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A Place Apart: An Anthropological Study of the Icelandic World - Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology (Hardback)
  • A Place Apart: An Anthropological Study of the Icelandic World - Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology (Hardback)
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A Place Apart: An Anthropological Study of the Icelandic World - Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology (Hardback)

(author)
£137.50
Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 16/07/1998
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A Place Apart offers a rich and reflective representation of Iceland and Icelanders today. Kirsten Hastrup draws upon extensive first-hand research, but also upon her original theory of what anthropology is and should be, which this book exemplifies. In two previous books she studied the processes and patterns which shaped Icelandic society from medieval times to the nineteenth century; now she brings this historical study up to date by drawing out the dominant themes in present-day Icelandic self-understanding. In many ways Icelanders' sustained image of themselves as a singular people in the world refracts the actual social reality. The image tends to favour particular interpretations of history as well as particular social groups, as Hastrup shows through analyses of tradition and ideology, landscape and memory, community and honour. She investigates the ways in which everyday life is informed by a living tradition and a stress on the historical depth and cultural uniqueness of this place apart. The result is a renewed sense of the texture of the Icelandic world, seen not as a static and prescriptive culture, but rather as a space within which Icelanders are suspended between modernity and consciousness of the antiquity of Icelandic values, between presentness and pastness.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198233800
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 565 g
Dimensions: 242 x 162 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
she convincingly argues that much of her material suggest that Icelanders have tradtionally refused to separate myth and history, pointing out that such a position is summarised in the concept of saga. Second, the chapter on landscape provides an excellent analysis of the phenomenology of spatial relations and Icelanders' attachment to both land and sea. Finally, Hastrup's portrayal of the food ritual called porrablot as a kind of Babette's Feast is both entertaining and perceptive. * Gisli Palsson, Social Anthropology, Vol.8/1. *
This book has much to offer to students of Iceland, ethnographic practice and anthropological theory. A place apart is, in my view, the best volume in Hastrup's triology on Iceland and anthropology. Her theorising is not only more mature, coherent and humanistic than in her earlier volumes, it is blended with perceptive ethnographic observations and analyses in language that is generally clear and accesssible. * Gisli Palsson, Social Anthropology, Vol.8/1. *
When Hastrup actually writes about the Icelandic world ... she produces real insights into the ways in which Icelanders conceptualize themselves and their land. - Carolyne Larrington. Times Literary Supplement. 8/1/1999
an interesting study... gives food for thought. * Regis Boyer, European Review, Vol.8, No.1, 2000 *

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