move for a relaxation to Torim Temple at the outskirts of Kyonju. someday he got here out into the again backyard of his temple by myself and unattended . . . when you consider that no-­one used to be inside earshot, he plunged without warning right into a bamboo grove close by and shouted time and again on the best of his voice, “My King has lengthy ears like a donkey! ” Then, having finally gained peace of brain, he fell useless instant. Ever in a while, while the wind blew via this actual bamboo grove, the sound it made appeared to say “My King has lengthy ears like a donkey. ” . . . eventually it reached the King’s lengthy ears. He . . . ordered the bamboos scale back and fingers planted of their position. This used to be performed and the hands grew swiftly. but if the wind blew via them they sang “My King has lengthy ears . . . ” shedding the final 3 phrases. . . . Torim-­sa fell into decay. yet new shoots grew up from the roots of the bamboos which have been cut back and other people took cuttings to plant of their gardens in order that they may well pay attention the music they sang, they usually did likewise with the hands. 89 herodotus in the china sea types of the Midas tale proliferated within the folklore of Mongolia and Tibet. * Their attainable arrival in Korea and Japan isn't really prob­lematic. there's as a result no cause to imagine that the presence of the tale of Croesus at the Okinawa Islands poses a prob­lem both. Buddhism, which included such a lot of Hellenic and Hellenistic parts, can have introduced motifs originating in Greece to the some distance East.

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