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- DescriptionI Swear I Saw This records visionary anthropologist Michael Taussig's reflections on the fieldwork tebooks 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 tebook 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 tes into finished pieces, Taussig calls for new ways of seeing and using the tebook 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.
- Author BiographyMichael 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.
- Author(s)Michael Taussig
- PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
- Date of Publication11/11/2011
- SubjectSocial Sciences: Textbooks & Study Guides
- Place of PublicationChicago, IL
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Chicago Press
- Content Note30 halftones
- Weight236 g
- Width140 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine11 mm
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