Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Did Not Invent Levis

I just read the obituary of Claude Levi-Strauss, the French anthropologist who died last Friday in Paris. He was 100. Why didn't I include him in the book? Why indeed.

Although he didn't invent Levis (that was a different Levi Strauss entirely) Claude L-S changed the way we thought about humanity by asking questions that sounded fundamental and were. "Who are we? How did we come to be be in this time and place?" Questions which conjure the same thoughts of simultaneity raised by A Book of Ages. If I ever get asked to publish a French edition I might have greater latitude to include the kind of public intellectual they have in France. Not pundits but thinkers. If Letterman were on TV in France, Claude Levi-Strauss would have been a regular guest.

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