Give me your questions, your answers for this week’s reading.
And I’d like to pull this from last week’s question thread:
So the Kubas are, or were, actual hunters and gatherers. It’s quite interesting that Perec would write of such people, who have few tribal possessions and no significant belief in private property ownership. It is very much the bedrock in terms of our human relationship with things. While the significance of Malinowski’s anthropology is less clear, (If I recall correctly he studied the relationship between the material, social and ideological levels of society, emphasizing in particular how the material or economic base informed the social and ideological levels) Marcel Mauss expanded his own ethnological observations into a book, The Gift. This book, which I haven’t read but have read about, as perhaps you and others have, is concerned with the concept of reciprocity, and the significance of the reciprocal relationships established between giver and receiver in the exchange of a ‘thing’. Or, as with Apenzzell, the failure to establish such a relationship with gift exchange. Obviously, this contrasts significantly with capitalist exchange and the value or meaning such exchange has on ‘things’, changing gifts into commodities-and reshaping human relationship in the process.
Great information, with obvious significance for the “thing” theme I’ve been elaborating in my discussion notes.
And lastly, a question for everyone from this week’s reading: What in God’s name is the diagonal of e’s, g’s and o’s on pp. 259 – 265 supposed to be about? This is possibly my favorite “trick” in the entire book, but I’m at a complete loss for a definitive answer as to what the hell is going on.