“To me, this contrast illustrates the paradox of civilization: its charms are due essentially to the various residues it carries along with it …”
Claude Levi-Strauss (1955), Tristes Tropiques
I love the full quote. It’s beautifully written and highlights a real paradox that we all recognise in the things we value: the best rum (Levi-Strauss’s example), wine, cheese, suits, guitars and cars and not the product of advanced production methods but of the care and craft of individual artists and artisans. It’s a paradox worth pondering.
I haven’t read Tristes Tropiques and I’m not over-familiar with Levi-Strauss’ work but I’m not sure I subscribe to the blogger’s (Jacob’s) comment on liberalism and consumer culture.