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Heroic Violence, Individual Identity, And Community Reflection

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that Aron Gurevich's article, entitled "Heroes, gods and laughter in Germanic poetry," lays important groundwork for thinking about violence not as contrary to the formation of reflective subjectivity, but as crucial for its formation. In order to better illustrate the points, it draws on another interesting analysis of this same text by Ursula Dronke, published in 1969. In recent years, numerous critics have underlined the conjunctions between modernist anthropology and colonialism. In conclusion, the question of violence is one test case for the degree to which modern anthropology can truly confront alterity, by which is meant as true cultural difference, accepted as such without condemnation or judgments of superiority and inferiority, either in the present or the past. The point is that the rhetoric of violence in the society leaves little space for appreciating heroic violence.

Keywords: anthropology; Aron Gurevich; heroic violence; Ursula Dronke



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