(urth) Thecla's "Identity"

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 11 09:51:41 PDT 2013

>Ross Arlen Tieken: Although that book is fascinating, let's just say it's not  
>very... respected.

Heh, well, I did refer to it as "pop anthropology". Still I found the section on
Harris' own work with the economics of cows in India and his coverage of Rappaport's
work with the New Guinea tribal pig herders to be academically rigorous enough to
use it them as assigned reading for a Cultural Anth. 101 class I once taught. It was 
good for the course segment on "economic models" and some of the students had fun 
going on to read the unassigned chapters.

For me, the fascinating part on first reading was to learn that there are/were
(subjectively) real witches with flying broomsticks and sexual congress with the devil.

I was reminded of it in reading the Gene Wolfe interview quote below:

>I wrote a book called Free Live Free; it's a science fiction novel, a time-travel novel, 
>and there's a private eye. People say, "You can't do that. This is a science fiction novel! 
>You can't have a private eye." 

>So I say, "Look, there are real private eyes. Look in the phone book." My father used to 
>have a business partner who was a private eye. This is a real business; it isn't just in 
>the novels of Dashiell Hammett. As a matter of fact, Hammett was a former private eye -- 
>he was a Pinkerton. 

>And they say, "Well, you can't. And there's a witch in here! You can't have a witch in a 
>science fiction novel!" 

>And I say, "Yeah, well I've had witches give me their business cards." They're real people. 
>They're around here. Go to the nearest occult bookstore, strike up conversations with the 
>customers. I'll bet you hit a witch within the first ten conversations. Okay, so I've got 
>one in my story.


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