Paul Stoller's Project of Eidetic Ethnography
A presentation of the controversial 'In Sorcery's Shadow' by Paul Stoller and Cheryl Olkes - a record of Stoller's experiences with the Songhay in Niger. The author of this review formulated the thesis that Stoller's mimetic involvement in sorcery and the resultant strong emotive (and psychosomatic) reaction are the consequence of an attempt at realising a programme of eidetic (phenomenological) ethnography, outlined in his previous texts. The experiences registered by Stoller are analysed with the assistance of the conception of triple mimesis (Paul Ricoeur) and instruments applied for text analysis. Regardless of the dramaturgy of the experience itself, the case of Paul Stoller is an excellent contribution to reflections on the boundary of cognition in anthropology, and the translatability of perspectives between distinct varieties of 'Lebenswelt'. The dramatic history of the author of 'Money Has No Smell' demonstrates that an attempt at a total opening up towards local cognitive categories, the detextualisation of culture, and the assumption of 'the skin' of the Other may end in a significant deprecation of research objectives and a mimetic merge of two identities. The text is partly based on chapter V of author's Ph. D. dissertation.
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