Vengeance in Reverse

The Tangled Loops of Violence, Myth, and Madness

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Mark Anspach
  • Easting Lansing, MI: 
    Michigan State University Press
    , June
     2017.
     136 pages.
     $24.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781611862386.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Ivan Strenski forthcoming.

Description

How do humans stop fighting? Where do the gods of myth come from? What does it mean to go mad? Mark R. Anspach tackles these and other conundrums as he draws on ethnography, literature, psychotherapy, and the theory of René Girard to explore some of the fundamental mechanisms of human interaction. Likening gift exchange to vengeance in reverse, the first part of the book outlines a fresh approach to reciprocity, while the second part traces the emergence of transcendence in collective myths and individual delusions. From the peacemaking rituals of prestate societies to the paradoxical structure of consciousness, Anspach takes the reader on an intellectual journey that begins with the problem of how to deceive violence and ends with the riddle of how one can deceive oneself.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Mark R. Anspach is an American anthropologist and social theorist whose writings have appeared in nine languages. He is affiliated with the LIAS research team at the Institut Marcel Mauss, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris.

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