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LSE Review of Books: The books that inspired Henrietta Moore

Published: Tuesday 26 June, 2012



In this new post for the LSE Review of Books, Henrietta Moore discusses the books that inspired her and awoke her interest in anthropology. It all started with stories, in particular Greek and Roman myths: “important for the not-yet-anthropologist was the idealisation of kinship, the hopeless question of family inheritance, the ties of loyalty and their relation to fealty. Can you know your true self and how much of the answer to that question is about origins?

The best known story of all says it all. The tale of Oedipus tied to a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother – my later interest in psychoanalysis started then, long before I had read any Freud or any anthropology! But worse was to come because his daughter Antigone carried a terrible family inheritance with her, marked by his maiming, she insisted on defying Creon to bury her brother Polynices. Could she have done otherwise? The question of whether you can ever escape your family, your culture, your gender runs like a golden thread through all of my writing on feminism and anthropology, as it does indeed through the writing and scholarship of all feminists. It is our true inheritance.”

The full post is available on the LSE Review of Books blog

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