A monograph of the Ithomiidae (Lepidoptera) Part IV: The by Richard M Fox

By Richard M Fox

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Additional info for A monograph of the Ithomiidae (Lepidoptera) Part IV: The tribe Napeogenini Fox, (American Entomological Institute. Memoir)

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His w o r d s are t r a n s p a r e n t . H e d o e s H e r m e s ' Dilemma 53 not share H e r m e s ' confidence. W h e n H e r m e s took the post o f mes­ s e n g e r o f t h e g o d s , h e p r o m i s e d Z e u s n o t to lie. H e d i d n o t p r o m i s e to tell the w h o l e t r u t h . Z e u s u n d e r s t o o d . T h e e t h n o g r a p h e r has not. I n this p a p e r I shall p r e s e n t a r e a d i n g o f t h r e e e t h n o g r a p h i c texts, o n l y o n e o f w h i c h was w r i t t e n by a n a n t h r o p o l o g i s t , to l o o k at s o m e o f t h e ways t h e e t h n o g r a p h e r tries to m a k e his m e s s a g e c o n v i n c ­ i n g .

H e s u g ­ gests t h a t parts o f the c e r e m o n y are g r o t e s q u e a n d a m u s i n g a n d o t h e r s , h a v i n g to d o w i t h the d e l u g e , are " h a r m l e s s a n d full o f inter­ est" ( 1 7 7 ) . H e has n o theoretical justification. N a t i v e e x e g e s i s is n o t satisfactory. T h e c e r e m o n y c a n n o t b e historically situated. H e a r g u e s t h a t e v e n i f h e h a d time to e l a b o r a t e a disquisition o n the c e r e m o n y , 2. " Hermes' Dilemma 59 h e w o u l d p r o b a b l y fail b e c a u s e s i m p l e p e o p l e like the M a n d a n " h a v e n o h i s t o r y to save facts a n d systems f r o m falling into the m o s t a b s u r d a n d d i s j o i n t e d fable a n d i g n o r a n t fiction" ( 1 7 7 ) .

Catlin a n d G o e t h e g i v e the c e r e ­ m o n i e s I hey d e s c r i b e an allegorical (moral) significance. G e e r t z claims 54 VINCENT CRAPANZANO a p h e n o m e n o l o g i c a l - h e r m e n e u t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e o n m e a n i n g that is, at least rhetorically, insufficient. His essay b e c o m e s e x e m p l a r y , a n d the c o c k f i g h t itself takes o n n o t o n l y m e t a p h o r i c a l b u t m e t h o d o l o g i c a l sig­ nificance. T h e O - K e e - P a , the carnival, a n d the c o c k f i g h t all b e c o m e figures o f d i s o r d e r — o f arbitrary v i o l e n c e , u n r u l i n e s s , a n d m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s — i n a t r a n s c e n d i n g story in w h i c h precisely this d i s o r d e r , this v i o l e n c e , u n r u l i n e s s , a n d m e a n i n g l e s s n e s s are o v e r c o m e .

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