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Journal articles

Bronisław Malinowski et Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz : voyage aux sources polonaises de l'anthropologie moderne

Abstract : In 1967, Bronisław Malinowski’s daughter published part of the journal that he kept from 1908 to 1918, as A Diary in the Strict Sense of the Term. Malinowski had never intended these personal reflections, recorded during his expeditions to Mailu and the Trobriand Islands between 1914 and 1918. They became the subject of discussions and polemics. The “triviality” of the issues addressed in the Diary astonished many readers and led some critics, such as anthropologist Clifford Geertz, to conclude that the author was a “hypochondriacal narcissist.” This paper takes up several themes that arise in the debate surrounding Malinowski’s Diary in confrontation with Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz’s autobiographic novel 622 Downfalls of Bungo written in 1910‑1911. Witkiewicz, the Polish novelist, playwright, and artist, was a very close friend of Malinowski’s and took part in one of the anthropologist’s field expeditions. This article reconsiders Malinowski’s journal and explores the impact of Polish culture on modern anthropology. It also proposes a new perspective on the resonance of the Diary and attempts to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding its interpretation.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 16, 2021 - 3:10:15 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 1, 2022 - 3:47:17 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, July 17, 2021 - 6:51:53 PM


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Anna Saignes, Stanisław Jasionowicz. Bronisław Malinowski et Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz : voyage aux sources polonaises de l'anthropologie moderne. Slovo, Presses de l’INALCO, 2021, Les Voyages lointains des écrivains polonais (XX-XXIe siècle), The Distant Voyages of Polish Writers (20th-21st centuries) (51), pp.199-226. ⟨10.46298/slovo.2021.7449⟩. ⟨hal-03200421⟩



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