Taussig discusses the “phantom” of notetaking—that which arises when we reread the banal scribbles of our field notes or other forms of notetaking. The “phantom” is constituted by the traces of experience, those “interstices of notation” that cannot be jotted down, but which remain in the pages of the notebook nonetheless by their very absence. Taussig also discusses how notebooks become fetishized, citing biographical accounts of great thinkers that lovingly detail quality of paper, type of ink and so on. The notebook as an object is imbued with a mystical quality that enables the artist, writer, creator to execute his or her work with confidence and to encourage others to acquiesce to its authority. (via Documenta Notebooks: Michael Taussig, Fieldwork Notebooks)
What the cockfight says it says in a vocabulary of sentiment - the thrill of risk, the despair of loss, the pleasure of triumph. Yet what it says is not merely that risk is exciting, loss depressing, or triumph gratifying, banal tautologies of affect, but that it is of these emotions, thus exampled, that society is built and individuals put together.
Clifford Geertz - “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” in The Interpretation of Cultures (via glovedup)
THIS WAS THE FIRST ETHNOGRAPHY I EVER READ. I FUCKING HATED IT (AND THE PROF WHO ASSIGNED IT) AT THE TIME. MOSTLY BECAUSE WE WERE GIVEN A COUPLE DAYS TO READ THE WHOLE THING. I ENDED UP REALLY LIKING THE PROF OF THAT CLASS THOUGH (AND THIS BOOK). I DIDN’T HEAR ABOUT HER FOR A WHILE AND ASSUMED SHE GOT FIRED BUT A FEW YEARS AGO THIS GIRL THAT I USED TO GO TO SCHOOL WITH WAS IN TOWN FOR A CONFERENCE AND I MADE SOME COMMENT ABOUT HOW THAT PROF WAS A TURD (OR AT LEAST I USED TO THINK SO) AND HOW I WASN’T ALL THAT SURPRISED SHE GOT FIRED AND THE GIRL WAS LIKE “SHE’S FUCKING DEAD YOU KNOW AND I LOVED HER!!!!” EEK, MY BAD.