By Nigel Rapport
Transcendent person argues for a reappraisal of where of the person in anthropolgical concept and ethnographic writing. A wealth of voices illustrate and tell the textual content, displaying ways that contributors creatively 'write', narrate and animate cultural and social existence. this is often an anthropology imbued with a liberal morality that is prepared to make price decisions over and opposed to tradition in favour of individuality.Rapport attracts largely on ethnographic and theoretic fabrics bringing into the controversy a number of voices, between them Nietzsche, Wilde, George Steiner, Richard Rorty, John Berger and Anthony Cohen. In doing so he methods individuality by way of more than a few concerns: organic integrity, cognizance, organization, democracy, discourse, globalism, wisdom and play.
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Extra info for Transcendent Individual: Towards a Literary and Liberal Anthropology
Abstracting from the ritual practices undertaken in ‘Going Meta’ 37 the liminal period of Ndembu rites of passage, Turner could understand the entire symbolic creation of human worlds as turning on the relation between the formal fixities of social structure and the fluid creativity of liminoidal ‘communitas’. Drawing on Sartre’s dialectic between “freedom and inertia” (as Leach drew on Camus’s ‘essential rebellion’), Turner theo-rised that society be regarded as a process in which the two ‘antagonistic principles’, ‘primordial modalities’, of structure and creativity could be seen interacting, alternating, in different fashions and proportions in different places and times.
Wilde 1913:169)). For while what is currently lived is itself the issue of past imaginative acts of worldcreation, and dependent on continuing individual practice for its continuing institutionally, inevitably, present imaginative acts will be moving to new possible futures. To turn this around, the continuity of the conventional is an achievement and a conscious decision (not a mindless conformity) which must be consensually worked for, or else forcibly—and superficially—imposed. ‘Going Meta’ 35 Excursus 1 In Acts of Meaning, Jerome Bruner argued that not only is there a human ‘predisposition’ to organise experience into narrative form, to render experience as narrative, but also that there is a constant human readiness to rewrite such narratives, to write new narratives, and so render experience (the world) otherwise.
Because of imagination, the human world is possessed of an intrinsically dynamic order which human individuals, possessed of self-consciousness, are continually in the process of forming and designing. Because they can imagine, human beings are transcendentally free; imagination grants human beings that ‘margin of freedom outside conformity’ which “gives life its savour and its endless possibilities for advance” (Riesman 1954:38). ); in Woolf s words, “something useless, sudden, violent; something that costs a life; …free from taint, dependence, soilure of humanity or care for one’s kind; something rash, ridiculous” (1980:180).