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New Left Review I/200, July-August 1993

Carlo Ginzburg

Witches and Shamans

The subject on which I have been invited to speak today—witches and shamans—is central to my book Storia notturna. Una decifrazione del sabba, [1] Storia notturna, Turin 1989; English edition Ecstasies. Deciphering the Witches’ Sabbath, London 1990. The present text was given as a talk in Tokyo in November 1992 on the occasion of the publication of the Japanese edition of this book. which is appearing now, a few years after the Italian edition, in Japanese translation. Instead of summarizing my book in its final form, I prefer to invite my listeners to read it by speaking of the preliminary researches which allowed me to write it. I should like to recount the road—the somewhat tortuous road—which brought me, albeit metaphorically, from north-east Italy where my research into witchcraft had begun, to the steppes of central Asia.

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