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    Travelers' Tales: Observations on the Travel Book and EthnographyAuthor(s): Valerie WheelerReviewed work(s):Source: Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 2, Ethnographic Realities/AuthorialAmbiguities (Apr., 1986), pp. 52-63Published by: The George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic ResearchStable URL: .

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    California State University, SacramentoWhile the travel account is a species of ethnography,classic realistethnographiesare sharply

    distinguished from travel writing by their respective moral assessments of other cultures andinterest in adventure. In contemporary discussions of the creation of the anthropologist andethnography, separation of experience and outcome is a centralpuzzle which may be clarifiedby an examination of how anthropologists' accounts are and are not traveler's tales.

    "I hate travelling and explorers" (Levi-Strauss 1974: 17)Literate, but not literary, anthropologicalbut not anthropologists, exploring but notexplorers, travel writers produce somethinglike ethnography but not ethnography.Anthropologists seek exotic settings, tell ofwhat they find, and are fond of travel books;but they may deny being travelers, areuncomfortable making their personal exper-iences public,and produce accounts strikinglydifferent, even opposite in form, from travelbooks. Though the traveler had an honoredplace in nineteenth-century anthropology asone who provided data for the armchairanthropologist to analyze (Stocking 1983:71), travel books today are considered aminor form of ethnographic writing (Marcus

    and Cushman 1982: 27), and Levi-Strauss'TristesTropiqueshas been called "one of thegreatest travel books of the postwar period"(Cockburn 1984: 66). So why not entertainphilosopher Alfred Louch's notion of anthro-pology as a "a collection of traveller's tales"(1966: 159-60), not as a caricature of theprofession as Marcus thinks(1982: 164), butas an image worth taking seriously? The lightcast on the travel book by Paul Fussell'sanalysis of literary travel (1980) illuminatesthe relationship between ethnographer andclassical realist ethnography as well. In thefollowing comparison of travelers and theirtales, I consider British travel books of thebetween-the-wars period, with special atten-tion to the work of Peter Fleming, andanthropological materials from both Britishand American sources within and outsidethe period to comment on and explicatesome parallel comparisons of ethnographersand their ethnographies to travel writing.Enter the Stranger...

    It is most naturalthat the oasis-dweller shouldquestion the presence of a stranger,forthe onlyoutsiders he sees are men who come and go

    with a definite object, at regularintervals. He isaccustomed to apply a traditionalsaying...toallwho come his way:"First ime raw,second timeripe"(Cable and French 1944: 35).The anthropologist as stranger at homeand abroad has been well-documented inthe last twenty years (e.g., Nash 1963, Pow-dermaker 1966, Freilich 1977, Agar 1980).Using Ann Roe's (1952a; 1952b) study ofanthropologists of the Golden Age, Nashcharacterized anthropologists as independ-ent, intelligent achievers interested in peo-ple and the exotic, often unconventional andin conflict with their upper-status families,and in"a vocation where the anthropologists'sense of social superiority permits a some-what Jovian survey of their own society aswell as others and maintains them in a stateof superiority just because they are able tomake the survey" (Roe 1952a: 50, in Nash1963: 160). 2 Furthermore, "They are nor-mally detached, flexible, and tolerant ofambiguity"(Nash 1963: 161). Fieldwork pro-vides achievement, varied experience, iden-tification with a specific exotic society,status at home, and freedom-one can someand go both at home and abroad. Being ananthropologist is an identity;together anthro-pologists make a community of Wander-vogel (Nash 1963: 163-4)....eachtime he returnshe is riperand riper,untilthe whole desert colony beams withpleasure athis arrival Cable and French 1944: 35).The British between-the-wars travel bookwriter was not at home in a societyremodeled by the Great War. He hated thelack of graceful civilization and the placesthat were "dingy...moth-eaten...squalid...greasy... sickly, musty...dead...and damp,"where lifewas "dull...dreadful... desolate...spurious,appalling...sordid,and joyless" (Fussell 1980:17). Strong individualists, whose upper-classinsulation was being undercut by the"national socialism" that the centralizing


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    forces of the war effort produced (McNeil1982: 337), they went looking for reaffirma-tion of their civilized status through contrastwith the primitive, preindustrial, and extinctcivilizations. Robert Byron went along TheRoad to Oxiana in search of fifteenth-centuryIslamic civilizations, reading Thucydides andBoswell's Life of Johnson as he went. PeterFleming, on his way from China to India instages that he imagined Marco Polo wouldhave followed just south of the Silk Road,read Macaulay's History of England. EvelynWaugh packed Spengler's Decline of the Westfor his 1929 cruise in the Mediterranean.Most British literary travelers were Oxfordmen, including Graham Greene, Aldous Hux-ley, Peter Quennell, Cyril Connolly, AlanPryce-Jones, Christopher Sykes, Peter Flem-ing, W.H.Auden, Evelyn Waugh, and RobertByron. Fussell (1980: 78) remarks that invaryingconfigurations, these travelers showedBritish traits of "lawless eccentricity" and"flagrant individualism" as well as decency,good humor, and pluck:The characterthey that of theBritishtraveleras outrageous person, conduct-ing his libertariangesture against the predict-able uniformity, he dull "internationalism," fpost-war social and political arrangements(Fussell 1980: 78).As for the anthropologists, Eggan (1974:17)writes without elaborating that "Inthe 1930santhropology was a way of life that enabledits practitioners to escape the worst featuresof American culture."Whether or not anthro-pologists of the period were in search, too, ofGolden Ages, the structural-functionalistsfound harmony, balance, equilibrium, inte-

    gration, and solidarity (Voget 1975: 531) insocieties without history, far from the turmoilof Europe; historical particularism recreatedethnographic presents from the remnants ofdisrupted cultures, even reanimating the lostthrough fiction (Parsons 1922, Langness &Frank 1978); culture and personality studiesrefocused on the individualas the significantunit of study. Even civilization, not simply cul-ture, was a subject of concern in writingssuch as Kroeber's. And at least someanthropologists have been outrageouspersons.

    telling a tale of what it was like there...The traveler, a stranger who for the mostpart remained "raw"since he rarely visited

    any place twice, wrote of his travels to sellbooks. When Waugh went to the Mediterra-nean in 1929 and to Brazil in 1932, it was toget material for a speedy commercial suc-cess. Of his 1954 tripthrough Liberia,a ven-ture to pay off debts, Graham Greenewrites:It had seemed simple,before I set out, to writeatravelbook, but when I returnedand was facedwith mymaterialI had a moment of despair andwished to abandon the project.Adiarywritteninpencil with increasing fatigue and running toless than eighty quarto pages of a loose-leafnotebook,the piece of paperon which Ikept theaccounts of my carriers' advances..., a fewilliterate notes from...the District Com-missioner...and...he Commanderof the LiberianFrontier Force, some political literature fromMonrovia,a selection of Liberiannewspapers...anumberof photographs taken with an old vest-pocket Kodak,and memories, memories chieflyof rats, of frustration,and of a deeper boredomon the long forest trek than I had ever experien-ced before-how was I,out of all this, to make abook?ButI hadalready spent on the journeythethree hundred and fifty pounds which mypublishershadadvanced to me,and Icould earnno more until the book was written (1980:49-50).Greene solved his problem by interlacing theoutward journey with an inward, apparentlyautobiographical one in Journey withoutMaps.Peter Fleming, whose forte was non-fiction,avoided the problem with luck and carefulattention to his photographs and diaries.The literary travelers did not regard theirtravel books as literature, though they mayhave risked life and limb on the journey.When Waugh excerpted what he thought tobe the best parts of his travel books, hereduced hundreds of pages to one slimvolume, When the Going Was Good (1946).Fleming made a point of taking very littleseriously: he dismissed the literary outcomeof his trips as insignificant, repeatedly dep-recated his phenomenal trip across Asia asselfish and justifiable only by the politicalnews he and Ella Maillart brought from

    volatile Central Asia in 1935, and opened hisBrazilianAdventure1933) with the flip line, "Itbegan with an advertisement in the AgonyColumn of The Times." Robert Byron was an

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    exception. He devoted three years to creat-ing the perfect travel book(Fussell 1980: 94-96), an enthralling narrative presented as adiary in which events become the occasionfor tiny learned essays on history, architec-ture, art, and politics.In contrast, the occasion for writing anethnography is a contribution to knowledgefor a discipline and the enhancement of aprofessional reputation. Unpublished field-work material acquires a mythic El Doradoquality of inaccessible information, irretriev-able if the notes are lost or the anthro-pologist dies. Commercial success, however,is met with ambivalence. On the one hand,anthropologists chafe under persistentstereotypes of the profession; on the other,they are uneasy when anthropologicalknowledge becomes "popular"and therebylowered in scientific status. Marcus andCushman (1982: 51-2) discuss contem-porary readerships for ethnography, fromthe most valued (one's fellow area specialists)to the least valued (the general public);otheranthropologists, other social scientists,students and government-military personnelare sandwiched between. Marcus and Cush-man do not consider why the general publicis so negatively valued that the motives andveracity of those anthropologists who writefor it are suspect, but it doubtless has to dowith presumptions about these audiencesand perhaps with anxieties about their ownfield's armchair origins and the continuingprofessionalization of their endeavor. Asanthropologists came to acquire their owndata through intensive fieldwork, they soughtdissociation from the unscientific travelerwho was an amateur, a dilettante, and even anovelist. The nonspecific antipathy towardany similarity drawn between the travelerand the ethnographer (Marcus 1982, Mar-cus and Cushman 1982) maintains that dis-sociation, even at a time when the nature ofscientific knowledge in anthropology is atissue.The subject of the travel book is theessence of"being there,"3 portraying place,people, events and the journey's progress.Such writing is intensely sensory. HereRobert Byron writes about Northern Persia:Gumbad-i-Kabus 200 ft.), April24th 1933,-After ollowingthe BandarShah roada littleway

    back, we turned to the right down a track be-tween wattle fences. High reeds obscured theview.Suddenly,as a ship leaves an estuary,wecame out on to the steppe: a dazzling open seaof green. Inever saw that colourbefore. Inothergreens, of emerald,jade, or malachite,the harshdeep green of the Bengal jungle, the sad coolgreen of Ireland,the salad green of Mediterra-nean vineyards, the heavy full-blown brown-green of English summer beeches, someelement of blue oryellow predominatesovertheothers. This was pure essence of green,indissoluble,the colourof life itself.The sun waswarm,the larkswere singing up above. Behindus rose the misty Alpine blue of the woodedElburz.In front,the glowing verdure stretchedout to the rimof the earth (1937: 227-28).

    Evelyn Waugh, reluctant and unhappy, madea journey into Brazil in 1932, and the follow-ing description characterizes the tone ofmuch of Ninety-TwoDays:The country was dead flat and featurelessexcept for ant-hills and occasional clumps ofpalm; he groundwas hardearthand sand tuftedwith dun-colored grass; thousands of lizardsscattered and darted under the horses' feet;otherwise there was no sign of life except theblack crows who rose at our approachfromthecarcasses strewn along the track,and resettledto theirfeast behindus. Here andinthe forestwepassed a carcass every half-mile.Many wererecentlydead, forthe last drivehad lost forty percent., and these we cantered past holding ourbreath;others were mere heaps of bone pickedwhite by the ants, the mound of half-digestedfeed always prominentamong the ribs (1946:213).Peter Fleming's Brazilian jungle is lessbleak:Night in these jungles has a curious rhythm oit....There was a permanent regulated back-groundof noise....Thecicadas and the frogs laidmeasured strips of sounds with no end and nobeginning....Every now and then the cry, themovement in the branches, of some big birds,would come fromclose at hand, immediate andobtrusive: a throaty,confidential cry, a soft, acareful movement.(Fleming 1933: 245).Crossing one of the most difficult stretchesof their Asian journey, Fleming and Maillartfound no sweet water, no pasturage, nobarley on the barren high desert of Sinkiang.Then they entered Cherchen, the firstoasis:A cock crowed.The familiarsound, unheardfornearly three months, asserted definitively ourreturnto a world where men had homes; webegan to thinkgloatinglyof eggs. I thinkit wasthe sounds that were,for me, the most vividpart

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    of a strange and unforgettable experience. Thewind in the leaves, the gurgling water, a dogbarking,men calling to each other in the fields--these noises, and especially the wind in theleaves, changed the whole texture of ourenvironment,filled the air withintimacy,evokedforgotten but powerfulassociations. Then a cuc-koo called, lazily; he essence of the springthatwe had missed, the essence of the summerthatwe had suddenly overtaken, were comprehen-ded in its cry,and I hada visionof lawnspicketedwith great trees, young rabbitsscampering intogorse, a wall of ivy loud with sparrows....Wewound deeper into the oasis in a kind of trance.The gaunt camels strode ahead; the littleechelon of donkeys followed patiently. Cynara,with Kini up, stepped delicately, twitching herears and blowing down her nostrils; she hadneverseen a tree beforeandwas gravelydiscon-certed by these monstrous growths (Fleming1936: 234).While in travel books the people of aplace merely step forward now and again,the ethnography sets people against theground of place. Geertz finds the power ofEvans-Pritchard's assured declarations ofcustom his being-there "signature" 1983:75).While Ifind Evans-Pritchard's vignettes lessvivid than Geertz does, the visual emphasisis shown in this example from TheNuer:As soon as children can crawlthey are broughtintoclose intimacywiththe flocksand herds.Thekraal is their playgroundand they are generallysmeared withdung inwhichthey rollandtumble.The calves and sheep and goats are their com-panions in play, and they pull them about andsprawl in the midstof them....As soon as a babycan drinkanimal's milk ts mothercarriesitto thesheep and goats and gives itwarmmilkto drinkstraight fromthe udders (1940: 38).Evans-Pritchard himself relied on his excel-

    lent black-and-white photographs to conveythe atmosphere;No high barriers of culture divide men frombeasts in their common home, but the starknakedness of Nuer amid their cattle and theintimacy of their contact with them present aclassic picture of savagery. I ask the reader tolook at some of the illustrations...whichwillcon-vey to himbetter than Ican in wordsthe crudityof kraal life (1940: 40).The photographs do not convey"crudity" butare what Geertz calls"emblematical:" "...theymake points of their own" (1983: 75-6).Malinowski wrote to James Frazer that hehad "come to realize the paramount impor-tance of vividness and colour in descriptionsof life" (Stocking 1983: 106). InArgonautsof

    the Western Pacific he gives a traveler'saccount of his arrival in the TrobriandIslands, but in the ethnographic present of"an imaginary first visit" (1922: 55):We now enter an opaque, greenish sea, whosemonotony is broken only by a few sandbanks,some bare and awash, others with a few pan-danus trees squatting on their air roots, high inthe sand (1922: 49).His descriptions are painterly, emphasizingline-Furtherahead, throughthe mistyspray,the lineof horizon thickens here and there, as if faintpencil marks had been drawn upon it (1922:49).As we sail in the lagoon, following the intricatepassage between the shallows, and as weapproachthe mainisland,the thick,tangled mat-tingof the lowjungle breakshere and there overa beach, and we can see into a palmgrove, likean interior,supported by pillars(1922: 51).and color, most uninhibited in the diary-...the poisonous verdigris of Sariba lies in thesea, the color of blazing of phosphorescentmagenta with here and there pools of cold bluereflecting pinkclouds and the electric green orSaxe-blue sky. -Last night: sea and sky of acalm, intense blue, the hills shimmering withdeep purplesand intense cobalt of copper ore,and above them two or three banks of clOudsblazingwith intense oranges, ochers, and pinks(1967: 115-6).but in the ethnography (1922) as well-The round,grey logs, worn smooth by contactwithnaked feet and bodies; the troddengroundof the village-street; the brown skins of thenatives,who immediatelysurroundthe visitorinlarge groups-all these forma colourscheme ofbronze and grey, unforgettable to anyone who,likemyself,has livedamongthese people (1922:51).Whilevividnessis primary,he travelbookis also dynamic.The travelerarrives, eaves,keeps movingbyboat,camel,horse,truck,oron foot. The travelercontinually notes thedate and how manyweeks or months havepassed since he left Peking or willarriveinBelem, how long it has taken to traverse adesert orocean, and howmanydays he washeld up by officials,boatmen,or equipment.There is often pressure to be getting on. Itvaries with the traveler Fleming was nick-named The Galloper and Peter The Impatient

    by an annoyed Ella Maillart who wanted tolinger to ask questions and soak up atmos-phere.4 In Fleming's Brazilian Adventure,which Fussell (1980: 13-14) thinks the most

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    popular between-the-wars travel book, timeis exquisitely urgent in the last hundredpages as Fleming races a thousand milesdown the Araguaia River to Belem, ahead ofthe expedition leader who abandoned himupstream, to catch his boat to England andbe the first to present an account of theexpedition's debacle. The reader, too, takesa trip in imaginary time and becomesacquainted with the traveler on the way:thorny Robert Byronsoftens in his judgmentsof Persia and Afghanistan after severalmonths along the journey.A travel book is a narrative that someonetells someone else about what happened(Smith 1980: 232). It has a beginning andusually an end but is mostly middle. Endingstend to offer a returning-home scene or acomment on the sharp contrast between theadventure just past and the familiarity wait-ing, a resolution the traveler may greet withpleasure, ambivalence, or reluctance. Stay-ing in one place is, of course, not traveling, sotravelers must be on their way or stay andwrite an ethnography. Although the anthro-pologist comes and goes in his own andothers' societies, the classical realist ethnog-raphy is timeless. Change is absent; theaccount is in the present tense, although abrief history may preface the work Theannual cycle keeps turning, and the readermay be disconcerted to discover that theethnographer was in and out of the field,staying a few weeks or months, leaving,sometimes for years, or perhaps never goingback after the initial sojourn. Time suddenlyreveals the experience behind the ethno-graphic account as a reader glimpses what itwas likethere. Timeless ethnographyobscuresthe pressure of time. The anthropologist, too,has a schedule to keep, things to get done,and brief months in which to figure out theother ways of life. Anthropologists also areheld up by officials, truculent boatmen, andbroken equipment. But they rarely describethis sort of experience even in personalaccounts, less so in ethnographies.Another distinction of time separatestraveler and ethnographer. Travelers usuallybegin to write immediately upon returninghome. Back in England in late October, Flem-ing wrote 120,000 words of BrazilianAdven-ture in two months; the book was published

    the following August (Hart-Davis 1974: 105).This ripping yarn came straight from the heatof experience. The way a traveler reworks hismaterial is for background in a future novel.By contrast, although the ethnographer mayproduce a dissertation or article soon afterreturning from the field, revision and exten-ded publication may wait, while the heatcools and events fade. The immediacy drainsaway, leaving hard dry skeletons of exper-ience. The analyst returns to his materialperiodically, working out the ethnographyover many years but distancing himself aswell. There are many reasons for thelengthening time between fieldwork andpublication. One may be mistrust of firstimpressions as scientific knowledge. Buteven though the dispassionate ethnographeravoids committing impressions to the ethnog-raphy, they are cherished in personalmemory and private story. The daring maytell those stories in fiction or poetry. 5The inclusion of sensory and temporalwriting varies, of course, with the ethnog-rapher's inclination and ability. Both narra-tive and descriptive writing may be reservedfor another account ifthought out of place ortoo literaryfor scientific writing, stripping theobserver of the cloak of invisibility. Theclassical realist ethnography that worksthrough the expected topics of kinship,economy, political organization, and religionis hostile to narrative; t disassembles andabstracts experience and generalizes events. 6Exposition that abstracts and explains whyother people do what they do also disguisesthe speaker-the anthropologist is camou-flaged in the bushes or behind a screen, adisembodied voice of authority-while attemptsto include a methodological account of fieldexperience tend to violate the preference forabstraction. Meyerhoff and Ruby observethat "the more scientific anthropologists try to beby revealing their methods, the less scientific theyappear obe"(1982: 26, emphasis original).Tokeep anthropology objective has been tosequester personal experience in a diary,letters, an introduction, a separate chapter, aseparate account. Narrative revealing thespeaker in time and event is avoided.and of what it was like to be there...

    Inthe travel book the writer presents the

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    effect of the experience upon himself; theaccount is egocentric. A person with per-sonality, character, likes and dislikes, travelsto an exotic place in search of the stimulat-ing, dramatic, and bizarre and shares theadventure intimately. The descriptions, allu-sions, explanations, and events are those ofa particular person; we see through his orher eyes and know we are doing so.In the classic ethnography, the intenselypersonal experience of doing fieldwork hasbeen excised; no self intrudes into the frame,no hand comes out from behind the camera.Although based upon one person's exper-ience and analysis, ethnographic rhetoric is,in its commitment to objectivity, anti-ego-centric. Where Rabinow speaks of "mys-teriously narratorless chronicles common inanthropology" (1977: 179), Marcus andCushman make the more complex obser-vation:One of the primarydifferences between thetravelaccount and the realistethnographyis themarkedabsence inthe latterof the narratoras afirst-person presence in the text and thedominance instead of the scientific (invisibleoromniscient) narratorwho is manifest only as adispassionate, camera-likeobserver;the collec-tive or authoritativethird person...replaces themore fallible first-person...(1982:31-2).The requirements of nineteenth-centuryscientific writing are clear. What is less clearis the anthropologist's willingness to speakpublicly of self at all. Rose suspects theremay be no self there, that to be ananthropologist may require giving up self inorder to understand others (1982: 240); hegoes on to say that he gave up writing poetrybecause he "wanted to think, feel, and actlike an anthropologist" (p.240), to assume anidentity by trading "poetic unconsciousexperiences for an anthropological publiclife"(p. 271). He insists (p. 244) that becauseat the behest of his mentor Erving Goffmanhe did not use his anthropological identitywhile doing fieldwork in South Philadelphiain 1969, he could not do anthropology, i.e.,categorical data collection, and thus failed toproduce a professional text. Feeling like aspy because he did not reveal his true pur-pose, Rose presents instead what heexperienced-confusion, incompetence, lackof control, and daring-in an adventure storyabout what it was like to live in SouthPhiladelphia.

    As travelers make no claim to be scien-tific, scientists are ambivalent and inconsis-tent about adventure. Fleming repeatedlyannounced that his and Maillart'sexpeditionacross Asia was not a scientific one. Paleon-tologist Roy Chapman Andrews (1921: 87)said of his time in the Gobi, quoting Vilh-jalmur Stefansson, that "adventures are amarkof incompetence." Levi-Strass declaredthat "Adventure has no place in the anthro-pologist's profession; it is merely one ofthose unavoidable drawbacks, which detractfrom his effective work" (1974: 17). YetEvans-Pritchardbecame a fieldworkerbecausehe did not want to be "just an intellectual";he "wanted a life of adventure, too"(1973: 18).Both the travel book and the ethnographyuse a moral discourse. The difference, aselucidated by Alfred Louch, is that thetraveler makes moral judgments and theanthropologist makes moral assessments:The first requires nothing beyond one's arsenalof moralconvictions and a case to whichto applythem.Thesecond requiresa muchmoredetaileddescription of what might be called the moral

    ecology withinwhich the practice is observed.The firstreflects the interference of values withaccurate description which social scientistsrightlydeplore. The second is a case of moralexplanation, based upon the most detailed fac-tual picture possible (Louch 1966: 161).British literary travelers indeed had strongconvictions, as shown by Byron's Venetianopening in TheRoad to Oxiana and Fleming'sdutiful but self-conscious descriptions ofCaraja Indians in Brazil:We went to the Lido his morning,andthe Doge'sPalace looked morebeautifulfrom a speed-boatthan itever didfroma gondola.The bathing,on acalmday,mustbe the worst inEurope:water likehot saliva, cigar-ends floating into one's mouth,and shoals of jelly-fish(Byron 1937:3).It was always fun calling on the Carajas. Thewomen and pot-bellied children would comecrowdingroundas the nose of the leadingcanoegrated on the sand.Thewomen are said to speaka differentlanguage fromthe men, the principalvariationbeingthe omission-or slurring-by themen of the Ksound....Certainlythere is a greatand striking difference in tone, inflection, andcadence between the speech of the sexes. Dif-ficult as those who are accustomed to politefemale society incivilizedcountriesmayfindittobelieve, there is no more maddening sound inthe world hanthe conversationof a Carajawom-an. She speaks hurriedlyn a plaintivepetulant

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    sing-song, and untilyou get used to it you thinkthat she is going to break at any moment intoratherangrytears. The voices of the men are bycontrastdignifiedand deliberate(Fleming1933:154-5).The traveler expresses judgments aboutphenomena that violate the values oftraveler and audience and thus entertain,stimulate, and by contrast reaffirm thosevalues. Fussell speaks of the "unique Britishability to spot anomalies and make a travelbook by accumulating a great number ofthem" because of "a supreme confidencethat one knows what is 'normal' and can

    gauge an anomaly by its distance from thesocially expected," an "unquestioned under-standing of the norm and an unapologeticloyalty to it" (1980: 170). Without anomalythere is no travel book, no story to tell, andthe more wondrous the anomalies the betterthe account-thus the tendency of earliertravel books to find cannibals and dog-headed men, to tell tall stories and weirdtales.

    Ethnographers, however, embrace thetask of dissolving anomaly into the moralecology of the society studied; anothergeneration of British anthropologists, includ-ing Leach and Douglas, made theoreticalcapital from showing that the seeminganomaly is ordinary. Edmund Leachcomments:ForMalinowskihe centralissue of anthropologywas the problemwhich faces every fieldworker:How should one interpret the bizarre qualitywhichpervades so much of the behaviourwhichis encountered in the exotic settings whichanthropologists usuallychoose as the arena fortheir research? The essence of his answer wasthat as soon as the social context is fullyunderstood, the bizarre quality disappears. Incontext, the various aspects of human together and "make sense"(1982: 28).Perhaps the very movement of thetraveler prevents awareness of any contextbut the journey itself; intheory the longer theethnographer's field stay, the more anomalydissolves. But the traveler needs to preservethe anomalous, otherwise the account fails.The anthropologist who does not dissolve

    anomalies, who produces moral judgmentinstead of moral assessment, gets into trou-ble too. Malinowski's diary (1967) provokeda fuss because of his judgments regarding

    the Trobrianders. Colin Turnbull, for hisextended moral judgment of the Ik(1972)-so anomalous, he said, that they were asocial cancer that should be excised-wasattacked by anthropologists for his ethics,for misperception of context, and for conse-quent misinterpretation of what the Ikwereup to. But the anthropology of anthropology(Stocking 1983) now recognizes the diary'svalue, and Turnbull'swork, too, may be even-tually redeemed by the very openness withwhich he wrote. Nevertheless, ethnocen-trism is the social scientist's bogeyman.Arens (1979) argues that anthropologists'belief in customary cannibalism is not a mat-ter of fact but a matter of initiation: to exor-cise the demon of judgment, one must bewilling to accept infanticide, homicide, evencannibalism as ordinary. Students whoaccept vulgar cultural relativism are oftenuncomfortable evaluating anthropologicalwork, mistaking critical assessment for judg-ment they must disavow. For others, Louch'smoraljudgment and explanation have evolvedfrom a simple subjective-objective dichotomyinto a hyper-analytical species of her-meneutics and semiotics.Authority and fiction

    A travel book may contain bits of fiction.Although TheRoad to Oxiana takes form of adiary, Fussell reveals that Byron had care-fully constructed the work that way and thatthe dialogues were fictional. In Labels,Waugh transforms his own estranged wifeinto someone else's. Norman Douglas' com-ment, quoted by Fussell (1980: 175), that"one suppresses much in writing a travelbook; why not add a little?" chills theethnographer. The exceptionally honestPeter Fleming aside-"this book differs...from most books about the interior being throughout strictly truthful"-the travel book is an autobiographicalnarrative that uses fictional devices, comesout of the writer's encounter with the faraway and unfamiliar, and "claims literalvalidity by constant reference to actuality"(Fussell 1980: 203).Anxious about judgment, the ethnog-rapher is concerned that the reader accepthis interpretation as competent. Marcuswonders how the traditional ethnography

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    can incorporate self-awareness and stillretain "the rhetorical usage of language andformat by which ethnographers have con-structed their accounts as certain and objec-tive knowledge about others" (1982: 166).He observes that even an ethnographer sen-sitive to the effects of personality andexperience upon fieldwork and analysis maytreat this reflexivity as "a thing in itself' out-side the ethnography. There is also thetemptation I note in Rabinow and others toabstract self-awareness to the point wherethe anthropological self continues to beinsulated by epistemology and structuralism,not revealed as a human being whose workis inevitably autobiographical. Authorityassured by method remains infallible.

    Any hint of fiction threatens confidence inauthority; yet typical ethnographic fictionsare encompassed in typifications, pseu-donyms, composite individuals and events.These devices of ambiguity, Ithink, point outthe source of the ethnographer's anxietyabout being associated with travelers:claims to be scientific in the positivist sensemust be shielded from contamination by rip-ping yarns and tall tales.The ethnographer revealed, however,looks more and more like the traveler, anadventurer who braves intellectual hardshipand danger to experience other ways of liv-ing. Evans-Pritchard's final sentence in TheNuer acknowledges the simile:Wefeel likean explorerinthe desert whose sup-plies have runshort. He sees vast stretches ofcountrybefore himand perceives how he wouldtryto traverse;but he must returnand consolehimself with the hope that perhaps the littleknowledge he has gained willenable anothertomake a more successful journey (1940: 266).

    Both travelerand anthropologist are strangerswho deliver the exotic to an audienceunlikely to follow them to the places theyhave visited, but likely perhaps to follow theirexplorations of them. In neither case is theaccount written for the people or placesexperienced, but for person and profession.Ambivalenceand audience

    Consider a last example, Brazil. In1932 atwenty-five-year-old Fleming traveled 3000miles in three months, much of his journeythrough that part of the Mato Grosso

    occupied by the Caraja and TapirapeIndians. He attempted to enter Shavantecountry but had to turn back In 1939-40Charles Wagley, also twenty-five, spent tenmonths with the Tapirape but did not publishhis complete account until 1977, by whichtime his field notes were "cold" (1977: x).Herbert Baldus had dedicated his ownTapirape opus to Wagley, hoping to stimu-late him to publish. Wagley responded:So mybook is a labor of love,writtento fulfillmyobligation to my departed colleague and friend,and to attempt to organize my own understand-ingof the Tapirapecultureintoan integratedpat-tern (1977: xi).He also noted that "the rather unorganizedEnglish expedition described vividly by PeterFleming" in Brazilian Adventure"curiously"provided the most concrete informationabout the people and "although rather satiri-cal and certainly not scientific in any way, thebook did give me an idea of what I faced inmy journey to the Tapirape" (1977: 36, 4-5).David Maybury-Lewis, even though his workis outside the between-the-wars period, wasa student of Baldus and worked with theSherente for eight months in 1955-56 andthe Shavante for slightly longer in 1958. Hepublished an ethnography of the Shavantein 1974, and in 1965 a personal account ofthe fieldwork experience that still stands asone of the most revelatory in the so-calledconfessional literature of modern anthropol-ogy. The latter narrative is much like a travelaccount, and Maybury-Lewis (writing with astyle like Fleming's) distinguishes it sharplyfrom ethnography:Thisbook is an account of our experiences; it is

    notan essay inanthropology.Indeed,i have triedto put down here many of those things whichnever get told in technical anthropologicalwritings-our impressions of Central Brazil,ourpersonal reactions to the various situations inwhich we found ourselves, and above all ourfeelings about the day-to-daybusiness which ismysteriously known as "doing fieldwork".Thenarrative s therefore intentionallyanecdotal. Tothose readers who find that this book is not asthrillingas a book about the wilds of Brazilshould be, Ioffermyapologies. Ican onlyadd bywayof explanationthatevery incident init is true(1965: 8).Contrasting the tales of the avowedtraveler and those of the anthropologistrecalls Levi-Strauss' distinction betweenmelodics and harmonics as dimensions of

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    myth analysis. After isolating the mythemes,one tells the myth seriatim by following thearrangement of items (events), and oneunderstands the myth by demonstratingrelations between classes of items (Levi-Strauss 1963: 214). The outcome is a mythicsymphony of multiple melodies woven intogreat harmonic chords. One can whistle amelody, or tell a story, but may want the com-plex integration of harmony. Harmony with-out a melodic line, however, risks beingmerely an intellectual exercise. Inthe musi-cal metaphor, Fleming's travel account ispure melody; Wagley's "labor of love,"organized thematically but heavily narrative,has both melody and simple harmony(a tonepoem?); Maybury-Lewiswrites a ballad and astring quintet. In another metaphor, Fleminggives the reader a great canvas with charac-ter, feel, flavor, place, motion-a panorama ofCentral Brazil.Wagley gives a closer portraitof the people, individual natives and theirproblems, thoughts, actions, made up ofevents in Tapirape lives with the anthro-pologist in their midst. Maybury-Lewisreveals the Anthropological Innocent staring

    out of a Rousseau jungle, suffering con-siderably with his family and managing onlyby the skin of their teeth. So what is anethnography? By identifying and tabulatingcategories and their linkages, an anthro-pologist formulates an argument to explaintheir point. It does not share experience ortell a story or frame a picture. But it framesreference; on a higher, heretical level,ethnographies are stories, too. It is by hear-ing all the stories we may comprehendBrazil.

    As anthropological disciplines continueto evolve and categorical contrast to thetraveler or missionary "other" becomes lessvital to our professional identity, we mayforgo the delicious power of conventionalscientific authority, show ourselves as thecrucial points of reference within eachframe, and, in a distinctive voice of moralassessment, tell how we figure it out. Theresult will be not merely a synthesis of travelbook, ethnography, and autobiography, butthe stories of intellectual Travelers engagedin dialectic encounter with realities outsidetheir own.NOTES

    1 An earlier version of this paper was read at theAmerican Ethnological Society Meeting, Asilomar, Cali-fornia, April 1984. I wish to thank Peter Esainko andRobert Miles for their editorial support;and Dorothy Bell,John Connor, Robert Armstrong, W.J.Lippincott,GeorgeRich, and Mel Weiss for sharing their thoughts ontravelers and anthropologists.2 The population of American anthropologists hascertainly changed since Roe did her study, and a newstudy is inorder.Yet Dan Rose (1982) writingof his attrac-tion to anthropology fifteen years ago reveals a biographyand point of view consistent with those of the earliergeneration. There surely is persistence in preadaptationfor the calling.3 Ihave borrowed the term"being there" from Geertzbut use it with a different emphasis. Geertz refers to theanthropologist's having been there: his descriptions aretestimony that he knows what he is talking about. I amconsidering "being there" fromthe reader's side: can thereader imagine the scene and "be there" from what thewriter has said? My ground is the view of paleoneur-ologist HarryJerison (1976) who argues that the functionof language is not to direct action (lions and tigers can dothat) but to share experience. People perceive throughlanguage and share their consciousness with others inlanguage through stories, thus increasing the knownworld of all.

    4 Maillartcomments on the difference between them:"Peter was bored by my craving to understand thethousands of diverse lives that make up humanity andbored, too, by my need to relate my own life to life ingeneral. How could anybody be so crazy as to want to findout whether men's efforts brought about an improvementin human nature? Peter was troubled by none of thesethings. In his imperturbablewisdom he looked on humanbeings as characters in a comedy. As to his deeper self,his timidity [shyness] usually made him hide it beneath afacetious dignity.Except at rare intervals,he seemed per-suaded that his concerns were of no interest to anybody(1937: 148).5 Acolleague who has written novels says he does soto become deeply involved with character, feeling, andflavor, qualities that conventional ethnographic forms donot permit him to express.6 Interest in the form and function of narrative hasspawned a new specialty of "narratology" in modernthought. Marcus and Cushman seem to stretch the con-cept of narrative to include any discourse that movesfrom one topic to another, referring to the "normativenarrativestructure"of ethnography, which is "totraverse,in sequential fashion, the units (cultural complexes orsocial institutions) into which cultures or societies wereconceived, on theoretical grounds, to be divided"(1982:30). Since Marcus and Cushman are talking about

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    anthropological rhetoric, such expansion of narrativemuddles where it should clarify.While there is certainlyan arrayof opinion on what does and does not constitutenarrative(see Critical nquiry7[1], 1980, for an entire sym-posium on the subject), it is clear that a narrative tellsabout a sequence of events (not units) in the past tense; itmay or may not have a beginning, middle, and end(closure). Bruner uses narrative to talk more specificallyabout the assumptions that anthropologists bringto theirdata, in particular assumptions about history and thefuture. He finds the concept of narrative more fruitful hanmodel or paradigm because its order is sequence, and hesuggests, I think insightfully, that "if classificatory

    schemes provide a science of the concrete, possiblynarrative schemes may provide a science of the imagina-tion" (Bruner n.d.:5).7 Arens (1979) wrote that he found no reliable first-hand account of customary cannibalism in the ethno-graphic literature. Instead, the accounts conformedconsistently to wishful thinking on the part of outsidersand scapegoating by insiders The heated response fromfellow anthropologists went far beyond what his studywarranted because he challenged the traditional exer-cise in suspension of judgment-if the practice does notbias one's evaluation of a society, one is thereby capableof genuine anthropological assessment.

    REFERENCES CITEDAGAR, MICHAELH.1980 - The Professional Stranger: An Informal Introduction to Ethnography. New York:Academic Press.ANDREWS, ROY CHAPMAN1921 - Across Mongolian Plains: A Naturalist's Account of China's "Great Northwest." New York: D.Appleton.ARENS, WILLIAM1979 - The Man-Eating Myth:Anthropology and Anthropophagy. New York:Oxford University Press.BRUNER, EDWARD M.n.d. - Ethnography as narrative. In The Anthropology of Experience, Victor Turner and E.M. Bruner, eds.,forthcoming.BYRON, ROBERT1937 - The Road to Oxiana London: Jonathan Cape.CABLE, MILDREDwith FRANCESCA FRENCH1944 - The Gobi Desert. New York:Macmillan.COCKBURN,ALEXANDER1984 - Bwana vistas: The lost, lamented world of the travel writer. Harper's Magazine 269 (1611): 65-69.EGGAN, FRED1974 - Among the anthropologists. Annual Review of Anthropology 3: 1-19.EVANS-PRITCHARD,EDWARDE.1940 - The Nuer. Oxford:Clarendon Press.1973 - Genesis of a social anthropologist. The New Diffusionist 3 (10): 17-23.FLEMING,PETER1933 - BrazilianAdventure. New York:Chas. Scribner's Sons.

    1936 - News from Tartary:A Journey from Peking to Kashmir.New Yoric Chas. Scribner's Sons.FREILICH,MORRIS,ed.1977 - Marginal Natives at Work:Anthropologists in the Field. New York:John Wiley and Sons.FUSSELL, PAUL1980 - Abroad: British LiteraryTraveling between the Wars. Oxford:Oxford University Press.GEERTZ,CLIFFORD1983 - Slide show: Evans-Pritchard'sAfrican transparencies. Raritan. Fall:62-80.GREENE, GRAHAM1980 - Ways of Escape: An Autobiography. New York:Simon and Schuster.HART-DAVIS,DUFF1974 - Peter Fleming. London: Jonathan Cape.JERISON, HARRY1976 - Paleoneurology and the evolution of mind. Scientific American 234 (1): 90-101.LANGNESS, L.L.and GELYAFRANK1978 - Fact, fiction, and the ethnographic novel. Anthropology and Humanism Quarterly 3 (1-2): 18-22.

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    LEACH,EDMUND1982 - Social Anthropology. Oxford:Oxford University Press.LEVI-STRAUSS,CLAUDE1963 - The structural study of myth.In StructuralAnthropology, ClaireJacobson and Brooke GrundfestSchoepf,trans. New York Basic Books, pp. 206-231.1974 - Tristes Tropiques. John and Doreen Weightman, trans. New York Atheneum.LOUCH, ALFRED1966 - Explanation and Human Action. Berkeley: University of California Press.MAILLART,ELLA K.1937 - Forbidden Journey From Peking to Kashmir.London: Wm. Heinemann Ltd.MALINOWSKI,BRONISLAW1922 - Argonauts of the Western Pacific New York EP. Dutton.1967 - A Diary in the Strict Sense of the Term, Norbert Guterman, trans. New York Harcourt, Brace andWorld.MARCUS, GEORGE1982 - Rhetoric and the ethnographic genre in anthropological research. In A Crack in the Mirror:Reflexive

    Perspectives in Anthropology, J. Ruby, ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 163-172.MARCUS,GEORGE and DICK CUSHMAN1982 - Ethnographies as texts. Annual Review of Anthropology 11: 25-69.MAYBURY-LEWIS,DAVID1965 - The Savage and the Innocent. Boston: Beacon Books.1974 - Akwe-Shavante Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.MCNEILL,WILLIAMH.1982 - The Pursuit of Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.MEYERHOFF,BARBARAand JAY RUBY1982 - Introduction.In A Crack in the Mirror:Reflexive Perspectives in Anthropology, J. Ruby,ed. Philadelphia:University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 1-35.NASH, DENNISON1963 - The ethnologist as stranger Anessay inthe sociology of knowledge. Southwestern Journal of Anthropol-

    ogy 19: 149-67.PARSONS, ELSIE CLEWS, ed.1922 - American Indian Life. New York:Viking Press.POWDERMAKER,HORTENSE1966 - Stranger and Friend: The Way of an Anthropologist. New York:W.W.Norton.RABINOW,PAUL1977 - Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco. Berkeley: University of California Press.ROE, ALICE1952a - A psychological study of eminent psychologists and anthropologists, and a comparison with biological

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    WAGLEY,CHARLES1977 - Welcome of Tears: The Tapirape Indians of Central Brazil.Oxford: Oxford University PressWAUGH, EVELYN1930 - Labels: A Mediterranean Journal. London: Duckworth.1934 - Ninety-Two Days: The Account of a Tropical Journey through British Guiana and Part of Brazil. London:Duckworth.1946 - When the Going Was Good. London: Duckworth.

    Anthropological Quarterly April 1986, 59:2

    Announcing Special IssueT H E SEMIOTICSF TOURISM

    Annals of Tourism ResearchVolume 16, Number 1, 1989Several topics invite a combination of semiotic method and observations andanalysis of tourism. These include studies of literaryaccounts of travel, adver-tisements, brochures,and pamphlets,sights andspectacles, monuments,souvenirs,and communication (also miscommunication)between tourists and local peoples.All such topics lead investigation in the direction of an empiricallybased criticalanalysis of socioculturalvalues and ideology. Semiotic studies of specific aspects oftourismserve as a base forhighlightingemerging models of popularconsciousness(false consciousness, also,) social criticism, and critical theory. Potential articletopics include: the ethnomethodology of tourists,"Romancing he ThirdWorld,"ex-uality and/or exploitation in tourist settings, ethnic identity and tourism, touristadvertising ideology, tourismandculturaldeformation,narrative onsciousness andthe tour.

    Prospective authors should directly contact the Guest Editor:Dean MacCannellProfessor and ChairCommunity StudiesUniversity of California at DavisDavis, California 95616, USAThe deadline for papers is December 1, 1987. However,potential contributorsareencouraged to communicate their intent,along withabstracts, to Dr.MacCannellattheir earliest convenience.