THE SETTING SUN
What state of mind were you in when you wrote Tristes Tropiques?
I wrote that book in a kind of rage and impatience.  This interview, given to Boris Wiseman and first published in Les Temps modernes 628, August–October 2004, was one of Lévi-Strauss’s last. I also felt a certain remorse. I thought it would have been better if I’d written something else. Having discussed the elementary structures of kinship, I should have moved on to the complex structures.
Subscribe for just £40 and get free access to the archive
Please login on the left to read more or buy the article for £3
- Christopher Johnson: All Played Out? Christopher Johnson detects the patterns of a hidden philosophy of history, threaded through Claude Lévi-Strauss’s most famous works. Might its seeming pessimism—a sequence of downward turns from the Neolithic to the present—hold out the possibility of alternative outcomes, virtual destinies?