Friday, May 9, 2008

I was recently reading a book about Harry Smith called "American Magus." It's not great, but there are some fantastic (if poorly transcribed) interviews with many of his friends and admirers.

Lionel Ziprin was one of Smith's earliest friends when he arrived in New York, and the interview that writer Paola Igliori (also a friend of Smith's) conducted with him is one of the better ones in the book. He makes some refreshingly bold claims. As someone working towards a degree in folklore (the stepchild, perhaps, of anthropology), I often think about exactly what Ziprin proposes below.

"You see anthropologists are whites, super-racists. They come to look at Indians; they come to look at Jews; they come to look at Africans. They are anthropologists. They are a superior white culture."

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