By Bronislaw Malinowski
While it was once first released (in 1967, posthumously), Bronislaw Malinowski's diary, masking the interval of his fieldwork in 1914-1915 and 1917-1918 in New Guinea and the Trobriand Islands, trigger a hurricane of controversy. Many anthropologists felt that the e-book of the diary―which Raymond Firth describes as "this revealing, selfish, obsessional document"―was a profound disservice to the reminiscence of 1 of the enormous figures within the historical past of anthropology. probably by no means meant to be released, Malinowski's diary used to be intensely own and brutally sincere. He stored it, he acknowledged, "as a method of self-analysis." reports ranged from "it is to the discredit of all involved that the diary has now been devoted to print" to "fascinating reading." two decades have handed, and Raymond Firth means that the publication has moved over to a extra imperative position within the literature of anthropological mirrored image. In 1967, Clifford Geertz felt that the "gross, tiresome" diary published Malinowski as "a crabbed, self-preoccupied, hypochondriacal narcissist, whose fellow-feeling for the folk he lived with was once restricted within the extreme." yet in 1988, Geertz noted the diary as a "backstage masterpiece of anthropology, our The Double Helix." equally in 1987, James Clifford known as it "a the most important record for the background of anthropology."
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Extra info for A Diary in the Strict Sense of the Term
H(is] E(xcellency] gave me a letter to O'Malley and I called on him in his little house surrounded with palm trees, down below Govt. House. A fat, rather small man, clean-shaven, reminded me a little of Lebowski, only more en beau. He sent for Ahuia. • The Governor and Mrs. De Righi joined us and the three of us set out for the village. It was my first sight of it. We all went into Ahuia's little house. A couple of women wearing only short grass skirts. Mrs. Ahuia and Mrs. Goaba wore dresses of mohair cloth.
I had a feeling of joy, freedom, happiness. Yet only a few days of it and I was escaping from it to the company of Thackeray's London snobs, following them eagerly around the streets of the big city. I longed to be in Hyde Park, in Bloomsbury-! even enjoy the advertisements in the London newspapers. I am incapable of burying myself in my work, of accepting my voluntary captivity and making the most of it. Now for the events of these past weeks. 17 Port Moresby. 27. I was under the spell of Tunnell, whom I had been reading for hours on end.
Charming, friendly letters from the Mayos and [Le Sones] gave me real pleasure. Also an extremely nice letter from Mrs. Golding. Stas's letter deeply annoyed me. At the same time I reproached myself for not having behaved in a perfectly unimpeachable way and I felt deep resentment and hatred for his behavior toward me. My feeling for him was almost completely ruined by his letter. I see almost no possibility of reconciliation. I also know that however many faults I have committed, he acted very ruthlessly toward me; all the time having gestures and airs of persecuted greatness and moralizing in accents of deep, mature, objective wisdom.
A Diary in the Strict Sense of the Term by Bronislaw Malinowski