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Tuhami: Portrait of a Moroccan

by Vincent Crapanzano University of Chicago Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 204 pages
AU$47.99 NZ$50.43
Product Status: Available in Approx 5 days
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Tuhami is an illiterate Moroccan tilemaker who believes himself married to a camel-footed she-demon. A master of magic and a superb story-teller, Tuhami lives in a dank, windowless hovel near the kiln where he works. Nightly he suffers visitations from the demons and saints who haunt his life, and he seeks, with crippling ambivalence, liberation from 'A'isha Qandisha, the she-demon.

In a sensitive and bold experiment in interpretive ethnography, Crapanzano presents Tuhami's bizarre account of himself and his world. In so doing, Crapanzano draws on phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and symbolism to reflect upon the nature of reality and truth and to probe the limits of anthropology itself. Tuhami has become one of the most important and widely cited representatives of a new understanding of the whole discipline of anthropology.

Preface Introduction Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four Part Five Epilogue Bibliography Index

''A powerful case for the place of self-reflexivity in all ethnographic writing. . . . Not the least of the anxieties Crapanzano portrays is tied to the notion of realism, sharply revealed here as a Western convention. The interviews were to have resulted in a biography, or, in social science jargon, a 'life history.' But the effect of the encounter was to undermine the expected meanings of both 'life' and 'history.'''
--James Clifford ''Times Literary Supplement ''