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Frazer and Malinowski: A CA Discussion [and Comments and Reply] Author(s): Edmund Leach, I. C. Jarvie, Edwin Ardener, J. H. M.

Beattie, Ernest Gellner and K. S. Mathur Source: Current Anthropology, Vol. 7, No. 5 (Dec., 1966), pp. 560-576 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Stable URL: . Accessed: 18/05/2013 19:57
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A CA* Discussion andMalinowski: Frazer

Afteragreementwith authors and the publishersof Encounterfor permissionto reprint the discussionbetweenEdmund Leach and I. C. Jarviewhich appears below, 27 Associates were asked for CA* comment.The followingresponded with writtencomments:Edwin Ardener,J. H. M. Beattie,Ernest Gellner, and K. S. Mathur. The commentswrittenfor publication and printedin full below, were sent to Leach and to Jarviefor reply. Leach respondedwith the reply for publication which follows the comments.-EDITOR.

On the ,Founding Fathers" *

by Edmund Leach
Between the basic absurdity Frazer attributed to primitive practices and beliefs and the specious validation of them in terms of the supposed common-senseinvoked by Malinowski, there is scope for a whole science and a whole philosophy. La Pensee Sauvage LEVI-SimAuss CLAUDE

such a culture might be expected to behave. If we then go on to interpret our actual observations, on a comparative basis and in the light of this same ethnocentric situational logic, we shall be led to discover regularitieswhich will enable us to * Reprintedfrom Encounter November predict the circumstances under which 1965, Vol. XXV, 5:24-36. institutions of this particular kind 560

The study of man must be central for everyonebut Anthropologyis just another-ology. Opinion may be about evenly divided as to whetherit is the study of apes or the name of an obscure religious sect. Even so, every now and then, a professionalanthropologist becomes an international "celebrity,"and one wonders why. Of the living, only Margaret Mead has quite achieved this, but among the recent dead there are at least two others, Sir James Frazer, the author of The Golden Bough, and Bronislaw Malinowski, "who wrote something or other about sex." Public renown need not imply professional esteem. Contemporary anthropologists for the most part consider Malinowski to be a major figure; they decry Frazer as a mere miser of facts. Anyone who doubts this need only take a look at the two latest general textbooksof the subject. Both authors (Bohannon 1963, Beattie 1964) take for granted a whole set of Malinowski's concepts and build their thinkinginto this frame of reference; Frazer is treatedas an historicalfigure of quite secondarysignificance, worth mentioning only because he was in grievous error. But perhaps the experts are prejudiced. Dr. Jarvie,a philosopherand pupil of Karl Popper, has recently presented Malinowski ab the false prophet who led British anthropologistsinto the wildernessof profit-

are likely to arise and develop. in Now Frazer, too, was interested processand his judgments historical about "savages" were always based of assessment ethnocentric on a highly So the logic of the savage'ssituation. mustbe conFrazer's"Evolutionism" even if soundas methodology sidered it led to all the wrongconclusions. the admires also greatly Dr. Jarvie his Frazer lessfact-collecting, whereas appears as a hero of righteousnesswhole ethos of the library-bound Frazerwas of whichSir James whose vigorousand originaltheories scholar clearly marked out the path of such a superlative example. He thatfirstas Frazerbelieved, scientific virtue (Jarvie 1964). believes, peoples of primitive It is very natural that Dr. Jarvle, hand experience which the more inas a good Popperite, should want to is a discomfort stimulate the thinkingof his anthro- telligent anthropologistcan well that to do without. He thinks pological colleagues by challenging afford will do their theirdearest assumptions;and certain- the best anthropologists about the best work while cogitating ly he will be in no way abashed if I activity Thismental of others. argue that his thesesare false and un- writings tenable. It is just as well to get the will (or may) lead to usefulspecularecord straight.There is a very wide tions about the nature of Human doesnot discrepancy between Dr. Jarvie's acDr. Jarvie in general. Society count of the recent historyof British claim that Frazer'sown speculations anthropologyand what actually hap- were particularlyilluminating, but pened. The living prototypes of his he approvesof what Frazer triedto "Frazer" and "Malinowski" died do and of the way be triedto do it. respectivelyin 1941 and 1942. The He appreciatesthat this Frazerian myth is worth investigating. may be linkedwith a deepmanner of the "Frazer" is admired by Dr. Jarvie seatedcontempt fornine-tenths because he engaged in "comparative humanrace; that he is preparedto sociology," the comparison of similar accept. He also accepts Frazer's he social phenomena occurring in dif- literarystyle as "exhilarating"; ferent contexts of time and space. supposes (quite erroneously)that "Frazer" was a man "with lots of Frazerwas an unqualified and atheist; ideas" which is the Popperite way he creditsFrazer with an academic of saying that he was always ready status whichhe neverpossessed. to guess about causal connectionslinkof disapproval The complementary ing togetherthe facts at his disposal. "Malinowski" is not so straightThe circumstance that very few of forward. "Maschema, In the Jarvie Frazer's "conjectures"seem in the least linowski"is the hostileantithesis of plausible and that, on the rare oc"Frazer." In the early 1920's this casions when they can be tested,they aspiring man was preand ambitious almost invariably prove to be wrong occupied with the destruction of does not worryDr. Jarviein the least. "Frazer's" reputation: the jealous From his point of view, it is the CCson" a revolution against had started method and not the truth that mat- the all-powerful"father." This is ters. bizarre-becausethe livingMalinowIt seems that "comparative sociol- ski was the most persistentand ogy" can help us to understand reg- devoted of thereal Frazer.In disciple ularities in historical sequences. When 1926 he wroteof The GoldenBough an exotic institution from that: investigating a primitive culture we should first had I begun to readthis No sooner great considerthe logic of the situationas it workthanI became in and immersed appears to us. This will give us a to the bound enslaved byit... andbecame theory about how the members of service ofFrazerian anthropology. Even 16 years later, although he view of could now take an objective he was still in Frazer's limitations, thrall: His tFrazer's] influence creative enormous even his devoted sometimes surprises by one of the admirer whenconfronted fromThe arguments naive theoretical

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His inabilityto convinceseemsto contradict

ofhisvolumes. criticssuggests other GoldenBoughor some that theymighthave

and to inspire. his powerto convert

Dr. Jarvie also disapproves of Malinowski because of the way he emphasised the value of original fieldwork. Dr. Jarvie appears to be an anthropologistmanque'; philosophy was his second love. He now justifies his by saying that the firstlady infidelity would have been most uncomfortable. "Frazer the Evolutionist" and "Malinowski the Functionalist" represent the contrast between a concern with how things have come to be as they are and a concern with how things, as they are, are interrelated with one another. For Dr. Jarvie, functionalistinvestigationsare pointless because theycannot give causal explanations of historical sequences; in contrast "the evolutionists were answering different questions from those Malinowski was interested in, but theirs were satisfactoryanswers to the questions they had posed themselves." This is a surprisingopinion for a follower of Professor Popper.' What are the facts of the case? The continuing celebrity of Sir James Frazer (Dr. Jarvie apart) is an astonishing phenomenon. There are now two quite separate one-volume abridgments of the huge thirteenvolume Golden Bough, and both apparently have a steady sale. Who are the buyers? What do they get from their reading? From one point of view (the evolution of his world fame), the most important single fact in the career of the historical Frazer is that in 1896, at the age of 42, he married Lily Grove, a French widow, who thereafter made the enlargement of her husband's public image her sole preoccupation. It was an outstandingly successful public relations operation, and it has contributedto the distortions of the legend. Worldly success in the form of a Knighthood, an Order of Merit, and strings of Honorary Degrees only startedcomingin around 1914, and it is this perhaps which has led Dr. Jarvie to imagine that in the early 1920's, when Malinowski was in the ascendant,Frazer was the securely established leader of his profession. That was not the case; Frazer's was by that timeinpersonal influence His strictlyacademic repsignificant. utation had begun to fade before 1900. In later years he had great renown; he maintained a voluminous correspondence; and his books were always widely reviewed. But it does not appear that his views were highly regarded. Sometimes the style of his
1 For Professor Karl Popper's views of "evolutionism"and otherformsof historical determinismsee his The Poverty of Historicism(1957).

Babylon, Egypt, Athens, Eleusis, but thistoo is Russia, Sweden, Gaul, Peru, North beenhis close disciples, deceptive. The leadinganthropologistsAmerica, Bengal, West and East of his time(including Frazerhimself) Africa,and the Maldive Islands,he were all close imitators of two much concluded: morebrilliant men: E. B. Tylor and The evidence may, therefore,lend some W. Robertson Smith.Frazer was an countenance to the conjecture that in the of the an- sacred grove of Nemi where the powers of outstanding representative of his day, but that day vegetation and of water manifestedthemthropology had ended by 1910. For the next 15 selves in the fair forms of shady woods, years Britishhistorical anthropology tumbling cascades and glassy lake, a marriage like that of our King and Queen of was completely dominated by thedif- May was annually celebrated between the fusionist viewsof ElliotSmith and W. mortal King of the Wood and the immortal J. Perry;as for the sociologists, they Queen of the Wood, Diana.... were takingall theircues fromthe school of Emile Durkheimin Paris. This,I may say, is a typicalexample of the stylewhich admirers Frazerhad ceased to matter.2 find so In fact, of course,the Frazer'soriginal was in exhilarating. competence to the theclassics and herehis skillwas very "evidence"is totallyirrelevant and it was not very great indeed. Classical eruditionis "conjuncture," came to common enough, but even so Frazer's long beforethis irrelevance generally appreciated. Therecarefully edited translations of Pau- be fairly of the professional sanias' Description of Greece and afterthe interest waned rather rapidly. of Ovid's Fasti are outstanding of classicists In themuchnarrower fieldof protheir kind. The source of Frazer's fame Frazer'sstandlay elsewhere; anthropology hiscolleagues were fessional and his phenomenal entranced by the novel use to which ing was eminent inspiredawe; but his conhe appliedthe "comparative method" industry to theory evokedno respect whichhe had takenoverfrom Tylor.3 tributions bad The first (two-volume) edition of The at all. Sincehe was a thoroughly engagedin no teachGoldenBoughappearedin 1890. This public speaker, pupils,his was acclaimedon the quite specious ing,and had no immediate reputation restedexclusi-vely on pubground thatit revealed lishedwork.This is bulkyrather than comparative anthropology [as] a serious profound, and eventhebulkis decepstudy actually capable of elucidating a tive. Greek or Latin text. Frazer's career as an author exClassical scholarshave always been tendedfrom1884-1938.His output, editions of thesame multiple frustrated by lacunx in the records, excluding andperhaps the"comparative method" work,fillsat least two yardsof shelf could be used to make good this space;yetin all thisvastmassof print the total amountof materialwhich deficiency. a genuinely originalconThe avowedpurpose of The Golden represents by Frazer himself probably as expressed Bough, in thefirst chapter, tribution pages. was to investigate certain classical adds up to onlya fewhundred of excerpts from the accounts concerning therites associated The restconsists of others, sometimes quoted with the worshipof Diana at Nemi writings but more often rephrased in southern Italy. The accountsare verbatim, lilt which very incomplete, and Frazer agreed to suit the sentimental to be the essential that there is not enough direct Frazer considered Quite explicitevidence to justify any particular in- qualityof finewriting. of himself as making a terpretation. He proposed,however, ly he thought to literature ratherthan to fill in the gaps by resorting to contribution analogy.Firsthe postulated that the to science,and it does not seem to Priestof Nemi was deemedto be the have occurredto him that in ""imhis sources he might also be spouse of Diana; then,having cited proving" them. He was perfectly examples of ritual theogamyfrom distorting frank abouthisprocedures. Commenting on the difference between the 2 In assessing Frazer's influence on his original quotationsrecorded in his contemporaries we should note thatalthough notebooksand the passages which Freud obtained some of the ethnographic appear in his own publishedworks, enformation employedin Totem and Taboo Frazer wrote(1938): from Frazer's Golden Bough, the key idea
of the patricidalprimal horde was borrowed [The notebookextracts]are writtenfor the from another British anthropologist,At- most part in a plain, straightforward way, kinson, who is now rated entirely in- the authors contenting themselves with significant. See Lang and Atkinson (1903). describing in simple language the things Freud's debt to thisworkwas acknowledged. which they have seen or had heard re3 Frazer's first anthropologicalpublication ported by competent native informants. was "On CertainBurial Customsas Illustra- Few, if any, possess that magic charm of tive of the PrimitiveTheory of the Soul" style which, by firing the imagination or (1885). Both in subject matterand manner touching the heart, can alone confer what this is quite explicitlymodelled on E. B. we fondlycall immortality upon a work of Tylor's Primitive Culture (1871). literature.

Vol. 7.

No. 5 . December 1966


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and how right Frazerknewbetter, he was! Clearlytherehave always been many who, like Dr. Jarvie, "find and thrilling Frazerglorious reading." is quite All the same the diligence A doubtful extraordinary. "conjecture" does not become less doubtfulby stating it 20 timesover: but even the most sceptical critic finds himself as yieldingin fascinated incredulity Frazer piles up his mountains of recondite"evidence." Besterman's bibliography of Frazer's writings (1934) (whichis incomplete) but theyare easily runsto 266 items, classified. Withonlyminor exceptions all fall unambiguously into one or six categories: otherof thefollowing

Malinowski claimedto be able to twoworks the ofthese discern in theearlier germof his own functionalist theory. So far as the anthropological portion of this corpus is concerned the formative period was 1883-1890. The dates are significant. 1883 was the year in which, after a notorious cause ce'lbre, W. RobertsonSmith (who had been dismissed for heresy from his Chair of Old Testament Exegesis at the Free Church College in Aberdeen) moved to Cambridge as Professor of Arabic; 1890 was the year in which RobertsonSmithwas firststruckdown by the fatal illness which caused his death in 1894. The close association between Frazer and Smith was mutually acknowledged on numerous 1. Translationsand editions of the occasions. Smith's Religion of the classics.These include Frazer'svery first Semites appeared in November, 1889, of Sallust, with creditsto Frazer; Frazer's Golden a schooledition published work, and more substantially the Pausaniasand Bough appeared in June, 1890, with Ovid already mentioned. dedication to Smith.The collaboration 2. Writings about the primitive concept of the soul. These startwithtwo articles was widely recognisedat the time and publishedin 1885 which were later ex- was remarkedupon by reviewersboth The Belief in The Athenaeum and in Folklore. pandedto a three-volume work, and the Worshipof the The latter consideredboth books oldin Immortality Dead (1915-1922). The argument is re- fashioned on account of their duced again to moremanageable scale in evolutionist bias! Even at this early The Fearof theDead in Primitive Religion date diffusionismwas becoming an (1933). The wholeof thisseries is derived academic orthodoxy. fromthe secondvolumeof Tylor'sPrimIt is quite evidentthat in the Smithitive Culture (1871). Tylor's thesis is Frazer teamwork all the inspiration elaborately illustrated but not developed. about totemism 3. Writings ("the wor- and originalitycame from Smith. As ship of animaland plant species").These soon as Smith's support was withstartwithan article commissioned by Ro- drawn Frazer's capacities were rebertsonSmithas Editor of the Encyclo- duced to thoseof a voraciouslydiligent and publishedin 1889. librarymole. For the next 50 years he paedia Britannica By 1910 this had becomea four-volume simplywent on repeatinghimselfover and Exogamy.A fifthwork,Totemism volume,Totemica,was added in 1937. and over again on an ever largerscale, Frazerpropounded in all threequite dif- adding nothing of significancein the theories ferent about the "origin"of to- process. Serious social anthropologists temism. Thesehe prints side by side in the can still read Religion of the Semites 1910 volumes, butno fellow anthropologistwith great advantage. Frazer's works has everexpressed any marked enthusiasm may be examined for their bibliogforanyof them. raphies; otherwise they accumulate 4. Writings in the old about folklore testament (i.e., parallelsbetween primitive dust. Frazer held a life fellowship in as recorded customs and by ethnographers TrinityCollege, but he played no part in theBible).This workstarts passages as a in 1907 buthad grown short to three in University affairs'either in Camessay volumesby 1918. The whole is reallya bridge or elsewhere.His title of Progloss upon what RobertsonSmith had fessorderived from a Chair at Liverin Kinshipand Marriage written in Early pool University which he occupied on theReligion Arabia(1885) and Lectures only for one year (1908). Anthroof the Semites (1889). pology began to receive formal recentitled 5. A work Passages of theBible: Chosenfortheir literary beauty and interest ognition in Cambridge around 1898 by J. G. Frazer, M.A., Fellow of Trinity and achieved the status of a tripos College,Cambridge. Separate editions were subject in 1919. But Frazer had no issuedin 1895, 1899, 1909, and 1927. A part in this development which somewhatsurprising publicationfor an stemmed from the enthusiasmsof A. atheistical allegedly rationalist. (The re-issues C. Haddon and W. H. R. Rivers. One wereno doubtpartof Lady Frazer's campaign to keep in well withthe Establish- of Rivers' first pupils was "a MVr. Brown" who in 1908 became a Fellow ment!) 6. The Golden Boughitself. Two volumes of Trinity College where Frazer had in 1890,twelve by 1915,thirteen by 1937. already been installed for nearly 30 The usual one-volume abridgment was first years. This was A. R. Radcliffe-Brown issuedin 1922 and was reputedly theresult of skilfulscissor-work by Lady Frazer.A 4 Frazer'sextreme repetitiveness was emquite different abridgmentappeared in the barrassing to his publishers (Macmillan)

old.5 Frazer could well afford this patronising disrespect by his professional colleagues, for he had other publics which were more rewarding and more influential. One of these came from the ranks of liberal-minded "modern churchmen" who felt a special commitmentto discover the true historical origins of Christianity. For them the passages in The Golden Bough which draw attention to parallels between Christianity and other Middle Eastern cults were both disturbing and fascinating. This material had originally occupied less than 100 pages, but in response to special demand it was biown up into a separate volume (Adonis, Attis, Osiris). By 1914 this book alone took up two volumes. Frazer's upbringing had been rigorously' Presbyterian; although in later life his attitude towards established religion became increasingly cynical, his direct references to Christianity are always carefully ambiguous. As a result, The Golden Bough was treated as an ammunition
5"The preface amid the exquisite cadence of its sentences betrays perhaps a little wearinessbut no slackeningof his indomitable energy.... I at least decline to admit westering." that his sun is yet prematurely

of Social whowas laterto be Professor at Oxford; it is imAnthropology possibleto discernin his work the slightest traceof Frazerianinfluence. Nor was this simplya case of a prophet withouthonour in his own for anthrocountry.The platforms pological debate at this period were of the and publications the meetings theFolklore Institute, Anthropological Society, and SectionH of the British Association; Frazer's name seldom appears in any of these places. In of theappearance 1911,theyearafter and Totemism Frazer's four-volume held Association theBritish Exogamy, on symposium a major international "Totemism"under the chairmanship of A. C. Haddon; Frazer did not attend;his viewswerenotrepresented; in the publishedreporthis name is nevermentioned. Frazer's strictly academic reputation seems,as I have said, to have 1900.That year passeditspeak before saw the publicationof the second editionof The Golden (three-volume) Bough which was widely reviewed. The anthropologists cool. werenotably insulting; Andrew Lang was positively Hartland and Haddonpraised Frazer's zeal but were caustic about his theories. Ten years later Frazer had becomea bore; at the tail of a long review of Totemismand Exogamy Hartland (in Man) drops into mock and hintsthat Frazerianphraseology thegreatmanhas become prematurely

United Statesin 1959. Psyche'sTask (1909) -re-issued in 1928 as The De?vil'sAd?vocate -and The Worship of Nature (1926) merely rehash themes from the magnum

and in the middle 1930's they formally declined to publish any furtherrehashed works much to Lady Frazer's indignation. See Filby (1958).


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of the Rationalist association. Primitive Man, being depot by members Association-andas a sourcebook of childish and ignorant, has much information scholarly by professional magic but little science. The modern Whentheknighthood camein 1914, has less magic and more science. ReFrazer's fame must still have been ligion, which is Frazer's third major for The Golden category of action, is less precisely narrowlyconfined, Bougb,now a workoftwelve volumes, conceived. The notion of deity arises was surelya dauntingprospectfor through an intellectual confusion. and readeralike. It was the Primitive Man is groping after the librarian of the 1922 abridgment, definition of such abstract ideas as publication with a flood of "cpower," "life," "fertility," "soul"; timedto synchronise public honours,which finallymade but he gets these ideas mixed up, and thisclassicworkthe kina of fashion- he fails to distinguishclearly between able book whicheveryeducatedman attributes of Man (e.g., authority, must at least pretendto have read. human sexuality) and attributes of Frazerbecamethe anthro- Nature (e.g., vegetable fertility). Thereafter of the case Religious practicesthendevelop out of pologist-and the merits of this magical techniques. When magical ceased to matter.Something cachetstill remains. attempts to control the course of Just whatthebook is all aboutit is nature fail,theprimitive mind conjures difficult to say; there is something* for up deities,super-magicians froman uneverybody. The motif of the sacrifice seen world, whose powers can be of the Divine King (with its uncom- invoked to make good the deficiencies fortable association withChristianity) of mere human magic. By implication, and the entanglement of this theme the progressof science,which replaces withvegetation gods and the magical magic, should make religion unpreservation of fertility persists necessary. But even in the abridged throughout; but the author's more edition it takes Frazer four closely general concern is withtheworld-wide printed pages to say this, and even irrationality of custom. Huge chunks then the argument is ambiguous. He of highly elaborate and highly valued does commithimselfto the proposition human behaviourserve no practical that: "In short, religion, regarded as purpose(judged by the standardof an explanation of nature, is displaced late 19th-century European intellec- by science." Did he really suppose that tuals). Frazer could not believe that religion is nothingmore than "an expeople should consciously choose to planation of nature"? The reader of waste theirtimein this way. Surely The Golden Bough is left to guess. the actorswho devoteso mucheffort But this much is clear enough: for to "ritual"mustthink theyare doing Frazer, all ritual is based in fallacy, useful? something They are mistaken, either an erroneous belief in the and Frazerwill showus thenature of magical powers of men or an equally theirerror. erroneousbelief in the magical powers In his 'teensat GlasgowUniversity, of imaginary deities. The overall efFrazerhad studied underSir William fect is to represent "Csavages" as Thomson(Lord Kelvin) and through stupid. They have the simple-minded himhad acquireda set of verysimple ignorance of children which is sharpmechanistic ideas about the natureof ly contrasted with the sophisticated scientific truth. For Frazer,scienceis highly-trainedmind of the rational the true association of cause and ef- European. Europeans, too, have their fect.Magic is the corresponding false childish momentsbut, in general, the
Christians.6 European, being more adult and wiser,

dichotomyis clear: the White man is wise; Black, Brown, and Yellow men 6 The widely held view that The Golden are foolish. Frazer was writing preBough "explicitly sets out to discredit present-day religion" (Jarvie) derives from cisely at the point when European hostile reviews of the second edition. colonial expansion had reached its peak; it must have been consoling for Volume 3, pp. 138-200 of this edition is a new section which discusses the Gospel many liberal-minded imperialists to story of the Crucifixion under the head- find that the "White Man's Burden" ing "the Saturnalia and kindred festivals," could be justified by such detached which was plain heresyto orthodox Chrisscholarly procedures! And this may tians. Frazer suggeststhat the gospel story
of the Crucifixionis a folk record of a hypotheticalJewish festival at which a living malefactorwas annually hanged to representa ritual effigyof Haman. On the otherhand, Frazer'smore general thesis that the Gospel should not be interpreted as a record of historicalfact but as the mythicalbackgroundfor a ritual drama has been found acceptable by a varietyof Christian scholars. The latter have usually explained the cult similarities to which Frazer drew attentionas being productsof diffusion.See Brandon (1958).

7 Many who would never openly say so still sincerely believe that White superiority is a factof Nature which depends upon a basic and intrinsic maturityof outlook. How oftenin the past two decades have we heard it argued thatthe Africanis not ready for selfgovernment, that he is too inextoo irresponsible, perienced, too ignorant.. .? For those who really believe this (and Dr. Jarvie gives hints that he may be one of them),Frazer mustmake congenial reading.

well be an important factorin the of thebook.7 enduring popularity Perhaps,too, thereare some who can still find pleasurein the sadomasochistic sexuality whichis a prominent featureof much of Frazer's Frazerwas so anxious subject-matter. not to giveoffence thatany reference is to genitalia or an act of copulation likelyto be wrappedup in a complex periphrasis which lastsforhalfa page. of thissortis two-sided. But prudery exThe devoteesof Attis sometimes pressedtheirfaithby an act of selfcastration: in recordingthe gory details of this ritual Frazer spreads himself over thirteen pages,including footlong, tantalising, small-printed Latin and Greek. notesin theoriginal all the Such drawn-out agony offers of politepornography. delights Judged by *modern standards Frazer's scholarly procedures are glaringlydefective.While he was his authorities, he in citing scrupulous never assessedtheir quality. If we troubleto checkup on his footnotes we findthatthemosttrivialobservatraveller is tion of the mostignorant given exactly the same weightand as the mostcarefulassesscredibility mentof an experienced ethnographer. "imWorse still, he was constantly proving"his sources. to illustrate the conIt is difficult sequences of such manipulations. of out with a number Frazer started basic assumptions: "savagesare afraid of the dead," "savageshave childlike imaginations,"and so on. The "evidence" was put in to illustrate these of principles. Sincetherelevance the "evidence" to the principle is seldom obvious, Frazer helped the readeralong with a liberalrationof "conjectures." Alternatively, he simply modified his sourcematerial so as to make it fit more closelywith his hypothesis. The truth of thehypothesis is thusinvariably demonstrated by the evidence! Consider thefollowing example.In the Trobriands, in Melanesia,every village holds a month-long harvest festival(milamala)duringwhichthe spirits of deceasedancestors (baloma) are supposedto return to theirerstwhilehomes. Malinowski's 7,000-word ethnographic account of this ritual was published in 1916, and it is one of the mostpenetrating and convincing recordsin the whole of ethnographicliterature. Malinowski asserts categorically that the Trobriands feel no fearof theirspiritual guests, who are thereas friends. His own summary(1916:370) is:
During the milamala the baloma are present in the village. They returnin a body from Tuma to theirown village, where preparations are made to receive them, where special platforms are erectedto accommodate

Vol. 7 . No. 5 . December 1966


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giftsare offered them,and where customary to them, and whence, afterthe full moon is over, they are ceremonially but undriven away. ceremoniously

The driving out of the spirits is a children's lark which Malinowski likens to Guy Fawkes day. Frazer's account antedates Malinowski's. His source is a missionary, the Rev. Dr. George Brown, whose brief account (1910:414) is quite conwith Malinowski's longerstudy: sistent
The dances and feasts lasted many days. When these were finished all the people gathered together,shouted, beat the posts where everything of the houses, overturned a spirit might be hiding, drove away the spirits and the feasts were over. The explanation given is that the spiritswere thus made wealthy for another year. They had shared in the feasts,had seen the dances, and heard the songs. The spiritsof the yams were theirs,the spiritsof the propertydisplayed were also theirs,and theywere now made wealthy and fully provided for and so theywere drivenout.

Frazer's citation of this material comes in a section entitled ""The periodic expulsion of evils" (The Golden Bough, 3rd edition, vol. 9, p. 134). Note carefullythe modifications of Dr. Brown's text (italics added):
When the festivitieswere over, all the people gathered togetherand expelled the spirits from the village by shouting,beating the posts of the houses, and overturning everythingunder which a wily spirit mightbe supposed to lurk. The explanation which the people gave to the missionary was that they had entertainedand feasted the spiritsand provided them with riches, and it was now timefor them to take their departure. Had they not seen the dances and heard the songs and gorged themselves on the soals of the yams,and appropriated the souls of the money and all the other fine thingsset out on the platform?What more could the spirits want? So out they must go. Among the Hos of Togoland in West Africa the expulsion of evils is performedannually beforepeople eat the new yams.

By intruding emotive words like "wily" and "gorged," substituting ccsoul" for "spirit," and juxtaposing the ""expulsionof evils" by the Hos, the kindly Trobriand ancestors are !8 adroitly converted into evil demons Such tampering with source materials seems to me indefensible.I find it quite impossible to accept Dr. Jarvie's view that Frazer's explanations, though defective,were as good as could be expected in the circumstances of the time. During the first 25 years of this
century, the monumental industry in-

vested in The Golden Bough served to surroundits author with an aura of veneration, so that he was often
8 For anotherexample of Frazer's improvement of his source,see Leach (1961:376).

but it is fullyin accord whichhe never procedure, credited withinsights storieswhich tell with mythological possessed. therewas a the Divine King-also a how "in the beginning" Although who was killed(as a human Dying God, who is slain as his phys- god-king ical powers begin to wane in order being)in orderthathe shouldbecome god. Some of Frazer's thatthefertility of therealmmay be an immortal sustained-hadbeen the hero of The "dying god stories"are accountable mayhave quite Golden Bough fromthe very begin- in thisway but others source. If,in anyparticular ning,it is onlyin Vol. 4 of the third a different information editionthatwe meetwitha clear-cut instance, we have detailed All about a set of sacrificial ritualsand of thisstrange institution. example thatwentbefore had beenonly"con- the mythology that goes with them, This was becauseit was only we are certainly jecture." to finda struclikely in 1910 that C. G. Seligmancould tural consistency betweenthe ritual claimto have verified thattheShilluk and the mythology; but we cannot of the Sudan really did treat their take shortcuts and inferrite from kings justas Frazersaid. Thismaterial mythor mythfromrite in the way was immediately incorporated into thatFrazertriedto do. In thisrespect Frazer's new edition of The Dying he was quite fundamentally in error. God (thisbook ratesas Vol. 4 of the I suppose that Dr. jarvie might editionof The Golden argue that it is preciselybecause twelve-volume at first Frazerian Malinowski Bough).Likewise, hypotheses havebeenrefuted that his studiesof Tro- that theywere worthmakingin the maintained briandgardenmagicfullyconfirmed first place.No one can denythatwhen the brilliant intuitive of the The Golden Bough firstappearedin insights Master (1923).9 Such retrospective 1890it causeda stir.It didn'tactually confirmations of hypothesis were felt say anything whichhad notbeensaid to be clear demonstrations of Frazer's before:but people took noticeof it genius. and started so it can be said arguing: But thedisciples weremistaken and to have advanced the subjectof aneven if it added littleto bemused by faith. We now feel thropology But Dr. certain thattheShilluk knowledge. did notmurder thesumof human defenceof "Frazer, theirDivine Kings (EvanF-Pritchard Jarvie'sfurther against "Malinowski, 1948), and we see quite plainlythat the Evolutionist" Malinowski's viewof magicis directly the Functionalist" on the basis of the antithetical to thatof his predecessor, former's pre-Popperite enlightenment paradox too far. for where Malinowski interpreted is pressing In the first magic as an evocation of the place, thereis no more a procedure mysterious, form of historicism closelyallied poverty-stricken to religion, Frazersaw no morethan thanlate 19th-century anthropological a childishlymistaken attempt to "evolutionism." Lewis Morgan'sAnachievethe technically cient Society (1877) was given the impossible. imprimatur by no lessa figure The trouble with Frazeris thathe Marxist Engelshimself (in his leavesno roomfortheimagination. A than Friedrich der Familie of 1884). mythmustalways be a directtran- Der Ursprung scription of a rite and vice versa. If On the otherhand,the livingFrazer sort of mythtells of the killingof a god- was only a half-hearted He tagged alongwiththe king,thenthe onlypossibleoriginof evolutionist. of his predecessor, E. B. sucha story is thatan actualgod-king assumptions to the was actuallykilled.The modernan- Tylor,and paid tokenrespect can reveal thropologist, withhis moreimmediate notionthat anthropology of institutions. But this of how myth experience aDd ritualare "the origins" is muchmorecautious. for Frazerwas nevera centralissue, interconnected, of ethnographic For example, animalsacrifice is a very and his accumulations humaninstitution widespread which, quotation might have been fitted frame. Folkbeing irrational, must always be equallywell to anyother (1918) is justified by myth.Observedin sitz, lore in the Old Testament framework twofeatures of suchsacrifice are easily not tied to an evolutionist recognised: firstly, the effect of the at all, and even in the earlierworks of timescale is irrelevant. sacrifice is to improve the"ritualcon- the matter Frazerwas concerned withwhathe dition" (the state of purity)of the or the donor;secondly, there is a direct sym- called "mentalanthropology," bolic associationbetweenthe donor universalsof individualpsychology. he could explain savage and the animal that is killed. In a He thought thatthe mental by supposing thedonorimproves mystical the customs sense, of thesavage are thoseof a stateof hisown divinity by destroying processes a mundane part of himself. This, of modernchild. The much more sonon-rational ciological emphasisof the orthodox course,is a thoroughly forwhole evolutionist withitsconcern
9 In a later,posthumouspublication(1960: 196) Malinowski said flatly that Frazer's "theoryof magic... is untenable."

"stages of social development" lay quite outside Frazer's range of interests. On the other hand, the living MalCURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY


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groups. Malinowski returned to London in 1920, and over the next two decades built up an outstanding Vol. 7 . No. 5 . December 1966

inowskiwas neverseriously as a polemicalwriter opposed reputation and selvesno betteror worse than those whichwe employourselves. he was always speaker. to evolutionism Some of though to have a dig at themoreprewilling His literary outputwas substantial them, of course, are scientifically posterous formof conjectural history but not vast; by far the greater part false. It is untruethat a child is postulated by Lewis Morgan and of it is devoted unrelated to itsfather; but to thedescription and genetically RobertBriffault. Dr. Jarvieseemsto analysisof variousaspectsof life in our own social assumption that men imagine that Malinowski's formal the TrobriandIslands. Malinowski's are in all respects the physicaland adoption of a "functionalist" creed style superiors of womenis no is vividand fullof colourbuthe intellectual meantthat thereafter he evaded all was often so thathiswritings better.The cultureof e2ch society careless, attempt to grapplewiththe sociolog- provide It is fora hostile makessensein its own setting. many easytargets true nor false, neithergood of historical ical analysis change.The and pedanticcritic.It is thiswritten neither Not only workwhichprovides otherwise. factsare entirely thegrist forDr. nor bad, neitherwise nor ignorant. is everywhere the same: is his posthumousbook Freedom Jarvie'sattack, but it needs to be Humanity and Civilization (1947) thoroughly stressed thatduring hislifetime Malina new cultural setting, the in tonebut nearlyall the owski's main academic influence When youenter evolutionist behaviour, individual or collective, of the the of last five of writings years his was through histeaching. Frazer's con- new typeof humanbeings seemsstrange, life (see Malinowski1945) are con- tribution to learning is to be discover- unmotivated, irrational, in short incomcerned with problemsof develop- ed from his books; he passed on prehensible. You learnthe language, you mental process("culture change"). nothing by his social contacts; he had gradually adoptthe strange habitsand the of view-andimperceptibly it was newpoints what Finally,we may note that whereas no pupils. With Malinowski, familiar and you feelat Frazer's "ideas" ("conjectures"), which the other way around. He was a was alien becomes had been an exotic powerfulpersonality, a homein whatrecently Dr. Jarvie so admires,were only dynamically milieu. The universally human running CCcharismatic leader" who aroused producedso as to force the ethnothrough all the cultures is the common emotional of love and measure feelings graphicrecordsinto Frazer's deter- intense of comprehension and amongall thosewith whom ... Even in such cases as eatingadaptation. minist mould,Malinowski's theory of hostility of human he became closely associated. Whathe flesh,underdone fieldwork, which Dr. Jarvie so beef,or plum pudding, is only partly playing despises, corresponds very closelyto taughtin his seminars golf, running amok, andthepractice from whathe wrotein his of the couvade,the anthropologist may that of Professor Popper's ideal recoverable to surveythe psychological raw books,and it is no doubton thisac- attempt scientist.When Dr. Jarvie says "you of thepursuit, can assume a certain c'Malinowski" material cannot collect facts without a countthatDr. Jarvie's of taste in human beings,and diversity unrecognisable. theory,"he is quoting Malinowski is so completely define thepursuit in terms of theuniversalverbatim. Frazer thought exactlythe Like Frazer, Malinowski had ly human. opposite. severaldifferent publics.The reputaThisdoesnotmeanthatwhatMalin- tion whichmade him a celebrity was Malinowski's unqualified acceptance owski said corresponds exactly to quite different fromthat whichgave of the doctrineof "cultural relativism" what Malinowskidid; nor does it him fame and notoriety among his has a vinegary taste for those who mean that either Malinowski or professional colleagues. retain a lingeringbelief that one can Professor Popper is correct about the The professionalreputationwas make humane value-judgements and way that scientists actually achieve directly tiedin withtheuniquequality that the course of man's historysugtheirresults. It is simplythat by his of his fieldresearch whichhad been gests to us what they are; but his own criteriaDr. Jarvie ought to of a quiteunprecedented intensity. No passionate insistencethat technological judge Frazer's methodology deplor- professional anthropologist had ever sophistication implies neither moral able. But then I am writingabout before spenttwo fullyearsstudying a superioritynor higher intelligenceis Frazer and not "Frazer,"and there's singletribalgroup,actuallylivingin still embarrassingly relevant. the rub. a nativevillageand sharing In 1965, when most of us are prethenative BronislawKaspar Malinowskiwas way of life. Malinowski's Trobrianders pared to recognise"primitivepeople" of Polisharistocratic origin. His father are notjustdummy stereotypes witha as fully qualified human beings,Malwas a professor of philologyat the formal set of customs; theyare living inowski's programme, thus stated, University of Cracow, whereMalin- human beings; they are villagers does not seem very daring,but in 1920 owski himselfobtained a Ph.D. in engaged in all theintricacies of village it was unorthodoxin the extreme. Mathematics and Physics irn 1908. The and domestic life.In his ethnographic Frazer, as I have suggested, had then led himto abandon monographs reasons which Malinowski was concern- supposed that the savages, whom he an assured careetfortheun- ed to demonstrate scientific two things: (1) that had never seen, were simply growncertain favours of "sociology" are ob- the Trobrianders' social life, at the up children, and Malinowski himself scure,but afterspending nearlytwo ordinary domestic level, is based on started with Frazerian assumptions years at Leipzig workingwith Karl entirelydifferent assumptions from which he never fully abandoned. In Biicherand WilhelmWundt,Malin- our own (e.g.,Trobrianders denythat 1922, he asserted that "natives comowski moved to the London School a child is genetically related to its munuallyas well as individuallynever of Economicswhere he came under mother's husband);and (2) that the act except on traditional and conof customary of Westermarck, L. T. patterns the influence behaviour which ventional lines," and 20 years later he It was correspond and C. G. Seligman. to thisdifferent Hobhouse, set of as- sentimentalised over 'the lowest primform a viable set. The itives, the living representativesof the last named who enabled him to sumptions find the financialsupportwhich,in quaintcustoms of these people,which archaic man" among whonm. "war does He re- Frazerwould have judged to be pal- not occur" and "a somewhat higher 1914,tookhimto Australasia. mainedtherefor the next six years. pable evidence of theirchildish ignor- level ... the world of real savageryOf this period two full years were ance,are shownto makelogical,adult where "cannibalism, head-hunting, spent on the Trobriand Islands sense. Theyccmake sense"becausethey human sacrificeor scalping" is only a in Eastern New Guinea,a further six are mutually consistent with each ritual game. But this kind of argument months beingdevoted to shorter and also withtheframework spells other, of which stressesthe "otherness" of the of fieldwork among other primitive cognitive ideas through which the primitive is completely at variance
Trobrianders view their environment with his own major premise which and their social world. These ideas, insisted that the society of any primMalinowski thought, are in them- itive tribe of the present day is a 565

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out of Mauss's theme, chologyof the human sort. Rivers, development Malthebiological twist which who was, with Haddon, the founder though of recigave to his "principle academicanthropology, inowski of Cambridge and Seligman,who had much the procity"was quite alien to Mauss's (even mathematical) same role at the L.S.E., were both more structural thing to realise is that The most important qualifiedmedical psy- trainof thought.'0 professionally primitiveman makes full use of his knowlto havehad little thisseems and inArgonauts was favourably edge wherever he can. You must discard chologists; on academicsentiment. Rivers telligently effect in The American reviewed the notion that the savage is a child or a kept their Anthropologist and Seligmanthemselves but in fool, a mysticor a nincompoop.I have seen (by Gifford), and "cethnological"Englandthe goingwas not so good. "cpsychological" the savage hunter at work: he knows his animals and their habits; he is familiar interests The Folkloreignored sharply distinguished. it; A. C. Haddon in with the properties of his weapons, the formerwere part of experimental Naturewas complimentary buttreated his of his spear and the flightof strength a partof prehistory. itas simply science, thelatter Man another ethnography; boomerang.I have trustedmyselfto savage prob- passedthebookto an American first Malinowski's Consequently, (F. R. over the dangerous sailors in theirfrailcraft lem was how to get his subjectrec- Barton) who headed his notice "Soseas and under trying conditions. They ognisedat all. He wantedto discuss ciology"but largely missed thepoint: and understandwind and weather,stability society. the sociologyof a primitive tides, in a truly reliable, that is, in a Who would listen?How could he The book not only gives in picturesque way. It is only because he is able scientific, to observe correctlyand to think clearly persuadethe academicworld that it detail the visible aspect of the various that, with his simple tools and limited coto treatccsavages" scenes and ceremonies be scholarly might to the pertaining operation,primitiveman can masternature as adult human beings ratherthan Kula, but sheds also much light on the as he actually as well and as effectively mechanism on whichthe inage? psychological a bygone from survivals fossilised does.... is based. of the 1920's was stitution The convention as free-floating of cccustoms" in coming to think had difficulty Malinowski place Malinowski whichmove about from must have felta desperate as- entities withhis own evolutionist to terms of human the to independently place need for a wider and lessconventional immediate his more but sumptions, to whichtheybelong.On this audience. was to deal withthe current groups problem had become a study In thefollowing yearhisessay"The of academicanthropology. basisanthropology orthodoxy and Problem of customs" of distribution "cthe in Primitive of Meaning LanThe currentvogue was not evoluwereleftout of ac- guages" appeared as an appendixto beings tionismin Frazerian or any other thehuman in the ex- count. Malinowski made a direct The Meaningof Meaningby C. K. form,but "diffusionism'" by Sir frontal assault on this mode of Ogden and I. A. Richards,a book variantpropounded aggerated thatan- whichhas had a lastinginfluence In orderto reaffirm in In thepre-Mal- thought. Elliot Smith. Grafton and manyfields Man of the is Study thropology of thought, including phihad inowskiera, all anthropologists psychology, and as engagedin not theStudyof Custom(in isolation losophy,linguistics, of themselves thought thewholeweight literary Man),he threw criticism. Thisworkgave MaIf from of prehistory. the reconstruction his analysisupon the relationbe- linowski thesortof general intellectual you assume that savages are stupid of and biology.Wherehis public he was lookingfor. boundin the chainsof im- tweenculture automata, had been satisfiedto In the same year (1923) he conyou can also as- predecessors tradition, memorial learned write monographson the tributed two pieces to Nature. The are imperishable sumethat "customs" of stringfigures or the firstwas a long reviewof the oneas flint distribution as hardand enduring artifacts, dis- volumeeditionof The GoldenBough Malinowski You can designof pipe stems, of pottery. tools and sherds the (Dr. Jarvieshould study this item; by discussing history gusted everybody then set about reconstructing and varying Malinowski's praise of Frazer is exby pleasureof lice-hunting from the data of anthropology in copulation. uberant and unqualified). The second as are styles exactly the same procedures of shocktactic was a "Letterto the Editor" entitled It was thislast form in readopted by an archaeologist and Anthropology," his reputa- "Psycho-analysis the data of which finallyestablished from history constructing in a was whichwas theopening broadside there though tionas a "celebrity," an excavation. of publications on thepsymore reputable and longseries may seemna- a preliminary Such an assumption chologyof sex in "savage" society. phase. kindof academic moreacademic ive, but to a certain Malinowski's first major ethno- The TrobriandIslandershappen to "sound,"factual, mindit is essentially organisation, and of have a matrilineal monograph was Argonauts ox]thisbasis graphic It was precisely scientific. in 1922 Malinowski claimed that in these Pacific, published ac- theWestern was eventually thatanthropology themother's brother cepted as an academic disciplineof (Frazerian title; prefaceby Frazer; specialconditions husbandshare bestatus.Indeed it is because dedicationto Seligman).Its central and the mother's university scholars of the 1900-1920 period theme is the Trobriand systemof tweenthemthe social role playedby amongEuropeans. In such exchange.It was a truly thefather as ceremonial to treatcustoms it sensible thought conthe psycho-analytic work which is still a situation and old revolutionary thoughtheywere potsherds bones that modern social anthro- standardreading for undergraduate cept of the Oedipus complexneeds Malinowski'spresentaIn Frarce it was modification. sharean un- anthropologists. muststilloften pologists comfortableme6nage a trots with the treatedas a work of sociologyand tion of this thesiswas intentionally and ErnestJones' hostile and physical became the basis on which Marcel provocative, archaeologists prehistoric Essai reaction(1925) was both predictable his celebrated In the older univer- Mauss constructed anthropologists! the sur le don, a study of the way in are in much thepsychologists sities, and obligatory giftsame situation.It is always quite whichreciprocal of givingcomesto reflect the structures 10 Mauss (1923-24); Levi-Strauss(1950). to studythe behaviour respectable Malinowski's view that the "functional conditions"- of socialrelations. rats under"laboratory specificand peculiar To studyhumanbeings that'sscience. which method"was something Malinowski's "functionalism," developed leading ordinary lives is mere was built up around the thesis that to his own brand of anthropology of fullyadult rational normalsociety happento who simply humanbeings, way in a different run theiraffairs fromourselves:
frivolity. we can only understandsocial instituIn the early years of this century, tions if we take account of the fact a number of leadinlg British anthro- that they must satisfy the needs of pologists had a deep interestin psy- living human beings, was really a 566
about 1928. He recognised the German ethnologist, Richard Thurnwald,and A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, as fellow "functionalists"; but his considerable debt to the French sociologistswas never stressed.

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plauditsof the gallerythan with the at what goes on in the Maldive pursuit of truth. Both made a cult of Islands. the Malinowskiwent about things fashionable novelty among "ad- theoutrageous, Frazerby cynical comway round.He concentrated exvanced" radicals. Malinowski'scon- ments on religion,Malinowski by other English sexual morality. clusively on one small group of troversial challengeto the orthodox challenging and lookedat them undera at the But in all otherrespects Freudian position put himright theyat first CCsavages" But he too, life. centre of Londonintellectual seem notably different. Judged by sociologicalmicroscope. a psychological postulated In these very unanthropologicalwhat theydid, what theywrote, and like Frazer, and gradually step assumed the way they set about propagating unityof mankind circles it was immediately from their that the Trobriander's freedom views, they appearas polartypes, by step found himselftalking,not in theirunisexual restraint could providemoral and in the mythology of modern about the Trobrianders Man in but about Primitive forourselves. lessons Before long,Ma- undergraduate anthropology (as well queness, And why not? Why linowski'sviews became slogans of as in the pages of Dr. Jarvie's book) his generality. progressive educationand the Tro- they Islanderbe deemare justthat:Frazerwho deals in shoulda Trobriand brianders' sex lifewas beingaccepted items drawnout of context ed any more,or less, typicalof the of custom as a modelof virtue by suchdisparate from and humanrace than the Priestof Nemi? and everywhere, here, there, propagandists as HavelockEllis (1929) takesno accountat all of individuals; And here,perhaps, we beginto see and Bertrand Russell(1929). popularity. "Typical Malinowski who constantly emphasises therootsof their in theensuing the importance Malinowski delighted of the total social Man" may not be a verysatisfactory furorand went out of his way to context,and never for a moment kind of concept fromthe scientific The Sexual forgets createa senseof outrage. unities of timeand point of view, but it is surely of theessential Life of Savages is simplyan account place and dramatis to all of us. personae.Yet in interest of Trobriand domesticorganisation an odd way the interests For the professional anthropologist, of the two and is muchless libidinous than the menwereverymuchthesame,and at Malinowski has other virtues (and average modernnovel. But its title their grandest, theyspokein muchthe othervices) than thosewhichI have assuredit a place in Old Compton samelanguage. considered here;and I neednotpursue Streetshop-windows whereit is still my disagreements (and ocFor both,the fieldof greatest pro- further to be found alongside sealed-up fessional withDr. Jarvie. renownwas that of magic casionalagreements) versions of FannyHill and the Mar- and religion to and primitive psychology. Malinowski made contributions quis de Sade. The contemporary Therewereimportant whichFrazernever touchtechnical points manyfields noticesof this work are fascinating. of disagreement. primitive law, Malinowskiunder- ed-language, kinship, Man, the officialjournal of the an- stood the expressive relations in particular. natureof ritual and economic it al- behaviour thropological profession, ignored of the in a way that Frazer did Anyonewith close knowledge the not,and he is inclined weeklies In thehighbrow together. thatMalinowski to merge magic subjectmustconcede missedall the with religion reviewers consistently markon contemrather than magicwith has lefthis personal anthropological points; they noticed science. in a way that He did not consider it a sign porary anthropology only with astonisheddisbeliefthat of intrinsic that a man Frazer has not. He was a muchless inferiority with- shouldbelievein miracles. Trobriand girlscould fornicate and Malinowski trivialscholarthan my cursory and that Tro- and Frazer both acceptedRobertson biased comments out getting pregnant But mightsuggest. of the biology Smith's thesis that belief (dogma, thatis not thepoint. brianders are ignorant of procreation. The reviewers' scep- myth) My problemat the outsetwas to as a maniis to be understood but the book it- festation ticism was justified; why,every now and then, an of ritual; but theyuse this consider selfremains a workof majorscientific insight anthropologist shouldrate as Frazerwrites eminent verydifferently. it was the first(and is as if myth and ritual were inter- a "Celebrity." importance; What is thereabout a still the best) detailed study of changeable-ifhe findsthe recordof Frazer and a Malinowski (or a family lifein a matrilineal society. as to the MargaretMead) which gives public a myth,he "conjectures" this nature from whichflowed The renown distincand fame as well as professional of thecorresponding ritual, re- vice versa. Malinowskisticksfirmly tion?My accountsuggests led to countless kind of publicity an answer. broadcasts, to the observable questsforpublicspeeches, Frazerand Malinowski in their difevidence;the myth articles.Malinowski is a "charterfor social action,"but ferentways were both preparedto and journalistic actedas hisown populariser. only if demonstrably willingly so: no guessing. make sweepinggeneralisations about the storybecame Yet so far as the CommonReader is human At each repetition, nature itself. Frazercouldnever In concerned and moredistorted. moresimplified expected thathisgeneral the similarities are more haveseriously with striking the end the Trobriander merged readerwould be terribly interested in thanthe differences. Sexual Rousseau's Noble Savage. Frazerwas eagerto outline thepsy- whatdid or did not go on at Nemi in This chology laxitybecamea virtuein itself. of Malinowski of Primitive Man, thought of 200 B.C., and thereader was all nicelyin tunewith the ethic as a unity. can get along very well without In all Frazer's writings the of D. H. Lawrence, but it couldhard- immense as to whether theTrobriand diversity of humanculture is worrying to treatedas a manifestation ly be claimed as a contribution of just a Islands lie North or South of the social science. single element-the simple-mindedEquatoror East or Westof longitude And there,perhaps,we can stop. childishness are reallytalking of the savage, his ignor- 1800. Bothauthors For thoughMalinowski's ratingas a ance, his lack of understanding of about Mankind,i.e., about you and does not cause and effect. professional anthropologist And why not? If me. It is becauseeach of us can recreston his contribution to sexology, thereis indeed "a psychicunityof ognisein their pages the savagewiththis was and is the contextof his mankind," of inFrazerwas surely justified in us thatwe feeltheexcitement public celebrity. in developing a synthetic validityof a pictureout sight,the unverifiable in this way of multiple Crudely summarised of genius. parts.The partscomein- statement neither FrazernorMalinowski appears differently from all cornersof the There are many lesser, more particularly laudable.Both men seem globeand haveno chronological unity, pedanticmen who in some ways can to have been more concernedwith the
that time very much 1rL vogue, a

was at and welcome.1" Psychoanalysis

11 Malinowski's rejoinder appears in Sex and Repressionin Savage Society(1927).

but if Primitive Man is a unity then the diversityof source materialcannot We should be able to undermnatter. stand the Priest of Nemi by looking

be considered much better anthropologists. But the public which has given these tWO a special accolade is not at fault. 567

Vol. 7 . No. 5 . December 1966

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reputationthan about values-that It does not appear that his views were is, about the true evaluation of highly ... regarded. Frazer'scontribution to anthropolog- Frazer propounded in all three quite difical knowledge. And though it seems ferenttheoriesof the "origin" of totemism. I These he prints side by side in the 1910 clear that thisis our disagreement, do not thinkit is clear to Leach, or volumes, but no fellow anthropologisthas his article. ever expressed any marked enthusiasmfor thatit becomes clear from Againstmy view that Malinowski any of them.... [1900] saw the publicationof the second of oustedFrazer fromthe leadership edition of The Golden Bough ... the anworldin a father- ... theanthropological thropologistswere notably cool. Andrew Leach holds that Lang killing revolution, wast positively insulting;Hartland and Frazer had ceased to be an anthro- Haddon praised Frazer's zeal but were pologicalleaderby 1910 at thelatest, caustic about his theories.Ten years later
and moreover, Malinowski thought Frazer had become a bore. ...
italics.] [All my

the world of Frazer. Thus Malinowski neither needed to overthrow Frazer nor was inclined to do so. by I. C. Jarvie It is true that Malinowski thought the world of Frazer: "In . . . (1923) he Dr. Edmund Leach's article on contributedtwo pieces to Nature. The Frazer and Malinowski(Encounter, first was a long review of.. The November1965) is readable,packed Golden Bough. (Dr. Jarvie should with interestingand not easily study this item; Malinowski's praise of of Frazer is exuberant and unaccessiblematerialon the history and I'm sure qualified.)" studies, anthropological Encounter readers I'm notaloneamong Such praise in no way tells against in havinglearnta lot fromit. How- Malinowski tryingto oust Frazer. The to accept Leach's point of calling ever,it is difficult it "father-killing," of it. In just as he presents richmaterial was that Malinowski's attitude contradictions course, fact thereare flagrant to Frazer was ambivalent: one loves in severalof the main pointsof the one's father.But all this would be unarticle which would have to be necessary if Leach could show Frazer smoothedout before it would be was not the leader of the anthropossibleto tacklehis view of Frazer pological world and so did not need as a possibleaccount and Malinowski ousting. In tryingto argue this Leach of "whatactually happened." merges the questions of the real or Leach'sview is that Frazerwas "a scientificstatus of a man and that of voracious library mole," "a mere his academic influence or reputation. miserof facts" who took what few Indeed his argumentsseem directed at Tylor and Robert- both points at once. Leach discusses ideas he had from son Smith; Malinowskiwas a vivid Frazer's ideas, but purely in termsof and an inspiring their reception or lack of it by the writer and colourful careless" and teacher, but"was often academic gallery. Perhaps Leach neither Frazer nor Malinowskiappears identifies the plaudits of the academics laudable. Both men seem to with the truth,but that is not clear. I particularly withtheplaudits shudder to think what it could do to havebeenmoreconcerned of the gallerythan with the pursuitof At any rate,it would some reputations. truth. make all discussionsuperfluouswhich of the aimed at showing that a man is the"plaudits received Whythey gallery" is no doubt a' serious so- academically underrated.What is clear but it is notso im- is that nowhere in Leach's article are problem, ciological of the thereany criticisms as seekers status as their portant of any of Frazer's to theories,or of Malinowski's theories, with respect This especially truth. in or of any theorieswhatsoever.All that mistreated who getsgrossly Frazer, Leach's article. is to be found is talk about Frazer Leach and I agreethatMalinowski inspiring awe, evoking no respect, was intellectuallyimportant and failing to inspire enthusiasm, and Also, that becoming a bore. Now Frazer may academicallyinfluential. Frazer was once academically in- have been a victim of the passing of and is no longerso among academic fashion, which is another fluential sharp- interesting Yet we disagree anthropologists. sociological or, if you like, Frazerwas anthropological problem-not necesin thatI think ly,it seems, important, sarily connected with popular fashion and still is intellectually at present, -but I am sure Dr. Leach would agree and that he is underrated especially among anthropologists;that Frazer's standing as a research while Leach thinkshe was not in- worker, a seeker after truth, should and hisacademic not be mixed up with his academic tellectually important influencerightly disappeared after reputation.Unfortunately, Leach does less about not carry out such a separation in his 1910. Clearly we disagree the sociological facts of Frazer's article:

In DefenceofFrazer*

seeker after truth because hiscolleagues did so. But that they did so is less important thanwhytheydid so. Had they anygoodcriticisms of histheories whichshowedthemto be not true?A man who presents threetheories side by side deserves critical discussion, not dismissal as a miser of facts, etc. Leach frequently announces th-2t Frazer's theories were mistaken. Again,so what?A man can be most important in the development of a subjecteven if all his theories were wrong, provided they stimulated others, or thathe opened up newproblemswhichweretakenup by others. Leach's suggestion that the interest of classicists "waned" after The GoldenBoughseemson theface of it an error.Frazer certainly heavilyinfluenced Jane Harrisonand, through her, GilbertMurray.And certainly the work of Cornford, Burnet,and Finley, not to mention ArnoldToynbee and George Sarton, owesconsiderable debtsto the approachpioneered by Frazer. Their problems, the way theyset them, and theirgeneral comparative attack on themis all Frazerian.In factFrazeris so muchpart of classicsnow that he is no more mentioned than Boyle is at meetings of theChemical Society. Thereis also, I am afraid, a serious contradiction in Leach's account of Frazer's academic reputation among anthropologists. Leach tellsus:
[the early 20's] was insignificant. His academic reputationhad begun to strictly fade before 1900....

Frazer'spersonalinfluence by that time Frazerhad ceased to matter.... Frazer

played no part in university affairs eitherin Cambridgeor elsewhere.... In 1911 ... the British Association held a major international symposium on "Totemism." ... Frazer did not attend; his views were not represented;in the published report his name is never mentioned.

All this "evidence" is very weak, especiallywhen set against the contradictory testimony (1926) of the of the leading young anthropologist thinktime:B. Malinowski. Far from ing Frazer was no good, of no and a bore,Malinowski is importance, quoted by Leach as saying about Frazer:
No sooner had I begun to read this great work than I became immersed in and enslaved by it... and became bound to the service of Frazerian anthropology.

Encounter April 1966,Vol. XXVI 4:5354. 568

Leach is in effect asking us to join him in decrying Frazer as a scholar and

"power to cofivertand inspire." How can we reconcile Leach's view that Frazer was without influence after 1910 with Malinowski's words in 1923, 1926, and 1942? Clearly Leach has several ways of getting out of this glaring inconsistency. Malinowski could be

And later Leach cites Malinowski (1942) as speaking of Frazer's "enormouscreative influence"and

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Golden Bough. How's this for stickingto the facts: no guessing? 2 In this reply I have tried to confinemyself to discussionof Frazer,and of Leach on Frazer, and not to defend my book. But

Frazer'stheories hardly geta mention. lying. Or, Leach could claim that My mentionof this fact is that Malinowski did not speak for the Frazerhad no theories of his own and or that he academicanthropologists; scholars thatserious to refer preferred was "mistaken and bemused by by Edmund Leach was taken To reply to Dr. Jarvie'sreply: ob- back to more original sources such faith."PerhapsMalinowski as Tylor and Robertson Smith.Dr. in by Lady Frazer's "outstandingly viously we couldkeepthisup forever. Jarvie to think prefers thatFrazerian operation"? My opponent public relations successful his front. thought has changed had been so assimilated into Leach's ac- He now wants to draw a subtle Whatever we conclude, theintellectual thathis arguZeitgeist in distinction countof "whatactuallyhappened" Frazer'sacademic ments between I sugwere takenfor granted; mustbe reputation of anthropology the history and the "true evaluation" gestthat the onus of proofis on Dr. it is internally of his contribution a non-starter; reckoned to anthropological Jarvie.Dr. Jarviefurther complains and Leach'sown evidence knowledge. inconsistent Dr. ofcourse, thatI do notcriticise Only Jarvie, Frazer'stheories with it. A minimum can make thatevaluation. is inconsistent This is not in detail;sinceI denythatFrazerhad is wherewe started.Dr. Jarvie's theory of an historical requirement book any originality, thisis hardlysurprisand consistent begins thatit is self-consistent as the ing.In theparticular Frazer by representing caseof Totemism withtheknownfacts. lineage whichinhead of an academic And this does not by any means cluded Haddon, Rivers, Seligman, and Exogamy (1910) Frazer's three theoriesof the origin of totemism and doubtthe contradictions exhaust Malinowski, and Rad- were based on (1) the theory Gillen, of the in Leach's article.Mal- Spencer, ful assertions and by affirming that cliffe-Brown, adearlier soul,an argument inowski is said to hold that "you the two last named,at a date un- external vancedby Clodd, Wilken, and Tylor; a theory" specified, cannotcollectfactswithout the in- (2) the functional "triedto overthrow of totemism theory to the fluence and lateris said to stick"firmly In whichwas later in Frazer." of clever like dons different versions observableevidence; the mythis a contradiction I affirm that this is a adopted by both Goldenweiser and forsocial action,'but onlyif completely 'charter ludicrous misrepresentation had origRadcliffe-Brown but which Either of thefacts so: no guessing." demonstrably of anthropological history. inated in a paper by Spencer and Leachor Malinowski (or both)doesn't Malinowski who had read Gillen dated 1899 himself, (Frazer apparently At know that theoriesare guesses.1 GoldenBoughwhileconvalescing foundthistheory to (1) but preferable for The anotherplace I am admonished in a Germanhospital around 1908, had already abandoned it by 1905 that always supposing"(quite erroneously) claimedthathe foundFrazer's before there had been disatheist"; yet writings Frazerwas an unqualified any public and Gillen, cussionof the subject); and inspiring; Spencer the (3) later Leach says Frazer's"directref- whose principalresearches were contheory of totemism which are always ductedin 1896,wereFrazer'sdisciples conception erences to Christianity is a generalisation basedon twosetsof Was the "care- but not his pupils; the influence carefully ambiguous." of facts observed bySpencer intendedperhaps to Frazer on any of the otherpersons ethnographic ful" ambiguity and Gillen in CentralAustraliaand concealthatFrazerwas a theist? Dr. Jarvie named seems quite minimal. After all this discussion of complainsthat I fail to show that Rivers in the Banks Islands. This was actuallyfirst I should like Frazer"was not theleaderof thean- theory published by and errors, contradictions about thropologicalworld" around 1923. Hartland, thoughwe must presumto end by saying something to his mainproblem. Surelythe onus is on Dr. Jarvieto ably accept Frazer's almost too Leach's solution of show thathe was? Faced withsucha vigorousaffirmation that he thought The problemwas the popularity of it independently (Totemismand Frazer and Malinowski.It mightbe task an historian would presumably Exogamy, Vol. IV, p. 62, footnote). explained by publicity, as Leach consult journals of theanthropological I cannotbelievethatDr. Jarvieis or by sex, as Leach also the period.This I have in factdone, mentions; is the and Dr. Jarviehas not. I have been serious in suggesting mentions; but his mainsolution that I should universal human appeal of their astonished to readers of Encounter "critical to find how infrequentlyoffer nature: abouthuman generalisations discussion" of these theories. If Frazer's Frazer'snameis mentioned at all. The third theorynever received much perhaps, we beginto see the rootsof GoldenBoughis citednow and again serious here, attention, Dr. Jarvieis quite Man" maynotbe as a convenientsource book but "Typical their popularity. free to resurrect it,butthemainreason a very from thescientific concept satisfactory for this neglectwas that already in to of interest pointof view,butit is surely my resolve cracked over Leach's hint (foot- 1910 Goldenweiser had published all of us. his note 11) that I hint that I am a white massive Totemism, an Analytical supremacist. Now if we look at this we discover Study,whichpersuaded almosteveryIn fact I agree with, and everything in an anthropological conjecture about one that the whole basis of Frazer's my book is consistent with, Leach's asserwhat interests"all of us," i.e., tion Malinowski's "passionateinsistence work on the subject was illusory. "not a that that "TypicalMan"-unfortunately totechnological sophistication implies "When approached analytically, from neither moral superioritynor higher in- temism, kindof concept verysatisfactory whichin its elements presents the scientific point of view." In his telligenceis still embarrassingly relevant."I nothing unique or specific, tends to main solutionto his main problem don't find it embarrassing, but I do find disappear,partly or wholly." It is Leach's conclusion that relativism is the only Leachcondemns himself outof hisown becauseprofessional anthroalternativeto white supremacismquite il- precisely mouth.2 pologistsalready understood this in logical. Man has made a little progressand 1910 that Frazer's "influence" theresome societies are better than others,e.g., 1 There are even such theoreticalguesses a societywithout slaveryis ceterusparibus after was so slight. to be found in Leach's article, especially betterthan one with it. As to the classicists, if Dr. Jarvie about Lady Frazer who "no doubt" reissued Leach's other travestiesof my views are read thestuff instead of talking about Frazer's books as part of a campaign to less importantand I would only mention it, he would readilysee that while keep in well with the Establishmentand that my main criticismof Malinowski was JaneHarrison's Prolegomena (1903) is who "reputedly"did the skilfulscissorswork for excluding certain interesting Frazerian by Frazer,Themis required on the abridged edition of The problems from anthropologyand thus im- heavilyinfluenced
poverishing the subject, and that I never suggested that fieldworkwas no good and should be stopped. * Encounter May 1966, Vol. XXVI, 15: 92-93.


(1912) takes all its anthropological cues from Durkheim. Gilbert Murray and Cornford in this respectfollowed Jane Harrison, and their successors rejected the liaison with anthropology 569

Vol. 7 . No. 5 . December 1966

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altogether. If M. I. Finley is to be rated a Frazerian I give up. The fact that Malinowski read The Golden Bough in hospital in 1908 and was thereaftergrateful for the experience is no more evidence of Frazer's enduringinfluencethan is the assertionof a colleague of mine that it was the accident of his coming across a copy of the abridged edition of The Golden Bough in a prisoner-of-war camp in 1943 that led him to become an anthropologist! "Guessing." Yes, theoriesare guesses but there are profitable guesses and uselessones. It is uselessto guess about historical events which could in no circumstancesever be demonstrated, which is what Frazer habitually did. Malinowski made guesses about how the observable facts mightbe expected to fit together;he never made guesses about the facts themselves.Dr. Jarvie can guess that Frazer was either an unqualified atheist or a qualified theist:that is his affair.Apparentlyhe is prepared to do both. The firstproposition is demonstrably false, the second is meaninglessand untestable.


Oxford,England. 27 IV 66

Dr. Leach's stimulating account of Frazer and Malinowski is both a commenton Dr. Jarvie's view of the relationsbetween themand an attempt to explain the non-academic vogue of these two figures.Leach demonstrates clearly that (1) Frazer was too isolated to have representedany kind of "establishment" that Malinowski overthrew, and (2) Malinowski admired Frazer. These points are quite enough to demolish Dr. Jarvie's version of the past (1964:43, 170-76), of it as a especially as his presentation Freudian primal situation was not a very good fantasy to start with (Ardener 1965:57). But in the course of documentingconclusion (1), Leach lays so much weight on Frazer's lack of influencethat conclusion (2) begins to appear inexplicable. It is a little surprisingto find Leach quite so preoccupied with the opinion held of Frazer by his later contemporaries; especially by stressing Frazer's absence fromthe conference circuitsof his day. that Having conclusivelydemonstrated therewas no Frazerian academic establishment,Leach seems very close to using this evidence in anotherway: to suggest that its absence was in itself evidence of Frazer's lack of any abiding influenceat all. In the Victorian-Edwardian period, as Leach himself hints, eminent scholars could present their points of

appear to some to be sub-professional, but even as late as Frazer's day this was not a judgment, had it been made, to strike chill to the heart. Perhaps Frazer's very isolation played some role in the attitude of his contemporaries to him. In any event, their academic fates have hardly been kinder than his. This raises the more generalquestion of the influenceof predecessorsupon successors in subjects like our own. Quite oftenthe "influence"appears to be in the reversedirection.The role of students is mentioned by Leach: certainlyin the shorttermthe studentless scholar is vulnerable to oblivion. Conversely,studentsmay preservethe memory of some longer than they deserve. A successionof studentsmay not, however, offer especial advantages. Among academics, the desire to reflecttheir ideas off some earlier figure seems to be deep-seated. The disillusionment with one outmoded master leads regularlyto the selection of another, previously neglected: Bloomfield gives way to Sapir, or ancients like von Humboldt are rediscovered. The academic tradition is reconstructed with the zeal of termites building new tunnels in a damaged termitarium. This may shape the whole convention of attributionand reach the point where, we are told, authors cite people they might have been influenced by, but were not by J. H. M. BEATTIE* (Mead 1965:80). Herskovits (1954: Oxford, England. 7 III 66 24) ends an account of his views on It is to comment difficult for me on ethnographic method with the note: agree "Since this paper was writtenin the Leach's article,since I entirely he says. I that with almost everything field,the citationsto the literature if he doesn't though, push a would ordinarilyhave been given are wonder, too farhisconcluding that theme but necessarilylacking." It little regrettably is almost as if these reflectors may be what makes Frazer and Malinowski is Mead) "celebrities" added like ornamentsto a Christmas (and Margaret "to make sweeping tree. This is all innocent enough, no theirwillingness itabouthuman nature doubt, and performs a supra-biblio- generalisations lesscelebrated, graphical function. Dr. Jarvie is in self" (p. 567). Others, to do this.Is it not his ideas off Frazer; so, have not hesitated part reflecting or at leastalso, thattheyhave probably, was Malinowski. Malinow- rather, what theyhave written with ski's extremehomage to Frazer seems written and so have made it intelligible a little out of place if the climate of style, and interesting to ordinary mortals? opinion was as Leach describesit. MaIf theworkof modern social anthrolinowski probably had his "Frazer" with something to say were too, which was certainlynot Jarvie's, pologists morereadable, it would be moreread. nor entirely Leach's. Perhaps MaOn a pointof ethnography, do we linowski was speaking to Frazer over the heads of the professionals, thereby now feel so certainthat the Shilluk theirdivine kings laying claim to a place in that "wester- did not "murder" (p. 564)? Evans-Pritchard (1962:76) ing sun." wrote of probability, not certainty, Leach's remarksconcerningthe appearance of "celebrities" are of great interest. To reach the wider public, They may have some demographicbasis, publicity is required, be it through related to the structure of professionalreLady Frazer or throughOld Compton cruitment (Ardenerand Ardener1966:309).

view eitherto fellow-specialists or, over their heads, straightto the educatedpublic. The latterapproach has been used into our own days by manyin history, philosophy, psychology,and sociology, as well as in our own subject. The procedure may now

Street: but we have, of course,no guarantee thatthosewhosenamesare thuspropagated have made any permanent contribution beyondthe publicity itself.There is clearly a real difference betweenFrazer and Malinowskiin the qualityof theircontributions-on almost all counts Frazer is and must be the loser-but as a public figure, even Malinowskiwas barely Frazer's equal. It would be enlightening to enquire intothepoints in thehistory of an academic discipline at which successful publicistsarise. Thereis probably a tendency for the epigonoi of publicists to be sobermen, and perhaps forthoseof the soberto be flamboyant. Outside suchimmanent generational cycles,'however, it may be that there are times when the "appeal to thepublic,"if successful, is of great service in itself: perhaps to reestablish the intellectual claims of a discipline, or to break a tendency to inanition within it. Frazer was evidently successful in thefirst of these aims,Malinowski in both. If the lay view of anthropology is only slightly less archaicthan Leach suggests, and if even Jarvie'spolemicaccountappears quite old-fashioned, it is no surprisethat a new appeal to the public-fromall directions-seems to be underway. Whenthe dust finally settlesand the namesthe public remembersare examined by a later thereare no grounds generation, for dissatisfaction if it turnsout that (in Wellington's wordson the approving Order of the Garter) "there's no damned merit in it!"

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and if Lienhardt's informants(1961: Chap. 8) are to be believed, it seems likely that the neighbouring Dinka buried their "mastersof the sometimes fishing spear" alive, at the latters' request. Symbolismis no less symbolic (and no more pseudo- or proto"scientific") when, as it often is, it is translatedinto action. by ERNEST

... Malinowski at firstmaintained that his studies of Trobriand garden magic fully confirmedthe brilliantintuitiveinsightsof confirmations the Master. Such retrospective of hypothesiswere felt to be clear demonstrationsof Frazer's genius (pp. 563 and

19 Iv 66 England. London, Leach's article is readable, witty, elegant, and stimulating.But by no means all of what he says is true. There is surely a profound selfdirected irony, perhaps conscious and intended, in Leach's complaint that both Frazer and Malinowski "made a cult of the outrageous." The curious thing is that in this article, Dr. Leach is not so much outrageous as outraged against. He is evidently outraged by Dr. Jarvie. In his attempt to destroy Jarvie's account, he makes a number of categorical assertions,some of which are untrue;some of thesecan be shown to be untrueon internalevidence. This is of some importance,as Leach claims that he wants to set the recordstraight. His tone of authority is well buttressedby the remarkableapparatus of scholarship-no fewer than 11 footnotes in what appeared, after all, in a literaryand political ratherthan an academic journal. This will show the journalists how we in the universities check our assertions. But not everything supported by 11 footnotes is true. necessarily Leach attacks Jarvie firstof all for allegedly over-ratingthe standing of Frazer within professional anthropology. "Frazer's works may be examined for their bibliographies; otherwise they accumulate dust" (p. 562). This does not seem to be the view of Leach's colleague Meyer Fortes, who asserts (1959:8) that . .. sooner or later,every serious anthropologistreturnsto the great Frazerian corpus"; nor of E. E. EvansPritchard, who writes (1965:27): "Frazer is... the best known name in anthropology,and we owe much to him and to Spencer and Tylor." Referencesto Frazer on 22 separate pages of the latter book suggestthat EvansPritchard'scopies of his works are not gatheringdust. But worse than this is the blatant contradiction within Leach's own argument. Having first challenged Jarvie's account of Frazer's influence, Leach puts forward a second charge: Malinowski was not, contrary to Jarvie's view, reactingagainst Frazer. In his eagerness to press the second charge,Leach blatantlycontradictshis first and establishesthat Frazer did matter: Vol. 7

Malinowski's first major ethnographic monograph was Argonautsof the Western Pacific,published in 1922 (Frazerian title; preface by Frazer;...) (p. 566). In the same year (1923) he [Malinowski] two pieces to Nature. First was contributed a long review of the... The Golden Bough (Dr. Jarvie should study this item: Malinowski'spraise of Frazer is exuberantand unqualified) (p. 566). These quotations do not establishwhat Leach wishes to establish,namely that Malinowski was not reacting against Frazer: for the greaterthe hero slain, the greater hero the slayer. This was what the French call a boomerang compliment.It is strange to find an anthropologist ignoring a meaning which, though latent, is so blatantly latent. The quotations do clearly establish, however, that Leach's first charge against Jarvie cannot be true: Frazer manifestlywas not considered insignificantwithin the anthropological profession,least of all by Malinowski. In a footnote (no. 9) Leach does admit that Malinowski later "said flatly" that Frazer's "theory of


Frazer's use of evidence; but his own use of evidence from Malinowski is amazingly selective, for he does not quote fromthe same work a few pages further on, under the significant heading "Whither Anthropology?" (1960:211): work of Frazer's assessment In thiscritical a we findthatin manywayshe embodies withmany past epochin anthropology..., and withall its qualities... of its defects position, his evoluFrazer's theoretical by survival tionism... and his explanations are at timesnot acceptable. All this does not sound either as if Frazer had not mattered-he is said to embody the anthropologicalpastor as if Malinowski were not reacting against him-for he is said to embody the past. But the passage does not leave much doubt about who embodied the anthropologicalpresent. Malinowski's reference to Frazer's evolutionism, his "explanations by survival," bring me to Leach's third and most interestingcharge against Jarvie: the claim that it was not which evolutionism,but diffusionism, was the academic orthodoxy against which Malinowski had to react. Once again, Leach himselfunderscores his own error.Speaking of Malinowski (p. 566) he says, "How could he persuade the academic world that it mightbe scholarly to treat 'savages' as adult human beings rather than

magic . . . is untenable." Leach criticises

on DurkHobhousehas not commented But theory. heim's ethicalor sociological werelargely as we have seen,they though, of character in agreement as to thegeneral on other they differseriously sociology, matters.... Durkheim and Hobhouse interest of their in thedegree differ further in the study of social development.... [Hobhouse]was tracethe in the mainbranches lines of development of humanachievement....

his reacting against diffusionism, concernwould have been with rein terms of jecting interpretations ratherthan in termsof borrowings thatwas also part No doubt, survivals. of his concern: but as Leach unindicatesin this sentence, wittingly Mawhich is meant to characterise posture intellectual principal linowski's in doingso, indeedsucceeds and which Leach concern. it was nothis primary also says (p. 561): "For the next 15 years [after 1910] Britishhistorical was completelydomanthropology views of inated by the diffusionist Elliot Smithand W. J. Perry;as for theywere takingall the sociologists, theircues fromthe school of Emile in Paris."Leach notmerely Durkheim fails to give any evidence for his claim of "complete strong amazingly but even fails to make domination," mean. clearwhatit could conceivably alive at Does it mean that everyone that time and concernedwith the at a questionof social development academiclevel was a difrespectable This and not an evolutionist? fusionist untrue.Does it exis demonstrably that whilstthere clude the possibility to accept diffusionist was a tendency the retained anthropology corrections, and far more important underlying Leach evolutionistProblemstellung? of his does not tell us. The reliability here can be sweepinggeneralisations lookingat what he says gaugedfrom about sociologists (without even botheringto go into the crucial bequestionof what the distinction and anthropologists tweensociologists days): could mean in pre-Malinowski cues from "Theyweretakingall their Did the school of Emile Durkheim." Hobhouse take "all his cues" from authoritaA recent Emile Durkheim? tive essay on Hobhouse (Ginsberg the very opposite: 1966:xiv) suggests

survival" but does not even mention diffusionism and "explanations in fossilizedsu%rvivals from a bygone terms of borrowing." (Within difthe notion of "borrowing" age?" (Italics mine.) Had he been fusionism, 571

work A very largepartof Hobhouse's fallsintothe "15 years"about which so firmly. It doesnot Leachgeneralises look either as if the period were or as if it dominated by diffusionism Durkheim. took all its cues from own wordsalso highMalinowski's light the oppositeview. When sumthe past epoch in anthromarising pology (1960:211), he speaks of by and of "explanations evolutionism

No. 5 . December 1966

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of course plays a role similar to that the samewidergrouping as Malinow- ly. In as far as there was a tendency werebothlabelled towards their application,however, of "survival" in evolutionism:it is the ski,in as faras they contrastbetween as it were horizontal "anthropologists" and as suchopposed the conclusion whichLeach wishesto in time.) or vertical intrusions to anotherwider grouping, "sociol- establish creepsin as a corollary of a Another point where Leach himself ogists,"and, with time,evolutionists new and half-established terminologmakes it plain that Malinowski must simplycame to be classed as sociol- ical convention; but, as such,it fails In as faras thismayhave been to support the pointwhichhe wishes have been reacting primarily to ogists. evolutionism is the one at which he the case, and in as far as rejection to make.) may be a morepasLeach had alreadymade his point observes (p. 565): "In the pre-Ma- of close cousins sionate matterthan the rejection of about the allegedimportance of diflinowski era, all anthropologistshad ones,Malinowski's preoccupa- fusionism in his review (1964) of thought of themselvesas engaged in distant have beenas Leach Jarvie'sbook. He offers no evidence the reconstruction of pre-history." tionsmayat times of it,other thantheauthorQuite so. But what is the connection claims. But this fact, if such it is, is in support ityof his own assertion. Ironically, he betweendefiningone's subject in terms not one of very great importance. Difand diffusionism? conclusive Hence, it is possible that thereis an once again offers evidence of pre-history, fusion is somethingwhich can also be elementof tautology in the claim that againstit. Speakingof Malinowski's training, he observes: studied in the present: indeed it can Malinowski was, within anthropology, anthropological be studied in the present better than opposed primarilyto diffusionists. The "[Malinowski]movedto the London wherehe came anywhere else. If Malinowski taught tautology comes in as a consequence School of Economics of Westermarck, not to conceive their of a new demarcation of subject under the influence anthropologists of pre- boundaries, a demarcation to which L. T. Hobhouse, and C. G. Seligman." subject as "the reconstruction of these history," then it must have been be- Malinowski's work and position had The wholesale recruitment three men to the diffusionist, noncause he taught them to disregardthe itself contributed a great deal. Maschool will come as a evolutionistquestion, and not just the linowski had done much to help estab- evolutionist to the historian of ideas, not diffusionistcorrection of its answer. lish an autonomous subject of "social surprise thesurviving followers of There is an essential connection be- anthropology." Social anthropologists to mention but in his tradition conceived of them- Hobhouse.Thus evolutionism was not and pre-history, tweenevolutionism at Malinowski's anthropological there is no such connection between selves as studying the more or less absent The ref- simultaneous interaction of activities cradle. Nor did it disappearat any and pre-history. diffusionism timein the courseof Maand institutionsin primitive societies subsequent in as far as utation of diffusionism, Hoblife.On thecontrary, it was refuted,was a corollary of the investigated by fieldwork. In conse- linowski's continued, withand not some- quence, anyone interestedin a wider housianevolutionism attack on evolutionism, to be taughtat the thing independent. It was only rel- sweep and documentary evidence out interruption, that tended to be classifiedas a sociologist. London School of Economics by evant to the kind of diffusionism till long afterMais parasitic on evolutionism. (In any An anthropologistwho generalisesis MorrisGinsberg linowski's death,as Leach knowsfull case, neitherdoctrinewas refuted:the said to be ccdoingsociology." question was reformulatedso as to But this was not the only contrast: well. Leach offers a far moreconvincing make both of them of marginal in- the new group of social anthropolto which terest.) ogists also had to have another pictureof the background vis-a-vis those still interested Malinowskiwas reactingin one of No doubt that, within the wider frontier, works(1957:120): class of those who agreed in rejecting in tools, skulls,or customsin isolation. his earlier evolutionism,Malinowski also fought This frontierwas necessaryin as far enteredthe Britishacademic had ceased to Malinowski a minor internal battle against dif- as social anthropologists in 1910.At thisperiod... mechanistic fusionists: but there can also be no be interestedin tools as such, as op- field of... materialism, linkedwith... doctrines doubt about which conflict he con- posed to the lighttheymightthrowon progressive evolution, still held the field, sidered the more important one. Of the society in which they were used. but was underseriousattack.... in social course, it is possible that at times the But the people who were still interested studies, theevolutionist method comparative internal,subsidiarystrugglemay have in tools, etc., needed some name. They had achieved in a kindof massive futility preoccupiedMalinowski more than the weren't sociologists,and they weren't the vasttomesof Frazerand Westermarck from was coming more general and importantstruggle, "social"; so they were just "anthro- andtheonlyrealstimulus of Durkheim and his school, preciselybecause he took the latterfor pologists" or "physical" or "cultural" the writings excontent was often granted, just as at times an internal anthropologists. At the same timemany wherethe empirical low. Diffusionism with a supertremely of one clans two conflict between of them could hardly avoid being ficial emphasison materialfactsseemed tribe may obsess the participantsmore tainted with diffusionism, for it is likely to become thedominant voguein the than a wider struggle betweenthe tribe hardly possible to take an interestin, near future. as a whole and outsiders.Leach does say, a tool without being interested in not establish that even this was the who used it, and hence in its distribu- Whatfacts havecometo Leach'snotice case, but it is possible. Even if it were, tion and the sequence of the distribu- since 1957 whichhave converted him it would in no way undermine the tion. For these reasons, it is arguable from thatdifthebelief, implied here, point that within the general logical that "within anthropology"diffusion- fusionism would have become the of Malinowski's thought,the ism became the enemy,simplybecause dominant structure not vogue had Malinowski rejectionof evolutionismwas far more other (and more important) kinds of entered the academicfieldin 1910 to importantthan that of diffusionism. enemy were reclassifiedas being out- the beliefhe now stresses thatit was The situation is somewhat complex: side anthropology. But this by itself indeedthedominant voguewhichMaI suspect that the logical segmentation tells us nothing about which enemy, linowski had to fight against?Surely did not correspond to the social seg- of the enemiesavailable, was the most the climate as he found it, the ideas and significant, logically, socially, or and assumptions he destroyed, are mentation.Logically, evolutionists are sub-clans of the same emotionally. All the evidence seems more significant for understanding diffusionists grouping, and Malinowski rejected to me to point to the fact that him than some residual enemieswhom this grouping as a whole. Within the evolutionismoccupied this position. (I he only mopped up later, after his grouping, evolutionists mattered far am not saying that the new rules of principal ideas were already formed. more. Socially speaking,however, dif- demarcation sketched in above were is true is that, afterMalinowWVhat fusionistsmay have been membersof applied rigidly, neatly, or consistent- ski had made his impact, evolutionism 572

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qualified to separate that which is significant from that which is irrelevant in Malinowski's writings. Even if it were the case that MaVol. 7 . No. 5 . December 1966

as evidence, but aplegitimate to diffusionismmerely was reacting was only taughtin "sociology," and linowski of correct because the parentlya precondition not in "social anthropology": but, as and not to evolutionism "Dr. Jarvie's 'Mahad replaced the latter,this interpretation: indicated, the sharp,modernformof former the distinction betweenthe two sub- wouldn't be a point of very great linowski'is so completely unrecognisjects was a consequence ot importance:what Malinowski had able" because what Malinowski precisely was notso muchtheanswer "taught in his seminars Malinowski's stress on the synchroiiic destroyed is onlypartly had offered, from but recoverable whathe wrotein his method,on contextualexplanations, which evolutionists (It is forthisveryreason books" and because he was "a and on thorough This is thequestion. fieldwork. to allow thatthe dynamically powerful notaffected byMalinowski's admisiion thathe was prepared personality," a principle" would never "charismatic leader"(p. 565). Is Leach that "the evolutionary principle... "evolutionary completely rejected. It survives claimingthat a personalmemory will neverbecomecompletely of rejected become as an answerto a subsidiary by anthropology," question. Malinowski's for evolutiornisri seminars is a necessary remainsas a plausible answer to a We are not returning conditionfor writing to Genesisor and sufficient relatively unimportant question.(To Aristotle!) This rejected question about him correctly? There is good quote an appositeremarkattributed evolutionism shareswithdiffusionism.evidenceto the contrary. When Mato D. G. MacRae: social evolution is Faced with human institutions and linowski'sformerstudentsand cola fact,but not a very interesting or customs, both evolutionism and dif- leagueswrotea joint book about him important fact.)Still lessit is affected fusionism ask, "Wheredid theycome (Firth 1957), they contradicted each in categorical by the point made by Leach to the from?" One seeks the answer in other assertions abouthis ofMalinowski's evolutionthrough One of them effect thatthewritings claimedthathe time,the otherin thought. last fiveyearsare all concerned with diffusion therelevance through space. Malinowski's had accepted of Freudian problems of "culture hinges change"(p. 564). importance on the factthathe theory foranthropology (pp. 161, 168 un- et seq.), another one that he rejected The synchronic methodis indeed as showedthatthiswas a relatively secondary question.The it (p. 70). One wrote of himas a Polish applicable to change as itis to stability: important, resentful of Austrianrule if concern with"culture change"were superiorityof anthropologyover nationalist to make a man an evolutionist, then sociologyduring the period of his in Cracow (pp. 232, 235), another as influence who had warmly was due in partjust a person we would all be evolutionists. commended But, greatest to this. In fact,of course,both dif- thatregime (p. 13). Leach's theory so help me God, we are not. of Had Leach contented himself with fusionand evolutionoccur: but the privilegedaccess is not only a bit but also unreliable. of evolutionism improper, concepts the assertion thatMalinowski was at- explanatory are too weak to exIn brief,Leach's attack on Jarvie in addition to and diffusionism tackingdiffusionism of them. depends on three claims: (1) the his contentionwould plain either evolutionism, Leach also himself further academicunimportance provides have beenunimpeachable. It would of of Frazer at his own doctrine against that the relevanttime,(2) the acceptance coursealso have had the disadvantage evidence was an evolutionist after by Malinowski of Frazer and of of beingin no way original, and not Malinowski to "Malinowski's evolutionism, of all when he refers a would-berefutation and (3) the replacement constituting of thedoctrine of evolutionism acceptance Jarvie.In a moderate accountof the unqualified by diffusionism prior " (p. 565). If to Malinowski. situation, Audrey Richards observes of 'culturalrelativism' Leach does not make in an out his case on any of thesepoints; (1957:20): "... the vehement protest you accept culturalrelativism manner, you cannotalso rather, madeagainst Malinowski evolutionary, unqualified it is contradicted by conclusive Evolutionism means evidence diffusionist and pseudo-historical re- be an evolutionist. availablebothinside and outof societies or institutions side his article.It is curiousthat an constructions.. ." and says"Malinow- theordering order.I article ski also used his culturetheoryto in somekindof evolutionary whichis meantto demonstrate that Malinowski that it was diffusionism, protestagainstthe studyof isolated am not suggesting and not consistent on this point, evolutionism, culturaltraitsin order to establish was necessarily that Malinowski was forLeach to appeal reactingagainst,does not containa connections between one area and butis it legitimate to variousaspectsof Ma- singleexampleof an attack on difanother" (Italics mine).As long as it selectively is recognised thatMalinowski usedhis linowski'sthoughtaccordingto his fusionism by Malinowski,whilst it theoryalso to attack the tracingof need? abounds, ironically, in unintended Of course, Leach is admirably evidenceof Malinowski's inter-regional or rather connections, of rejection of evolutionism. the attribution of importance to them, candid about his own principles Apart from this conand notprimarily forthispurpose, all exegesis.What Malinowski actually crete failureto illustrate, let alone is well. Lucy Mair (1957:243) refers wrote is apparentlynot adequate document, his case,Leach also failsto to the ".. . Malinowskidictumthat evidence: perceive thattheprinciples of segmenthe past is significant in so far as it Malinowski's also apply to docstyle... was often so tary organisation careless, livesin thepresent.... theknowledge thathis writings is notan absolute "Opposition" provide manyeasytargets trines. of earlier social formsis relevant only fora hostile and pedantic It is this notion.X may be opposedto Y in a critic. if theyare still invoked.. ." (Italics written workwhichprovides the gristfor numberof different ways: the opattack... Frazer's contribution position may be within a wider mine).All thisconcern with whether Dr. Jarvie's is to be discovered fromhis agreement, or in whatway "earliersocial forms" to learning and may be submergeable, are relevant, which clearly preoccupied book: he passed on nothingby social so to speak, by a wider and he had no pupils.WithMalinowMalinowski and his disciples,only contacts; more generalopposition in whichX ski,it was theother wayround (p. 565). makessenseif evolutionism is stillthe and Y are on the same side of the enemy.Note that the two authors If "the otherway round" is to be fence;or again,X and Y may be opcited,like all the contributors to the taken literally, it follows that Ma- posed as specimens of opposedclasses volume in question,cannot be ex- linowski'scontribution can only be of doctrines. Theseare justthesimplest likeJarvie, by Leach'sexegetic approached cluded., through hispupilsand not possibilities. in his arguEverything principle thatonly thosewho had in at all through his books: he had, it ment on thishierarchy hinges or strucdrunkat the sacredfountare appears,no readers.One trusts person that ture of oppositions, and yet Leach
Leach did not quite realise what he was saying here. Esoteric access to a tradition, or perhaps personal memory, is not ignores this problem. To make out his case, he would have had to show that Malinowski considered diffusionism an absolute alternativeto evolutionism, 573

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Grudgingly, Dr. Leach admits explana- himself. cameto be held.His official and notjusta kindof fellow-member, though he does not makea secret of a widerclass of tion was of a ratherintellectualist this, withevolutionism, or of hisfeeling that"celebrities" are not of falseassociations views whichhe was reallyconcerned kind,in terms good scientists. Now, this of properreason- necessarily to reject (and of which class evo- the misapplication of which may be so forothersciences. For anwas in factby far themore ing. But otherexplanations, lutionism the situation are implicit thropology, is different. To make out his he was possibly unaware, member). important One The scienceof man,to be the science of hismaterial. case, Leach would also have had to in hisarrangement be able to generalize for this I do not thingof whichhe was unawareand of man,must excludethispossibility; as a whole. believe can be done, because this of whichhe would have disapproved humanity Apart from a very competent to the factsof is that the analogies which he corresponds possibility of histhesis, Dr. Leach'spaper better to a defence assembled lend themselves the case. and scathing than they do is devotedto a brilliant interpretation Apart fromhis attack on Jarvie, Jungian of Frazerand a surprisingly He was criticism explanation. Leach is puzzled by the popular to hisownofficial various no proto-Jungian, but he can be vigorous defence of Malinowski of Frazer.He considers success in rejoinder en- apparently to Dr. Jarvie. or retrospectively of the impact both of posthumously explanations of this 12-page paper is but the one listed on the side of Jungianand Two-thirds Frazer and Malinowski, devoted to the dethronement of the is both circularand similar interpretations. he finallyoffers by sayis explained vacuous.Nothing Why should myth come in such "divineking"thatFrazerhas become who makes suggestively ing thatan anthropologist if error, in the eyes of the English-reading similar patterns, Frazeris pulled a greatimpactdoes so becausewe see presumably random, is responsible? public.Methodically, his work. Natu- Frazeris, forthisreason, to down,tillat lastwe see himas a weak "Mankind"through a godsend scientific rally, to say that an anthropologist thosemanywho seek a new, depth- manwho lackedimagination, conviction of thought, and makes an impact on non-specialists psychological foundation for religious precision, dedication, and who in fact means that his work illuminates belief. Those who find supportfor scholarly forsomeof hisbrilliant ideas What otherimpactwould religious humanity. belief(or indeed,who find depended to have? the verymeaningof religious like Robertson you expectan anthropologist belief) on "accepted"masters Leach goes on to say: "It is because in the fact that its objectsare some- Smith. was all thatDr. Leach in their how allegedly furniture Malinowski thearchetypal each of us could recognise illustra- makes him out, and perhaps more. pages the savage withinus that we of thehuman findtheir mind, theun- tions, of insight, in Frazer. What I wonderis if Frazer was as feelthe excitement if not theirevidence, of Does not Frazernow live on through weak and poor as Dr. Leach has made verifiable validityof a statement him out to be! Frazer'sgreatness lies genius."Perhapsit is unkindto take theeyesofT. S. Eliot? not in his theoretical sophistication as more than a mere this statement but in therichness of his material, his decorative purple passage, though commandover factual data froma is very harshon poor Leach himself in this line. by K. S. MATHUR* efforts Frazer's stylistic vast area of space and time,and his Does Leach reallybelievethat"statemasterly abilityto classify and interLucknow, India. 23 Iv 66 unmentsof genius" are generally pret them.Should we not be more Dr. Leach forhis veryfrank generousin our evaluation of our verifiable and valid? What can all I admire "evaluation"of Frazerand Malinow- pioneers-viewthem this mean? in thecontext of on ski. Leach's pen is like a surgeon's theirtimesand the knowledge he does not comment Curiously, availand ironic knife-sharp, incisive, and to the able to thenm? one obviousbut interesting (After all, anthropology factor in Frazer's later popularity. point. His thesisis that "scientists" is warmlyhumanrather than coldly because they make mechanical.) he become "celebrities" Frazer himself was a rationalist: Thiswouldprobably save about human considerable generalizations which he sweeping believedthe variousmyths useless controversy and thatis,they, provide man promotebetterunderstanding itself; collectedto be false,and he offered nature among of how thesefalsebeliefs witha mirror explanations in whichhe can look at the scientists of man.

genuousand hardlysupporthis own an evolutionist of a sort must be posture of scholarly detachment. wrong. He writes learnedly abouthow Evans-Pritchard (1965.)is a collection the category formations of anthropolby EDMUND LEACH* of essaysabout thehistory of anthro- ogistsand sociologists oughtto have viewsare treated with evolved, buthe does not consider how This is a typical piece of British pology.Frazer's academic in-fighting. May I remind explicit contempt(pp. 27-29) and in fact theydid evolve. Gellnercan thoughhis name crops up quite fre- denounceand gesticulate as muchas readers of CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY it is alwaysas a minor member he likes, buttheevidence remains that the topic is the anthropological quently there crowd-e.g., on p. in print. British merits of Frazerand Malinowski, not of an evolutionist anthropologists at the is to "Mc- beginning of the century the scholarlymeritsof Jarvie and 56, where the reference of thought Wundt, diffusionism and evolutionismas Leach. Since I alwaysfindit hard to Lennan, Robertson-Smith, Jevons radically opposedcreeds: stand in exactlyone posturefor any Frazer in his earlierwritings, new recruits here to the subject great length of time, it maybe relevant and Freud."What is significant had to join one side or should have the other,and Malinowski, that the original Encounterarticle is that Evans-Pritchard a pupil of Frazerwhen of Wundtjoiningthe L.S.E., naturalwas in proof in 1964 and that the been so contemptuous wrotethese in theearly ly becamean evolutionist. essays Jarvie-Leachcorrespondence repro- he first He never ducedabove was in proofin Summer 1930's. reallythought of himself as anything 1965: it is now May 1966. The principaltheme in Gellner's else, though he came to think of Gellneraccusesme of (a) beingtoo remarks seemsto be thatMalinowski evolutionist interests as old-fashioned scholarlyand (b) being unscholarly. musthave feltbitterly hostileto the and rather uninteresting. But his It is hardto be virtuous. His remarks evolutionists and that therefore to diffusionism, my hostility as he underabout my senior colleaguesare in- assertion thatMalinowski was himself stood it, was bitter and relentless;





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British confessed evidence for this is to be found analyses, but in contemporary by Rivers himselfin his hiswritings, in anthropology Addressto SectionH of throughout forexample its influencewas nil. Presidential Malinowski little the BritishAssociation (1926), Elliot Smithet al. That Hobhouse post-1910 carried of that year (1928), Calvertonand Schmalhausen anthropological is stillsearchweightin Englandis (Rivers1911). If Jarvie (1930:131n.),and Malinowski(1945: shownby two details:(1) Malinowski ing for slain Fathers, he should 19). Gellner and Jarvie bothaccuseme (1913), written while the authorwas considerRivers as a possiblevictim. of inconsistency, in a department arguing thatwhen I a student of which His deathin 1922 while at the peak show thatMalinowski wrotein praise Hobhouse was joint head, never of his academiccareerand President of Frazerthisdemonstrates Hobhouse;and (2) after 1915 of theRoyal Anthropological thatFrazer mentions Institute was stillinfluential an- Hobhousehimself lost interest in the was certainlyopportunefrom Maamongserious thropologists in 1923and later. pointof view,though it may anthropologists; his substantial linowski's Butmy British to be a supplement to have inhibited the subsequent critics havemissed Malinow- essay,intended mypoint. vitriol. ski always admitted to having been Hobhouse (1906), was publishedin Malinowski'slater hostility towards enthralled by The GoldenBoughwhen German(Hobhouse1928-29)and did Radcliffe-Brown (who was Rivers' untillong after first anthropological pupil) had he firstmet up with it in 1908. He not appearin English wrote a laudatory review of the his death. multiple causes, butwas influenced by abridged editionin 1923 at the point Gellner insists thatMalinowski was Malinowski's extreme distaste for in hiscareer whenit was important for preoccupiedwith a struggle against Rivers' style of kinshipanalysis,of him to attracta non-anthropological evolutionism and historical reconstruc- which some of Radcliffe-Brown's to hima continuation. audience.The fact that he had per- tion generally; thisjust isn't true.At workseemed Afterthat,it is nice to be able to suaded Frazer to write a prefaceto no point did Malinowski see his Argonauts, ratherthan choosingthe functionalism as radicallyopposedto say "thankyou" to Beattie. I fully muchmore appropriate evolutionism. Ma- concedehis pointabout Shillukkingacademically The posthumous also indicates Malinowski's linowski that the Seligman, evolutionist killing,but it is important (1947) is entirely at this stage, for public in tone, and in anotherposthumous verdictremain"not proven."Young eagerness, (1966) goes too far in the opposite ratherthan anthlropological acclaim. work(1944:16-17)he writes: Gellner direction, citesa passagefrom Malinow- Nevertheless to implythat we seeming the generalprinciple evoof ski (1944) as evidence at all in whether thatMalinowski lutionary analysis remains... evolutionism aren't interested of the has suffered saw Frazeras the"embodiment werereallykilledor not. a temporary eclipseunderthe divinekings or I likeArdener's Since the attack of the extremediffusionists past," i.e., the slain Father. pointaboutFrazer's "historical" schools... it has been personal isolation having some repassagein question comes from a com- so-called in a rational form by several young levance for the creationof the Framissioned it is hardlysur- revived obituary, notably A. Lesserand L. White. zerian mystique. prisingthat Frazer shouldhere have students, His pointabout the Malinowski ever cameto role of pupils linksup with some of been singled out as "the last survivor The nearest theevolutionist position is in Gellner's of British classicalanthropology"! But attacking remarks. The recollection of of the thirdedi- pupilsis not likelyto be an accurate I cannotsee what bearing thishas on the specialforeword tion of The Sexual Life of Savages record Jarvie's thesis. of "whatreallyhappened," but in a section entitled "An nor is the written Whatdo I meanwhenI saythatdif- (1932),where word. If we are recantation" he claims interested fusionism was dominant in British an- evolutionist's in history we must takewhat between1910 and 1925? that between 1927 and 1929 he evidencethere is at hand, written, thropology hisprevious evolutionist as- verbalor any other. I mean what any ordinary readerof abandoned But if we.draw a But even here (1932:xxii) sharpdistinction "a literary and political between rather thanan sumptions. publicfame saysthat"I have ceasedto and influence academic journal"wouldthink I mean. he merely on academicsuccessors, of evolutionary as in Frazer'scase I think Gellner's pretence thathe doesn't know be a fundamentalist we should, method.... I have grownmore and then is a philosopher's quibble. hislack ofpupilsis most relevant. to the problems of Gellner'sdiscussion of Hobhouseis more indifferent To MathurI would merelyreply a red herring but mustbe answered. origins." thatit is not a question of generosity Hobhousewas a classicalevolutionist The factis that Gellneris simply of evaluation. The greatness of Frazer whose anthropological attitudenever misinformed. Whateverhe may like "in the context of his time"is not in varied fromthat specifiedin Hob- to thinkis the logic of the case, dif- question. I put thattimearound1890; house (1906). His later philosophical fusionism did become the dominant Jarvie puts it about 1925. worksappearto showaccommodation vogue in Britishanthropology very Since the partsof the Jarvie-Leach to Durkheim. Hobhouse, Wheeler, and soon after1910, and it was regarded correspondence which appeared in Ginsberg (1915) is a workof technical as something radically opposed to Encounter have been reprinted here innovation in anthropology, the an- evolutionism. The criticalevent was and sinceJarvie is willingto leave it cestor or the modern H.R.A.F. W. H. R. Rivers'"conversion" in 1911, at that,so am I.

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no morethan fromthe descriptions, threeare analyzable.Thus, the mere the indicates of thismaterial quantity cautionin arriving need for extreme If populaconclusions. at far-reaching tions ratherthan individualsare to horizon and thus probably represent On "Homo habilis" units of sympatric forms),the assumption of constitutethe elementary is the thisprinciple co-specifity is thenullhypothesis from classification-and of modernsystematicswhichthepaleontologist shouldbegin cornerstone by TADEUSZ BIELICKI up of new specieson histaxonomic analysis. Thishypothesis thenthe setting Poland.21 xii 65 can be rejected Warsaw, and inso scanty onlyif it is shown that thebasisof material With referenceto P. V. Tobias' thedifferences are definitely too large complete can hardly be justified, article,"New Discoveriesin Tanga- to be attributedto any of the 4 particularly when the differences taxonand proposed thenewly nyika, Their Bearing on Hominid categories of intra-specific variation, Detween formsare, as in Evolution"(CA 6:391-411),I should i.e., to sexual dimorphism, age dif- othercontemporary or doubtful. minute liketo makethefollowing remarks on ferences,polymorphism, and poly- this case, either to Tobias,one of the 3) According the taxonomical validity of "Homo typism. I think thatthishas not been for the generic arguments habilis": shownso far for theBed I hominids strongest of "H. habilis" from for distinctiveness confronted with fromOlduvai (nor, incidentally, 1) A statistician is the large and the Djetis ho- the australopithecines dif- the Swartkrans two samples thequestion whether cranial capacity of Hominid 7, feringin a certainparameter came minids). at 680 cm. But the method 2) Since all the post-cranial bones estimated from a single population or from two had to be veryindirect fortaxonomic of estimating Bed I are valueless ones always startswith the from different of and involvedseveralpossiblesources and since the cranium as his assessment, firstof thesetwo alternatives in reconstructing and it is only if Hominid13 (by farthemostcomplete of error(e.g., errors working hypothesis; on which Leakey, Tobias, each of the two parietal fragments calculations show that odds are findof those heavilyagainstit that he acceptsthe and Napier originally based the fromthe manysmallerpieces; errors the complete biof thenew taxon!)has now in reconstructing observeddisparity as non-accidental. definition the in estimating I think, been removedfromthe "habilis" to parietalwall; errors An analogous principle should, grade,the whole case for B/A ratios in other fossil crania; underlie thepaleo-taxonomist's reason- the erectus circumUnderthese errors). ing. Whenever one deals with fossil H. habilisrestsupon: one veryfrag- measuring figurebe fragments which (a) evidently belonged mentaryand crushed callotte, one stances,can the resultant more than a onevery mandible, mandibular regardedas anything to animals closely related anatomically juvenile and ecologically and (b) come from fragment with a singletooth,and a rough guess?One should not forget thesame site or regionand the same few loose teeth-of which, judging that even in crania muchmorecom576




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