The Textual Life of Savants
Ethnography, Iceland, and the Linguistic Turn
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First Published in 1995. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
"Icelanders have always been keenly aware of the cultural importance of language and the social power of texts; the language and literature have been the touchstones of Icelandic identity from the medieval Commonwealth to the modern nation-state. In this masterful and innovative study by anthropologist Gísli Pálsson, the preoccupation of Icelanders with language and texts serves not only as a highly productive point of departure for the anthropological exploration of Icelandic history, society, and culture, but also as a frame of reference for a trenchant critique of textual ideologies and practices in anthropology itself. The range of The Textual Life of the Savants, from the Sturlunga Saga to the Sexual Life of Savages, ni to novels, orientalism to the dative case, is truly remarkable." -- Distinguished Professor of Folklore and Anthropology, Indiana University of Richard Bauman