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I Swear I Saw This By Michael Taussig

I Swear I Saw This by Michael Taussig

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Summary

Records visionary anthropologist Michael Taussig's reflections on the fieldwork notebooks he kept through forty years of travels in Colombia. This title exhibits Taussig's characteristic verve and intellectual audacity, that is combined with a revelatory sense of intimacy.

I Swear I Saw This Summary

I Swear I Saw This: Drawings in Fieldwork Notebooks, Namely My Own by Michael Taussig

"I Swear I Saw This" records visionary anthropologist Michael Taussig's reflections on the fieldwork notebooks he kept through forty years of travels in Colombia. Taking as a starting point a drawing he made in Medellin in 2006 - as well as its caption, "I Swear I Saw This" - Taussig considers the fieldwork notebook as a type of modernist literature and the place where writers and other creators first work out the imaginative logic of discovery. Notebooks mix the raw material of observation with reverie, juxtaposed, in Taussig's case, with drawings, watercolors, and newspaper cuttings, which blend the inner and outer worlds in a fashion reminiscent of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs' surreal cut-up technique. Focusing on the small details and observations that are lost when writers convert their notes into finished pieces, Taussig calls for new ways of seeing and using the notebook as form. Memory emerges as a central motif in "I Swear I Saw This" as he explores his penchant to inscribe new recollections in the margins or directly over the original entries days or weeks after an event. This palimpsest of after thoughts leads to ruminations on Freud's analysis of dreams, Proust's thoughts on the involuntary workings of memory, and Benjamin's theories of history-fieldwork, Taussig writes, provokes childhood memories with startling ease. "I Swear I Saw This" exhibits Taussig's characteristic verve and intellectual audacity, here combined with a revelatory sense of intimacy. He writes, "drawing is thus a depicting, a hauling, an unravelling, and being impelled toward something or somebody." Readers will exult in joining Taussig once again as he follows the threads of a tangled skein of inspired associations.

I Swear I Saw This Reviews

"In the course of reflecting on shamanism and the Native cultures of the Americas, and the relationship of symbolism, drugs, and color, and introducing such interesting concepts as 'preemptively apocalyptic knowledge' and the bodily unconsciousness, the author offers no less than an ethnology of color.... It is also beautifully poetic, thoroughly rational, and an excellent read." -Choice "Michael Taussig has done it again. As with his previous books, Taussig has produced a unique account that takes readers on a journey-this time into the 'color of history'-that is electrifying, surprising, at times disconcerting and unsettling, but ultimately inspiring." -American Anthropologist"

About Michael Taussig

Michael Taussig is the Class of 1933 Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. He is the author of ten books, including What Color Is the Sacred?, Walter Benjamin's Grave, and My Cocaine Museum, all published by the University of Chicago Press.

Additional information

NGR9780226789835
9780226789835
0226789837
I Swear I Saw This: Drawings in Fieldwork Notebooks, Namely My Own by Michael Taussig
New
Paperback
The University of Chicago Press
2011-11-11
192
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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