traveller's tale | Ethnography | Anthropology

Travelers' Tales: Observations on the Travel Book and Ethnography Author(s): Valerie Wheeler Reviewed work(s): Source: Anthropological

Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 2, Ethnographic Realities/Authorial Ambiguities (Apr., 1986), pp. 52-63 Published by: The George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research Stable URL: . Accessed: 13/03/2013 07:12
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. appalling.. not as a caricature of the profession as Marcus thinks(1982: 164).greasy .until the whole desert colony beams with pleasure at his arrival(Cable and French 1944: 35). "I hate travelling and explorers" (Levi-Strauss 1974: 17) with a definite object. desolate. .. but they may deny being travelers.moth-eaten. flexible. together anthropologists make a community of Wandervogel (Nash 1963: 163-4). but as an image worth taking seriously? The light cast on the travel book by Paul Fussell's analysis of literary travel (1980) illuminates the relationship between ethnographer and classical realist ethnography as well. intelligent achievers interested in people and the exotic.. varied experience... He is Literate. and tolerant of ambiguity" (Nash 1963: 161). often unconventional and in conflict with their upper-status families. He hated the lack of graceful civilization and the places that were "dingy. I consider British travel books of the between-the-wars period. separation of experience and outcome is a central puzzle which may be clarified by an examination of how anthropologists' accounts are and are not traveler's tales.second time explorers. classic realist ethnographies are sharply distinguished from travel writing by their respective moral assessments of other cultures and interest in adventure. Fieldwork provides achievement.. and freedom-one can some and go both at home and abroad. travel writers produce something ripe"(Cable and French 1944: 35).each time he returns he is riperand riper.... and anthropological materials from both British and American sources within and outside the period to comment on and explicate some parallel comparisons of ethnographers and their ethnographies to travel writing.. In the following comparison of travelers and their tales.. Nash characterized anthropologists as independent. Agar 1980). even opposite in form.. anthropological accustomed to apply a traditionalsaying. identification with a specific exotic society. whose upper-class insulation was being undercut by the "national socialism" that the centralizing 52 This content downloaded on Wed. 2 Furthermore.and joyless" (Fussell 1980: 17). and produce accounts strikingly different. sickly.. tell of what they find.dead. Enter the Stranger...dreadful.. So why not entertain philosopher Alfred Louch's notion of anthropology as a "a collection of traveller's tales" (1966: 159-60).to all but not anthropologists. exploring but not who come his way: "Firsttime raw...TRAVELERS' TALES: OBSERVATIONS ON THE TRAVEL BOOK AND ETHNOGRAPHY' VALERIE WHEELER California State University. with special attention to the work of Peter Fleming. musty. "They are normally detached.for the only outsiders he sees are men who come and go The anthropologist as stranger at home and abroad has been well-documented in the last twenty years (e. Sacramento While the travel account is a species of ethnography. in Nash 1963: 160). Anthropologists seek exotic settings. at regular intervals. status at home. Though the traveler had an honored place in nineteenth-century anthropology as one who provided data for the armchair anthropologist to analyze (Stocking 1983: 71).sordid.and damp. and are fond of travel books. In contemporary discussions of the creation of the anthropologist and ethnography. and Levi-Strauss' TristesTropiqueshas been called "one of the greatest travel books of the postwar period" (Cockburn 1984: 66). Freilich 1977. It is most natural that the oasis-dweller should question the presence of a stranger. from travel books.." where life was "dull.. but not literary. The British between-the-wars travel book writer was not at home in a society remodeled by the Great War. travel books today are considered a minor form of ethnographic writing (Marcus and Cushman 1982: 27).spurious.. Powdermaker 1966.squalid.. Being an anthropologist is an identity. 1952b) study of anthropologists of the Golden Age... like ethnography but not ethnography. Using Ann Roe's (1952a. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and in "a vocation where the anthropologists' sense of social superiority permits a somewhat Jovian survey of their own society as well as others and maintains them in a state of superiority just because they are able to make the survey" (Roe 1952a: 50..g. Nash 1963.. Strong individualists. are uncomfortable making their personal experiences public.

far from the turmoil of Europe. balance. culture and personality studies refocused on the individual as the significant unit of study. a venture to pay off debts. and opened his (1 933) with the flip line. Fleming made a point of taking very little seriously: he dismissed the literary outcome of his trips as insignificant. avoided the problem with luck and careful attention to his photographs and diaries.. some political literature from Monrovia. not simply culture. it was to get material for a speedy commercial success. The traveler. Robert Byron went along The Road to Oxiana in search of fifteenth-century Islamic civilizations..A diarywritten in pencil with increasing fatigue and running to less than eighty quarto pages of a loose-leaf notebook.and.. Greene solved his problem by interlacing the outward journey with an inward. Graham Greene writes: It had seemed simple. And at least some have been outrageous anthropologists persons. equilibrium.the dull "internationalism. Peter Quennell. When Waugh went to the Mediterranean in 1929 and to Brazil in 1932.. As for the anthropologists.. and I could earn no more until the book was written (1980: 49-50).and memories. When the Going Was Good (1946). of frustration.. even reanimating the lost through fiction (Parsons 1922." of post-war social and political arrangements (Fussell 1980: 78). was a subject of concern in writings such as Kroeber's. a stranger who for the most part remained "raw" since he rarely visited any place twice.. on his way from China to India in stages that he imagined Marco Polo would have followed just south of the Silk Road. Most British literary travelers were Oxford men. and solidarity (Voget 1975: 531) in societies without history. memories chiefly of rats.. a few illiterate notes from.TRAVELERS'TALES 53 forces of the war effort produced (McNeil 1982: 337). the structural-functionalists found harmony. Christopher that of the British traveler as outrageous person. W.and of a deeper boredom on the long forest trek than I had ever experienced before-how was I. Evelyn Waugh packed Spengler's Decline of the West telling a tale of what it was like there.a number of photographs taken with an old vestpocket Kodak. to write a travel book. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . repeatedly deprecated his phenomenal trip across Asia as selfish and justifiable only by the political news he and Ella Maillart brought from volatile Central Asia in 1935. Auden.the District Commissioner.a selection of Liberiannewspapers.H. reading Thucydides and Boswell's Life of Johnson as he went. preindustrial. Eggan (1974:17) writes without elaborating that "Inthe 1930s anthropology was a way of life that enabled its practitioners to escape the worst features of American culture. Evelyn Waugh. before I set out. Peter Fleming. too.. out of all this. wrote of his travels to sell books.." Whether or not anthropologists of the period were in search.. integration. the Commanderof the Liberian Frontier Force. Cyril Connolly. Even civilization. these travelers showed British traits of "lawless eccentricity" and "flagrant individualism" as well as decency.. Langness & Frank 1978). "It BrazilianAdventure began with an advertisement in the Agony Column of The Times.. Alan Pryce-Jones. they went looking for reaffirmation of their civilized status through contrast with the primitive. Of his 1954 trip through Liberia. Peter Fleming. to make a book? But I had already spent on the journey the three hundred and fifty pounds which my publishers had advanced to me. conducting his libertariangesture against the predictable uniformity. including Graham Greene. though they may have risked life and limb on the journey. historical particularism recreated ethnographic presents from the remnants of disrupted cultures. read Macaulay's History of England.. The literary travelers did not regard their travel books as literature. good humor. and extinct civilizations. he reduced hundreds of pages to one slim volume.. of Golden Ages. and pluck: The character they jointlyassume. Peter Fleming. apparently autobiographical one in Journey without Maps. for his 1929 cruise in the Mediterranean. whose forte was non-fiction. Aldous Huxley. Fussell (1980: 78) remarks that in varying configurations. and Robert Byron. When Waugh excerpted what he thought to be the best parts of his travel books. but when I returned and was faced with my material I had a moment of despair and wished to abandon the project. the piece of paper on which I kept the accounts of my carriers' advances." Robert Byron was an This content downloaded on Wed.

for the last drive had lost fortyper cent.. the first oasis: A cock crowed. would come from close at hand.The cicadas and the frogs laid measured strips of sounds with no end and no beginning. otherwise there was no sign of life except the black crows who rose at our approach from the carcasses strewn along the track. The sun was warm.others were mere heaps of bone picked white by the ants. events and the journey's progress. and the following description characterizes the tone of much of Ninety-TwoDays: The country was dead flat and featureless except for ant-hills and occasional clumps of palm. and politics."3 portraying place. Evelyn Waugh. Commercial success. Here Robert Byron writes about Northern Persia: Gumbad-i-Kabus(200 ft. The familiarsound. Inother greens. I think it was the sounds that were. from the most valued (one's fellow area specialists) to the least valued (the general public). confidential cry. or malachite. but it doubtless has to do with presumptions about these audiences and perhaps with anxieties about their own field's armchair origins and the continuing professionalization of their endeavor. some element of blue or yellow predominates over the others. The nonspecific antipathy toward any similarity drawn between the traveler and the ethnographer (Marcus 1982. immediate and obtrusive: a throaty. we began to think gloatingly of eggs. an enthralling narrative presented as a diary in which events become the occasion for tiny learned essays on history.jade. He devoted three years to creating the perfect travel book(Fussell 1980: 9496). On the one hand. This was pure essence of green. Peter Fleming's Brazilian jungle is less bleak: Night in these jungles has a curious rhythmto it. art. There was a permanent regulated background of noise. on the other.. the most vividpart This content downloaded on Wed. other social scientists.. Behind us rose the misty Alpine blue of the wooded Elburz. Suddenly.. reluctant and unhappy. a careful movement. thousands of lizards scattered and darted under the horses' feet. as a ship leaves an estuary. the occasion for writing an ethnography is a contribution to knowledge for a discipline and the enhancement of a professional reputation. Marcus and Cushman (1982: 51-2) discuss contemporary readerships for ethnography. made a journey into Brazil in 1932. is met with ambivalence. the glowing verdure stretched out to the rim of the earth (1937: 227-28).and resettled to theirfeast behind us. and even a novelist. The subject of the travel book is the essence of"being there. students and government-military personnel are sandwiched between. and these we cantered past holding our breath. no barley on the barren high desert of Sinkiang. Here and in the forest we passed a carcass every half-mile.. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . architecture. we turned to the right down a track between wattle fences.the larks were singing up above.. a soft. even at a time when the nature of scientific knowledge in anthropology is at issue. In front. the harsh deep green of the Bengal jungle.. Then they entered Cherchen.. Marcus and Cushman 1982) maintains that dissociation.). Marcus and Cushman do not consider why the general public is so negatively valued that the motives and veracity of those anthropologists who write for it are suspect. As anthropologists came to acquire their own data through intensive fieldwork. unheard for nearly three months. of some big birds. the mound of half-digested feed always prominent among the ribs (1946: 213). Unpublished fieldwork material acquires a mythic El Dorado quality of inaccessible information. April 24th 1933.Afterfollowing the BandarShah road a little way back. we came out on to the steppe: a dazzling open sea of green. Many were recently dead. for me. they sought dissociation from the unscientific traveler who was an amateur. Fleming and Maillart found no sweet water. they are uneasy when anthropological knowledge becomes "popular" and thereby lowered in scientific status. a dilettante. High reeds obscured the view. other anthropologists.54 ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY exception. the colour of life itself.. people. (Fleming 1933: 245). no pasturage. In contrast.the ground was hardearth and sand tufted with dun-colored grass. the movement in the branches. Crossing one of the most difficult stretches of their Asian journey. asserted definitively our return to a world where men had homes. however. the sad cool green of Ireland. Such writing is intensely sensory. irretrievable if the notes are lost or the anthropologist dies. indissoluble.the salad green of Mediterranean vineyards. anthropologists chafe under persistent stereotypes of the profession.. the heavy full-blown browngreen of English summer beeches. I never saw that colour before. of emerald. Every now and then the cry.

through the misty spray. Then a cuckoo called.filled the air with intimacy. some bare and awash. Cynara. has lived among these people (1922: 51).the poisonous verdigris of Sariba lies in the sea... but in the ethnographic present of "an imaginary first visit" (1922: 55): We now enter an opaque. the gurgling water. The kraal is their playgroundand they are generally smeared with dung in which they rolland tumble. high in the sand (1922: 49). a wall of ivy loud with sparrows.As soon as a baby can drinkanimal'smilkits mothercarries it to the sheep and goats and gives it warm milkto drink straight from the udders (1940: 38).tangled matting of the low jungle breaks here and there over a beach. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . or equipment.or on foot. greenish sea. who immediatelysurround the visitor in large groups-all these form a colour scheme of bronze and grey. she had never seen a tree before and was gravely disconcerted by these monstrous growths (Fleming 1936: 234). the travelbook is also dynamic. the hills shimmering with deep purples and intense cobalt of copper ore. Geertz finds the power of Evans-Pritchard's assured declarations of custom his being-there "signature"(1983:75).. like myself. camel... the visual emphasis is shown in this example from The Nuer: and color. The wind in the leaves.and I had a vision of lawns picketed with great trees. worn smooth by contact with naked feet and bodies. keeps movingby boat. We wound deeper into the oasis in a kind of trance.. The photographs do not convey"crudity" but are what Geertz calls"emblematical:" ". but the stark nakedness of Nuer amid their cattle and the intimacy of their contact with them present a classic picture of savagery. boatmen.4 In Fleming's Brazilian Adventure.leaves. -Last night: sea and sky of a calm. following the intricate passage between the shallows. the Western Pacific he gives a traveler's account of his arrival in the Trobriand Islands. like an interior. The gaunt camels strode ahead. Malinowski wrote to James Frazer that he had "come to realize the paramount importance of vividness and colour in descriptions of life" (Stocking 1983: 106).the thick.The travelerarrives. ochers. and we can see into a palm grove.they make points of their own" (1983: 75-6). and pinks (1967: 115-6). and they pull them about and sprawl in the midst of them. as if faint pencil marks had been drawn upon it (1922: 49). and especially the wind in the leaves... horse. were comprehended in its cry.. changed the whole texture of our environment.evoked forgotten but powerfulassociations. No high barriers of culture divide men from beasts in their common home. most uninhibited in the diary- As soon as children can crawl they are brought into close intimacywiththe flocks and herds. His descriptions are painterly.the essence of the spring that we had missed. I ask the reader to look at some of the illustrations. truck. unforgettable to anyone who.. The traveler continually notes the date and how many weeks or months have passed since he left Peking or will arrive in Belem. the brown skins of the natives.supported by pillars (1922: 51). the color of blazing of phosphorescent magenta with here and there pools of cold blue reflecting pink clouds and the electric green or Saxe-blue sky. the trodden ground of the village-street.TRAVELERS'TALES 55 of a strange and unforgettable experience. the essence of the summer that we had suddenly overtaken. While in travel books the people of a place merely step forward now and again. intense blue. It varies with the traveler Fleming was nicknamed The Galloper and Peter The Impatient by an annoyed Ella Maillart who wanted to linger to ask questions and soak up atmosphere. others with a few pandanus trees squatting on their air roots. emphasizing lineFurtherahead. As we sail in the lagoon. stepped delicately. the little echelon of donkeys followed patiently. which Fussell (1980: 13-14) thinks the most This content downloaded on Wed. The round.. and as we approach the main island. lazily. twitching her ears and blowing down her nostrils.. a dog barking. While I find Evans-Pritchard's vignettes less vivid than Geertz does. but in the ethnography (1922) as well- Evans-Pritchard himself relied on his excellent black-and-white photographs to convey the atmosphere. and how many days he was held up by officials. . and above them two or three banks of clOuds blazing with intense oranges. young rabbits scampering into gorse. In Argonautsof Whilevividness is primary.which will convey to him better than I can in words the crudity of kraal life (1940: 40).men calling to each other in the fields-these noises. There is often pressure to be getting on. with Kini up. The calves and sheep and goats are their companions in play. how long it has taken to traverse a desert or ocean. whose monotony is broken only by a few sandbanks. grey logs. the line of horizon thickens here and there. the ethnography sets people against the ground of place.

The reader. working out the ethnography over many years but distancing himself as well. has a schedule to keep. Endings tend to offer a returning-home scene or a comment on the sharp contrast between the adventure just past and the familiarity waiting. Narrative revealing the speaker in time and event is avoided. and religion is hostile to narrative. 5 The inclusion of sensory and temporal writing varies. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and broken equipment. a separate chapter. Timeless ethnography obscures the pressure of time. It has a beginning and usually an end but is mostly middle.. truculent boatmen. Another distinction of time separates traveler and ethnographer. sometimes for years. Back in England in late October. Both narrative and descriptive writing may be reserved for another account if thought out of place or too literary for scientific writing. Travelers usually begin to write immediately upon returning home. and the reader may be disconcerted to discover that the ethnographer was in and out of the field. so travelers must be on their way or stay and write an ethnography. time is exquisitely urgent in the last hundred pages as Fleming races a thousand miles down the Araguaia River to Belem. the less scientific they In the travel book the writer presents the This content downloaded on Wed. One may be mistrust of first impressions as scientific knowledge. The immediacy drains away. leaving hard dry skeletons of experience. to catch his boat to England and be the first to present an account of the expedition's debacle. ambivalence. the account is in the present tense. leaving. Although the anthropologist comes and goes in his own and others' societies. There are many reasons for the lengthening time between fieldwork and publication. they are cherished in personal memory and private story. and brief months in which to figure out the other ways of life. with the ethnographer's inclination and ability. an introduction. of course. By contrast. stripping the observer of the cloak of invisibility. The classical realist ethnography that works through the expected topics of kinship. the classical realist ethnography is timeless. a disembodied voice of authority-while attempts to include a methodological account of field experience tend to violate the preference for abstraction. ahead of the expedition leader who abandoned him upstream. The way a traveler reworks his material is for background in a future novel.000 words of Brazilian Adventure in two months. too. But even though the dispassionate ethnographer avoids committing impressions to the ethnography. revision and extended publication may wait. A travel book is a narrative that someone tells someone else about what happened (Smith 1980: 232).. The analyst returns to his material periodically. But they rarely describe this sort of experience even in personal accounts. To keep anthropology objective has been to sequester personal experience in a diary. The anthropologist. 6 Exposition that abstracts and explains why other people do what they do also disguises the speaker-the anthropologist is camouflaged in the bushes or behind a screen. Time suddenly reveals the experience behind the ethnographic account as a reader glimpses what it was like there. while the heat cools and events fade. or perhaps never going back after the initial sojourn. letters. emphasis original).56 ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY popular between-the-wars travel book. Staying in one place is. The daring may tell those stories in fiction or poetry. This ripping yarn came straight from the heat of experience. economy. too. Meyerhoff and Ruby observe that "the more scientific anthropologists try to be appearto be"(1982: 26. staying a few weeks or months. a separate account. although the ethnographer may produce a dissertation or article soon after returning from the field. or reluctance. Change is absent. Anthropologists also are held up by officials. the book was published the following August (Hart-Davis 1974: 105). of course. things to get done. although a brief history may preface the work The annual cycle keeps turning. and of what it was like to be there. not traveling. a resolution the traveler may greet with pleasure. less so in ethnographies. political organization. by revealing their disassembles and abstracts experience and generalizes events. Fleming wrote 120. takes a trip in imaginary time and becomes acquainted with the traveler on the way: thorny Robert Byron softens in his judgments of Persia and Afghanistan after several months along the journey.

and daring-in an adventure story about what it was like to live in South Philadelphia. in its commitment to objectivity. as shown by Byron's Venetian opening in TheRoad to Oxiana and Fleming's dutiful but self-conscious descriptions of Caraja Indians in Brazil: We went to the Lidothis morning. is that the traveler makes moral judgments and the anthropologist makes moral assessments: The first requires nothing beyond one's arsenal of moralconvictions and a case to which to apply them. cigar-ends floating into one's mouth. Feeling like a spy because he did not reveal his true purpose.. Where Rabinow speaks of "mysteriously narratorless chronicles common in anthropology" (1977: 179). travels to an exotic place in search of the stimulating. As travelers make no claim to be scientific. It was always fun calling on the Carajas. based upon the most detailed factual picture possible (Louch 1966: 161). he could not do anthropology. i. he "wanted a life of adventure. Rose presents instead what he experienced-confusion.. as elucidated by Alfred Louch. categorical data collection.TRAVELERS'TALES 57 effect of the experience upon himself. character. inflection.. and bizarre and shares the adventure intimately. The difference. allusions." Levi-Strass declared that "Adventure has no place in the anthropologist's profession. British literary travelers indeed had strong convictions. camera-like observer.and the Doge's Palace looked more beautiful froma speed-boat than it ever did froma gondola. Marcus and Cushman make the more complex observation: One of the primary differences between the travel account and the realist ethnography is the markedabsence in the latterof the narratoras a first-person presence in the text and the dominance instead of the scientific (invisible or omniscient) narratorwho is manifest only as a dispassionate. Both the travel book and the ethnography use a moral discourse. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews (1921: 87) said of his time in the Gobi. explanations.. dramatic. 240). too" (1973: 18). likes and dislikes. which detract from his effective work" (1974: 17). no hand comes out from behind the camera.(1982:31-2). and act like an anthropologist" (p. The bathing. The women and pot-bellied children would come crowding roundas the nose of the leading canoe grated on the sand. The requirements of nineteenth-century scientific writing are clear. The second requires a much more detailed description of what might be called the moral ecology within which the practice is observed. to assume an identity by trading "poetic unconscious experiences for an anthropological public life"(p. the account is egocentric.replaces the more fallible first-person. it is merely one of those unavoidable drawbacks. The second is a case of moral explanation. incompetence. the intensely personal experience of doing fieldwork has been excised. The first reflects the interference of values with accurate description which social scientists rightly deplore. What is less clear is the anthropologist's willingness to speak publicly of self at all. that "adventures are a mark of incompetence. there is no more maddening sound in the worldthan the conversation of a Carajawoman. ethnographic rhetoric is. The descriptions.e. scientists are ambivalent and inconsistent about adventure. Rose suspects there may be no self there. and cadence between the speech of the sexes. 244) that because at the behest of his mentor Erving Goffman he did not use his anthropological identity while doing fieldwork in South Philadelphia in 1969. and events are those of a particular person. the collective or authoritative third person. and thus failed to produce a professional text. the principal variationbeing the omission-or slurring-by the men of the K sound. A person with personality.. She speaks hurriedlyin a plaintive petulant This content downloaded on Wed. we see through his or her eyes and know we are doing so. The women are said to speak a different language from the men. quoting Vilhjalmur Stefansson. and shoals of jelly-fish (Byron 1937:3).. that to be an anthropologist may require giving up self in order to understand others (1982: 240). Yet Evans-Pritchard became a fieldworkerbecause he did not want to be "just an intellectual".. 271). anti-egocentric. Certainlythere is a great and striking difference in tone.. feel.on a calm day. he goes on to say that he gave up writing poetry because he "wanted to think. Fleming repeatedly announced that his and Maillart's expedition across Asia was not a scientific one. Difficult as those who are accustomed to polite female society in civilized countries mayfind itto believe. must be the worst in Europe:water like hot saliva. Although based upon one person's experience and analysis. no self intrudes into the frame. In the classic ethnography. lack of control. He insists (p.

quoted by Fussell (1980: 175). embrace the task of dissolving anomaly into the moral ecology of the society studied. Fussell reveals that Byron had carefully constructed the work that way and that the dialogues were fictional.. one must be willing to accept infanticide. Fussell speaks of the "unique British ability to spot anomalies and make a travel book by accumulating a great number of them" because of "a supreme confidence that one knows what is 'normal' and can gauge an anomaly by its distance from the socially expected. to tell tall stories and weird tales. he said. Edmund Leach comments: the central issue of anthropology ForMalinowski was the problem which faces every fieldworker: How should one interpret the bizarre quality which pervades so much of the behaviourwhich is encountered in the exotic settings which anthropologists usually choose as the arena for their research? The essence of his answer was that as soon as the social context is fully understood. mistaking critical assessment for judgment they must disavow." an "unquestioned understanding of the norm and an unapologetic loyalty to it" (1980: 170). the more anomaly dissolves. that they were a social cancer that should be excised-was attacked by anthropologists for his ethics. in theory the longer the ethnographer's field being throughout strictly truthful" -the travel book is an autobiographical narrative that uses fictional devices. and Turnbull's work. But the anthropology of anthropology (Stocking 1983) now recognizes the diary's value. even cannibalism as ordinary. too. the various aspects of human social behaviour. comes out of the writer's encounter with the far away and unfamiliar. from most books about the interior of Brazil. Students who accept vulgar cultural relativism are often uncomfortable evaluating anthropological work. The exceptionally honest Peter Fleming aside-"this book differs. Colin Turnbull. otherwise the account fails. Norman Douglas' comment. another generation of British anthropologists. homicide. and "claims literal validity by constant reference to actuality" (Fussell 1980: 203). that "one suppresses much in writing a travel book. gets into trouble too. Without anomaly there is no travel book. and by contrast reaffirm those values. made theoretical capital from showing that the seeming anomaly is ordinary. for misperception of context. Marcus wonders how the traditional ethnography This content downloaded on Wed. Nevertheless. Malinowski's diary (1967) provoked a fuss because of his judgments regarding A travel book may contain bits of fiction.. The anthropologist who does not dissolve anomalies. who produces moral judgment instead of moral assessment. The traveler expresses judgments about phenomena that violate the values of traveler and audience and thus entertain. the bizarre quality disappears. For others. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .58 ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY sing-song. and until you get used to it you think that she is going to break at any moment into ratherangry tears. ethnocentrism is the social scientist's bogeyman. The voices of the men are by contrast dignified and deliberate (Fleming 1933: 154-5). Arens (1979) argues that anthropologists' belief in customary cannibalism is not a matter of fact but a matter of initiation: to exorcise the demon of judgment. no story to tell. In Labels. for his extended moral judgment of the Ik (1972)so anomalous. Although TheRoad to Oxiana takes form of a diary. stimulate. Waugh transforms his own estranged wife into someone else's. why not add a little?" chills the ethnographer. and the more wondrous the anomalies the better the tendency of earlier the account-thus travel books to find cannibals and dogheaded men.. Louch's moraljudgment and explanation have evolved from a simple subjective-objective dichotomy into a hyper-analytical species of hermeneutics and semiotics. Authority and fiction Perhaps the very movement of the traveler prevents awareness of any context but the journey together and "make sense" (1982: 28).. may be eventually redeemed by the very openness with which he wrote. Anxious about judgment. the ethnographer is concerned that the reader accept his interpretation as competent. the Trobrianders. Ethnographers. however. including Leach and Douglas. In context. But the traveler needs to preserve the anomalous. and for consequent misinterpretation of what the Ik were up to.

spent ten months with the Tapirape but did not publish his complete account until 1977. Brazil. Both traveler and anthropologist are strangers who deliver the exotic to an audience unlikely to follow them to the places they have visited. Evans-Pritchard's final sentence in The Nuer acknowledges the simile: We feel like an explorer in the desert whose supplies have run short.The narrativeis therefore intentionallyanecdotal. hoping to stimulate him to publish. i have tried to put down here many of those things which never get told in technical anthropological writings-our impressions of Central Brazil. Any hint of fiction threatens confidence in authority. Ambivalenceand audience Consider a last example.our personal reactions to the various situations in which we found ourselves. and to attempt to organize my own understanding of the Tapirapeculture into an integrated pattern (1977: xi). 4-5). point out the source of the ethnographer's anxiety about being associated with travelers: claims to be scientific in the positivist sense must be shielded from contamination by ripping yarns and tall tales. yet typical ethnographic fictions are encompassed in typifications. I offer my apologies. occupied by the Caraja and Tapirape Indians. He sees vast stretches of country before him and perceives how he would try to traverse. by which time his field notes were "cold" (1977: x). He observes that even an ethnographer sensitive to the effects of personality and experience upon fieldwork and analysis may treat this reflexivity as "a thing in itself' outside the ethnography. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Authority assured by method remains infallible. but for person and profession. I think. composite individuals and events. He attempted to enter Shavante country but had to turn back In 1939-40 Charles Wagley. written to fulfillmy obligation to my departed colleague and friend. I can only add by way of explanation that every incident in it is true (1965: 8). not revealed as a human being whose work is inevitably autobiographical. The latter narrative is much like a travel account. These devices of ambiguity. Wagley responded: So my book is a labor of love. David Maybury-Lewis. was a student of Baldus and worked with the Sherente for eight months in 1955-56 and the Shavante for slightly longer in 1958. and in 1965 a personal account of the fieldwork experience that still stands as one of the most revelatory in the so-called confessional literature of modern anthropology. looks more and more like the traveler. also twenty-five. In 1932 a twenty-five-year-old Fleming traveled 3000 miles in three months. and Maybury-Lewis (writing with a style like Fleming's) distinguishes it sharply from ethnography: This book is an account of our experiences. however. There is also the temptation I note in Rabinow and others to abstract self-awareness to the point where the anthropological self continues to be insulated by epistemology and structuralism. He published an ethnography of the Shavante in 1974. and above all our feelings about the day-to-day business which is mysteriously known as "doing fieldwork". He also noted that "the rather unorganized English expedition described vividly by Peter Fleming" in Brazilian Adventure "curiously" provided the most concrete information about the people and "although rather satirical and certainly not scientific in any way.Indeed. The ethnographer revealed. the book did give me an idea of what I faced in my journey to the Tapirape" (1977: 36. but likely perhaps to follow their explorations of them. it is not an essay in anthropology. even though his work is outside the between-the-wars period. much of his journey through that part of the Mato Grosso Contrasting the tales of the avowed traveler and those of the anthropologist recalls Levi-Strauss' distinction between melodics and harmonics as dimensions of This content downloaded on Wed. In neither case is the account written for the people or places experienced. an adventurer who braves intellectual hardship and danger to experience other ways of living. To those readers who find that this book is not as thrilling as a book about the wilds of Brazil should be. pseudonyms. but he must return and console himself with the hope that perhaps the little knowledge he has gained will enable another to make a more successful journey (1940: 266). Herbert Baldus had dedicated his own Tapirape opus to Wagley.TRAVELERS'TALES 59 can incorporate self-awareness and still retain "the rhetorical usage of language and format by which ethnographers have constructed their accounts as certain and objective knowledge about others" (1982: 166).

in a distinctive voice of moral assessment. and autobiography. and a new study is in order. referring to the "normative narrative structure" of ethnography. and. to be divided" (1982: 30). by my need to relate my own life to life in general. Yet Dan Rose (1982) writing of his attraction to anthropology fifteen years ago reveals a biography and point of view consistent with those of the earlier generation. Lippincott. April 1984. thus increasing the known world of all.J. Wagley gives a closer portrait of the people. too. heretical level. I wish to thank Peter Esainko and Robert Miles for their editorial support. feel. on theoretical grounds. George Rich. thoughts. 4 Maillartcomments on the difference between them: "Peter was bored by my craving to understand the thousands of diverse lives that make up humanity and bored. So what is an ethnography? By identifying and tabulating categories and their linkages. show ourselves as the crucial points of reference within each frame. The result will be not merely a synthesis of travel book. risks being merely an intellectual exercise. place. one tells the myth seriatim by following the arrangement of items (events). Fleming gives the reader a great canvas with character. feeling. But it frames reference. and Mel Weiss for sharing their thoughts on travelers and anthropologists. on a higher. or tell a story. As to his deeper self. 5 A colleague who has written novels says he does so to become deeply involved with character. we may forgo the delicious power of conventional scientific authority. qualities that conventional ethnographic forms do not permit him to express. however. Maybury-Lewis reveals the Anthropological Innocent staring out of a Rousseau jungle. which is "to traverse.W. One can whistle a melody. motion-a panorama of Central Brazil. In the musical metaphor. ethnography. It is by hearing all the stories we may comprehend Brazil. tell how we figure it out. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . I am considering "being there" from the reader's side: can the reader imagine the scene and "be there" from what the writer has said? My ground is the view of paleoneurologist HarryJerison (1976) who argues that the function of language is not to direct action (lions and tigers can do that) but to share experience. in sequential fashion. In another metaphor. and one understands the myth by demonstrating relations between classes of items (LeviStrauss 1963: 214). NOTES 1 An earlier version of this paper was read at the American Ethnological Society Meeting. It does not share experience or tell a story or frame a picture. Fleming's travel account is pure melody. suffering considerably with his family and managing only by the skin of their teeth. Except at rare intervals. made up of events in Tapirape lives with the anthropologist in their midst. and Dorothy Bell. 6 Interest in the form and function of narrative has spawned a new specialty of "narratology" in modern thought. the units (cultural complexes or social institutions) into which cultures or societies were conceived. Asilomar. After isolating the mythemes. People perceive through language and share their consciousness with others in language through stories. flavor. too. As anthropological disciplines continue to evolve and categorical contrast to the traveler or missionary "other" becomes less vital to our professional identity.60 ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY myth analysis. How could anybody be so crazy as to want to find out whether men's efforts brought about an improvement in human nature? Peter was troubled by none of these things. has both melody and simple harmony(a tone poem?). The outcome is a mythic symphony of multiple melodies woven into great harmonic chords. California. but may want the complex integration of harmony. 2 The population of American anthropologists has certainly changed since Roe did her study. individual natives and their problems. his timidity [shyness] usually made him hide it beneath a facetious dignity. Marcus and Cushman seem to stretch the concept of narrative to include any discourse that moves from one topic to another. John Connor. and flavor. Since Marcus and Cushman are talking about This content downloaded on Wed. an anthropologist formulates an argument to explain their point. There surely is persistence in preadaptation for the calling." organized thematically but heavily narrative. In his imperturbable wisdom he looked on human beings as characters in a comedy. actions. but the stories of intellectual Travelers engaged in dialectic encounter with realities outside their own. Robert Armstrong. Maybury-Lewis writes a ballad and a string quintet. Geertz refers to the anthropologist's having been there: his descriptions are testimony that he knows what he is talking about. Harmony without a melodic line. 3 I have borrowed the term "being there" from Geertz but use it with a different emphasis. Wagley's "labor of love. ethnographies are stories. he seemed persuaded that his concerns were of no interest to anybody (1937: 148).

in particular assumptions about history and the future. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ANDREWS. PAUL 1980 . 1980 . New York: Macmillan. REFERENCES CITED AGAR.DUFF 1974 .L. New York: Chas. 7 Arens (1979) wrote that he found no reliable firsthand account of customary cannibalism in the ethnographic literature. This content downloaded on Wed. n.. Scribner's Sons. FRED 1974 . Oxford: Oxford University Press.d.EDWARDE. Scientific American 234 (1): 90-101. . the accounts conformed consistently to wishful thinking on the part of outsiders and scapegoating by insiders The heated response from fellow anthropologists went far beyond what his study warranted because he challenged the traditional exercise in suspension of judgment-if the practice does not bias one's evaluation of a society.M. FUSSELL. for an entire symposium on the subject).Marginal Natives at Work: Anthropologists in the Field. New York: Simon and Schuster. and the ethnographic novel. - COCKBURN. ROBERT 1937 .Peter Fleming. Bruner. He finds the concept of narrative more fruitfulthan model or paradigm because its order is sequence.TRAVELERS'TALES 61 anthropological rhetoric. GREENE. I think insightfully.Abroad: British Literary Traveling between the Wars. PETER 1940 . ROY CHAPMAN 1921 . such expansion of narrative muddles where it should clarify.The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology and Anthropophagy. New York: Academic Press. Annual Review of Anthropology 3: 1-19.Ethnography as narrative. EVANS-PRITCHARD.d. CLIFFORD 1983 . GRAHAM 1980 . possibly narrative schemes may provide a science of the imagination" (Bruner n. L.: 5). The New Diffusionist 3 (10): 17-23.The Road to Oxiana London: Jonathan Cape.Paleoneurology and the evolution of mind.The Gobi Desert. and end (closure). Appleton.The Professional Stranger: An Informal Introduction to Ethnography. and GELYA FRANK 1978 . 1933 . Instead. Fall: 62-80. it may or may not have a beginning. New Yoric Chas. 1973 . MICHAELH. middle. ALEXANDER 1984 Bwana vistas: The lost. BRUNER.Brazilian Adventure. lamented world of the travel writer. CABLE. one is thereby capable of genuine anthropological assessment. it is clear that a narrative tells about a sequence of events (not units) in the past tense. and he suggests.Across Mongolian Plains: A Naturalist's Account of China's "Great Northwest. In The Anthropology of Experience. Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly 3 (1-2): 18-22.MORRIS. that "if classificatory schemes provide a science of the concrete. 1980.Among the anthropologists. JERISON. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Victor Turner and E.Slide show: Evans-Pritchard's African transparencies.The Nuer. eds. WILLIAM 1979 . EGGAN. 1936 . MILDRED with FRANCESCA FRENCH 1944 .Fact. forthcoming. BYRON. Bruner uses narrative to talk more specifically about the assumptions that anthropologists bring to their data. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Scribner's Sons. ed. fiction.News from Tartary:A Journey from Peking to Kashmir. FLEMING. HARRY 1976 . EDWARD M.Ways of Escape: An Autobiography. 1977 . While there is certainly an array of opinion on what does and does not constitute narrative (see CriticalInquiry7[1]. Harper's Magazine 269 (1611): 65-69. Raritan. FREILICH. ARENS.Genesis of a social anthropologist. New York: Oxford University Press." New York: D. GEERTZ. LANGNESS. London: Jonathan Cape. HART-DAVIS.

Annual Review of Anthropology 11: 25-69. DAN 1982 . Dutton.American Indian Life. EDMUND 1982 . London: Wm. 1982 .Stocking. In A Crack in the Anthropology.HORTENSE RABINOW. Rinehart and Winston. 1937 . Psychological Monographs 67: 1-55.In A Crack in the Mirror: University of Pennsylvania Press.Argonauts of the Western Pacific New York EP.The Mountain People.A History of Anthropology. trans. Oxford: Oxford University Press. New York Atheneum. FRED W. trans. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Madison: University of Wisconsin TURNBULL. Heinemann Ltd.Ethnographies as texts. PAUL ROE. Berkeley: University of California Press. G. LOUCH. narrative theories. ELLA K.Akwe-Shavante Society. Critical Inquiry 7(1): 213-37. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1922 . ALFRED 1966 . 1922 . SMITH. MAILLART. 1952a .BARBARAand JAY RUBY NASH. MARCUS. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 19: 149-67. Jr.Forbidden Journey From Peking to Kashmir. 1980 . J. 206-231. POWDERMAKER.WILLIAMH.W. Norton.Occasions and forms of anthropological experience.BRONISLAW MARCUS. In A Crack in the Mirror:Reflexive Perspectives in Anthropology. pp. GEORGE W. Claire Jacobson and Brooke Grundfest Schoepf. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . ed. New York Harcourt. 1-35.. BARBARA HERRNSTEIN STOCKING. Brace and World. ALICE 1952b - 1977 . ed.Social Anthropology.. MCNEILL. Berkeley: University of California Press. 163172.The Savage and the Innocent. 1965 . Ruby.62 ANTHROPOLOGICAL QUARTERLY LEACH. 1963 - MEYERHOFF. DENNISON The ethnologist as stranger An essay in the sociology of knowledge. New York Basic Books.Tristes Tropiques. COLIN VOGET. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Rhetoric and the ethnographic genre in anthropological research.Narrative versions. Ruby. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CLAUDE 1963 . pp. GEORGE and DICK CUSHMAN 1982 . ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Reflexive Perspectives in Mirror.In Structural Anthropology. 1966 .Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco. and a comparison with biological and physical scientists. 70-120.Introduction. J. ed. New York Holt. Ruby. Norbert Guterman. New York: Viking Press. 1972 . 1974 . New York: W. 1983 . Jr. 1974 . 1967 .A psychological study of eminent psychologists and anthropologists. J. Press. This content downloaded on Wed. DAVID MAYBURY-LEWIS. ELSIE CLEWS.W. LEVI-STRAUSS. Journal of Projective Techniques 16: ROSE. Reflexive Perspectives in Anthropology.The Pursuit of Power. 1975 . Analysis of group rorschachs of psychologists and anthropologists 212-224.Stranger and Friend: The Way of an Anthropologist. ed. Boston: Beacon Books. 219-274. GEORGE 1982 . pp.The ethnographer's magic: Fieldwork in British anthropology from Tylor to Malinowski. John and Doreen Weightman.The structural study of myth.Explanation and Human Action. Philadelphia: 1982 . In Observers Observed: Essays on Ethnographic Fieldwork. Press. MALINOWSKI.A Diary in the Strict Sense of the Term. pp. trans. PARSONS. pp.

Oxford: Oxford University Press 1930 . ethnic identity and tourism. 1989 Several topics invite a combination of semiotic method and observations and analysis of tourism. brochures.Welcome of Tears: The Tapirape Indians of Central Brazil. Number 1. Anthropological Quarterly April 1986. tourist advertising ideology. London: Duckworth. advertisements. California 95616. and communication (also miscommunication)between tourists and local peoples.along with abstracts.MacCannellat their earliest convenience.TRAVELERS' TALES 63 WAGLEY. All such topics lead investigation in the direction of an empirically based critical analysis of sociocultural values and ideology. also. Ninety-Two Days: The Account of a Tropical Journey through British Guiana and Part of Brazil. souvenirs. 13 Mar 2013 07:12:44 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . London: Duckworth. EVELYN 1934 1946 - 1977 . USA The deadline for papers is December 1. However.) social criticism. tourismand culturaldeformation.and pamphlets. Prospective authors should directly contact the Guest Editor: Dean MacCannell Professor and Chair Community Studies University of California at Davis Davis. sights and spectacles. potential contributorsare encouraged to communicate their intent. and critical theory."Romancingthe ThirdWorld. This content downloaded on Wed.Labels: A Mediterranean Journal. When the Going Was Good. Potential article topics include:the ethnomethodology of tourists. 1987. These include studies of literary accounts of travel. London: Duckworth. 59:2 Announcing Special Issue THE SEMIOTICSOF TOURISM Annals of Tourism Research Volume 16.narrativeconsciousness and the tour." sexuality and/or exploitation in tourist settings. monuments. Semiotic studies of specific aspects of tourism serve as a base for highlightingemerging models of popularconsciousness (false consciousness. to Dr.CHARLES WAUGH.

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