An Excerpt from Page 140 (Chapter 12, Section 12.10), Satin Island, by Tom McCarthy

“Levi-Strauss claims that, for the isolated tribe with whom an anthropologist makes first contact – the tribe who, after being studied will be decimated by diseases to which they’ve no resistance, then (if they’ve survived) converted to Christianity and, eventually, conscripted into semi-bonded labour by mining and logging companies – for them, civilization represents no less than a cataclysm. This cataclysm, he says, is the true face of our culture – the one that’s turned away, from us at least. The order and harmony of the West, the laboratory in which structures of untold complexity are being cooked up, demand the emission of masses of noxious by-products. What the anthropologist encounters when he ventures beyond civilization’s perimeter-fence in no more than its effluvia, its toxic fallout. The first thing we see as we travel round the world is our own filth, thrown into mankind’s face.”


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