Claude Lévi-Strauss, Wild Thought – a new translation of La pensée sauvage – translated by Jeffrey Mehlman and John Leavitt, University of Chicago Press, December 2020 [update: now listed as February 2021]
Perhaps the most influential anthropologist of his generation, Claude Lévi-Strauss left a profound mark on the development of twentieth-century thought, equal to that of phenomenology and existentialism. Through a fertile mixture of insights gleaned from linguistics and from sociology and ethnology, Lévi-Strauss elaborated his theory of structural unity in culture and became the preeminent representative of structural anthropology. La Pensée sauvage, published in French in 1962, was his crowning achievement. Ranging over philosophies, historical periods, and human societies, it challenged the prevailing assumption of the superiority of modern Western culture and sought to explain the unity of human intellection.
Unfortunately titled The Savage Mind when it first published in English in 1966, the original translation nevertheless sparked a…
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