French intellectuals: Telling stories

posted by
May 31, 2011
Liberty Unbound
by Jacques Delacroix  
Posted in Commentary

"Of course, no one understands Levi-Strauss'[s] scholarly work. I am not referring to his young man's slim travelogue, Tristes tropiques. That is a charming and intelligent book. I refer to the impenetrable Le cru et le cuit, for example. And no, dear former colleagues, the translation is not to blame; the original French is rather worse! In fact, Professor Levi-Strauss himself once famously confessed that there was little chance that anyone who had not taken his seminar would understand any of his writings. It's difficult to imagine an American author combining so much opacity with so much public favor, the latter entirely on the basis of trust." (05/29/11)  

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