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Levi-Strauss, Claude (Translated by Brian C.J. Singer). LOOK, LISTEN, READ. New York City, NY: Basic Books, 1997. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 202 pages. Fine/Fine.

Book-length account on subject. One of the most important books of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the Softcover Edition. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only and as part of Basic Books' "MasterMind" Series. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Claude Levi-Strauss' "Regarder, Ecouter, Lire" in a felicitous English translation. Published on the occasion of his 90th birthday, his surprising reflections on aesthetics. Surprising because they reveal the ground-breaking and unorthodox anthropologist to be a dependable Classicist and universalist when it comes to art, in sharp contrast with the "identity politics" aesthetic tendency of the late-20th century (as well as our own time) and in seeming contradiction with the specific nature of his anthopological work. "Over the course of a monumental career, Claude Levi-Strauss has interwoven artistic materials and themes into his seminal analyses of the savage mind. Now, the world's greatest anthropologist turns his attention to aesthetics. In a series of brilliant and meticulous studies, he ranges widely across painting, music, literature, and the plastic arts, his fertile mind opening up new philosophical perspectives" (Publisher's blurb). His correspondence on the nature of art with Andre Breton, the founder and principal exponent of Surrealist aesthetics, conducted more than sixty years ago, is also included. In the book's final chapters, Levi-Strauss-the-anthropologist reasserts itself fully with a fresh look on American-Indian myths and basket-making. "Look, Listen, Read" is consistent with Levi-Strauss' scientific work: His nemeses were "culture" and "history", which keep people apart and make them think and believe that they are either superior or inferior to others. His faith was in "myth" and his weapon was, paradoxically, science which, by definition, seeks and discovers universal truths that transcend specific cultures and histories. Written late in life (he died at the age of 101), "Look, Listen, Read" shows the extent to which Levi-Strauss remained a structuralist (and great thinker), in a way that not one of his successors in Derrida, Barthes, or Foucault (none of whom would exist without his trailblazing work) could ever be. "Only works of art bear evidence that, among human beings, something actually happened during the course of time" (Claude Levi-Strauss). An absolute "must-have" title for Claude Levi-Strauss collectors. This title is a great book. This is one of few copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Many copies available online have serious flaws or are the Softcover Edition. A scarce copy thus. One of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER CLAUDE LEVI-STRAUSS TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0465068804. $50.00

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