Monday, October 8, 2012

Eco and the animist

Anthropologists know that objectivity can be badly shaken by many factors. Last year I was in the land of the Dogon and asked a little boy if he was Muslim. He answered me in French, saying, "No, I'm an animist." Now, believe me, an animist doesn't describe himself as such unless he has a diploma from the École des Hautes Études in Paris. That boy was talking about his culture as it had been defined by anthropologists.
Umberto Eco, Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism (Orlando: Harcourt, 2007), p. 238-239.

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