The published work of Claude Levi--Strauss over the last three and a half decades has established him as one of the worlda s most innovative anthropologists. Yet throughout this period he was maintaining a full taching commitment in Paris. The pieces in Anthropology and Myth illustrate (in his own words) a the efforts, the tentative advances and retreats and now and again the achievements of a thought process during some thirty--two years that amount to a large propotion of an individual life and the span of a generationa . Levi--Strauss used to the lecture theatre as a workshop in which to try out and develop new ideas, and many of the familiar themes of his books will be found here: analysis of myth and ritual, totemism, kinship, marriage and social structure. Offering a unique glimpse of the genesis of such subjects throughout his teaching career, this book provides a sketchbook of the themes painted elsewhere in larger, more finished form, and thus forms a document of vital importance for the history of anthropological thought.
Claude Levi--Strauss, who retired recently from his chair at the College de France, is a member of the Academie Francaise. Among his most important books are The Elementary Structures of Kinship, The Savage Mind and The Raw and the Cooked. Roy Willis teaches anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.