Magical Laments and Anthropological Reflections

  title={Magical Laments and Anthropological Reflections},
  author={James M. Wilce},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  pages={891 - 914}
  • J. Wilce
  • Published 1 December 2006
  • Linguistics
  • Current Anthropology
Anthropological writing becomes ritual when its unfolding argument structure parallels and thus its voice resonates with lament or even prayer. Structural features of lament are apparent in some ethnographies of lament, and anthropologists with no interest in traditional lament have nonetheless joined ineffectual modern elegies over modernitys destructiveness. Magical laments achieve their effects by thematically progressing from death to the afterlife by means of heteroglossia or a shift in… 

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