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By Henrika Kuklick

A brand new background of Anthropology collects unique writings from pre-eminent students to create a cosmopolitan yet available consultant to the advance of the sphere.

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432). : 432). qxd 18/06/2007 10:07 Page 23 Anthropology Before Anthropology 23 opinion of these peoples; for example, as late as the early nineteenth century, painters alluded to noble classical types in their portraits of North American Indians and Polynesians (Truettner 1979; Smith 1985). The Greeks and Romans (along with the Bible) provided Europe’s in-house stock of anthropological knowledge. They served as norms of admirable humanity for moderns, but at the same time their literature and histories recorded practices as strange as any to be discovered around the world.

Jean de Léry speaks to us as a passionate, intelligent man, one who is stung by the criticisms of his mission, alive to the wonders of this world and, of course, ever thinking about the next. He does not fit the comfortable image of an urbane humanist who anticipates ourselves. Rather, his curiosity, his openness to the Tupinamba, and his weariness with his fellow countrymen make him an “anthropologist” open to the New. : xv, xxii, xxvii). When Léry’s voyage across the Atlantic begins, he is miserable as he eats worm-infested biscuits and drinks fetid water, but he discovers flying fish, which he had previously thought fictions of travelers’ tall tales, and also savors the albacore and learns to distinguish two kinds of porpoise, including one that blows and snorts like a pig (Léry 1990: 15 –21).

Men of letters were not slow to respond with works of fiction that built on the experiences of Dampier and other adventurers. Daniel Defoe, a canny popularizer for the London literary market, based his bestselling adventure novel on the story of a marooned and rescued sailor from Dampier’s account. Entitled The Life and Strange Surprizing adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, mariner . . Written by himself, Defoe’s 1719 book was effectively presented as non-fiction; indeed, Defoe’s name was not on the title page.

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