In sorcery’s shadow by Paul Stoller

F7F03937-F030-4812-88DE-8202C439027CBook set in Tillaberi, Niger. Reviewed on 2019/09:

#insorcerysshadow is a hot mess, a train wreck and a somewhat interesting story all at the same time. The only thing saving this book from complete doomsday is the fact that #paulstoller is to some extent aware of his own shortcomings and inevitable subjectivity when carrying out his #anthropological studies. Besides his own internal monologues, #stoller also touches upon #songhaiculture in the #nigerriver especifically in the area west of #niamey and close to the border with #mali . As a former #peacecorps (I know…) volunteer, the author knows the area well and also its local language(s). A few years later (1970s and 80s), he has decided to return and further his studies in #anthropology . However this time around, he is plagued with ethical questions on how much of an objective and external observer he can be while becoming an apprentice to #sorcery … If you’re still with me here: THANKS! Hehehehe I did almost abandon halfway through this guy’s “realizations”. The main problem I have with the book is that Stoller achieves absolutely nothing. He fails to provide a complete picture of the cultures and places he visits. He fails to capture the people he meets. He fails to decide on his anthropological philosophy. If you take it for the personal account that it is, perhaps it might have some redeeming qualities. Perhaps, perhaps… #next #saharalit#peacecorpspeoplejustwhy#universityofchicagopress #tillaberi#ethnography #songhay #cherylolkes#wanzerbe #hotmess

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