From Library Journal
In this interesting and unique study, the author looks at the West's appropriation of the images, styles, and ideas of primitive cultures for its own--and, she asserts, miscalculated--benefit. Examining the West's concept of the primitive as understood through such sources as Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan , the writings of Conrad and Lawrence, the theoretical work of Freud and Levi-Strauss, and the studies of a number of ethnographers/anthropologists, including Margaret Mead, she discovers an inaccurate, romanticized, often racist and sexist, and ultimately damaging series of ideas that have served to inform the West's concept of the primitive and to form the basis of its fascination. Although most of the author's suggestions for improving what she claims to be an unacceptable situation are so general and wide-ranging that they are practically cliches, the book provides a refreshing look at a topic that has not been previously examined in light of recent Western trends in art and culture.- Jessica Grim, Univ. of California Lib., Berkeley
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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