Ambiguous Narratives

Excerpt From Essay

"The Satanic Verses affair shows that fiction does sometimes make historical claims, whether its author may want it to or not. Fiction, as the Satanic Verses affair also shows, sometimes can make history. Anthropologists have been reluctant to focus on literary works as cultural artifacts, on a par with myth, say, or oral poetic traditions. Anthropological insight has been more commonly sought from more anonymous or demotic or "primary" human creations such as advertising billboards, healing rituals, oral poetry, and cockfights, rather than paintings in galleries, medical treatises, novels, or films."

"Ambiguous Narratives," Thomas Lyons (183).

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