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By Claude Levi-Strauss

"A magical masterpiece."—Robert Ardrey. A chronicle of the author's look for a civilization "reduced to its most elementary expression."

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For years he lived disregarded within the area of enormous cities, nonetheless chipping stones for the arrow-heads with which he did his looking. steadily, besides the fact that, all of the animals disappeared. sooner or later the Indian used to be stumbled on bare and demise of starvation at the outskirts of a suburb. He ended his days peacefully as a porter on the college of California. 7. sundown those long and superfluous cogitations are top as much as the truth that one morning, in February 1934, I arrived in Marseilles as a way to take send for Santos. Later there have been to be many different departures, and them all have combined jointly in my reminiscence, which has retained just a couple of special reminiscences: first, the odd gaiety of iciness within the South of France; lower than a really light blue sky, which used to be much more impalpable than traditional, the biting air afforded the just about insufferable excitement that one will get, whilst thirsty, from gulping down a few iced, fizzy liquid. Contrasting with it have been the heavy odours clinging concerning the corridors of the moored and overheated send, a mix of sea smells, whiffs of cooking from the galleys and the tang of clean paint. I additionally take into accout the delight and reassurance – i'd virtually say the serene happiness – of being dimly wakeful in the course of the evening of the throbbing of the engines and the rustling of the water opposed to the hull, as though flow have been making a type of balance extra excellent in essence than immobility; certainly, while one used to be abruptly awoke up at evening by means of the feeling of getting stopped in a few port, motionlessness aroused a sense of lack of confidence and ache, and one was once disturbed through the alteration in what one had turn into used to because the normal process issues. those ships known as at many ports. certainly, the 1st week of the journey used to be spent virtually fullyyt ashore, whereas the shipment was once being loaded or unloaded, and we sailed in the course of the evening. every one morning, on awakening, we came across ourselves docked in a brand new port: Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia, Alicante, Malaga, and occasionally Cadiz; or back, Algiers, Oran and Gibraltar, ahead of the longest stretch resulting in Casablanca, and finally to Dakar. Then we begun at the major crossing, both on to Rio and Santos, or extra sometimes with a resumption in the direction of the top of the slower flow alongside the coast, and forestalls on the Brazilian ports of Recife, Bahia and Victoria. The air steadily grew to become hotter, the Spanish sierras went slowly by means of at the horizon and, off the African coast, which was once too low and swampy to be without delay noticeable, the spectacle was once lengthy for days on finish through mirages representing hillocks and cliff faces. It was once the other of a voyage. greater than a way of delivery, the send looked as if it would us to be a dwelling-place and a house, in entrance of which the revolving degree of the area might halt a few new surroundings each morning. despite the fact that, the anthropological method was once nonetheless so overseas to me that i didn't reflect on benefiting from those possibilities. i've got discovered for the reason that then what an invaluable education in statement such brief glimpses of a city, a space or a tradition gives you and the way – a result of excessive focus pressured upon one by way of the brevity of the remain – one may also clutch definite beneficial properties which, in different situations, may need lengthy remained hidden.

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