Journeying between desire and anthropology: a story in suspense

Lundberg, Anita (2000) Journeying between desire and anthropology: a story in suspense. Australian Journal of Anthropology, 11 (1). pp. 24-41.

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Anthropology is a discipline based on the motif of the journey and 'the myth of the eternal return'. This is the journey out to the 'other' in order to return to constitute 'self', and this movement is a movement of desire. The desire is for wholeness, for self-presence, for a unified self. It is a desire for origins. And this desire is evident in anthropological practices as it is in myths and fairytales—all tell stories that speak of the desire for a separate, an original, self. Yet 'the myth of the eternal return' reveals that the enactment of the story is itself originating. The origin is not a thing to be hunted down and appropriated—it is no thing. Like the archetypes which flow through stories, it is alive in the telling.

The story I tell in this paper is about my own desires. It speaks of the desire to undergo the rite of passage of anthropology, and of how this journey was interrupted by the anthropologist who always journeys before me. And yet, it is through the inextricable relations with the writings of the 'other' anthropologist that alluring moments of different desiring are fleetingly revealed. In the end. my relations with anthropology tell of a paradox: of the desire for a transcendental journey in order to constitute self and the seductive desire for immersion—to lose self, the story remains in suspense.

Item ID: 22432
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1757-6547
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2013 00:18
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 75%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200204 Cultural Theory @ 25%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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