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A General Theory of Magic (Routledge Classics)

A General Theory of Magic (Routledge Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Marcel Mauss
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description


'It is enough to recall that Mauss' influence is not limited to ethnographers, none of whom could claim to have escaped it, but extends also to linguists, psychologists, historians or religion and orientalists.' - Claude Lévi-Strauss

Product Description

First written by Marcel Mauss and Henri Humbert in 1902, A General Theory of Magic gained a wide new readership when republished by Mauss in 1950. As a study of magic in 'primitive' societies and its survival today in our thoughts and social actions, it represents what Claude Lévi-Strauss called, in an introduction to that edition, the astonishing modernity of the mind of one of the century's greatest thinkers. The book offers a fascinating snapshot of magic throughout various cultures as well as deep sociological and religious insights still very much relevant today. At a period when art, magic and science appear to be crossing paths once again, A General Theory of Magic presents itself as a classic for our times.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 442 KB
  • Print Length: 190 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0415253969
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (5 July 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OI0UV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #559,395 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This investigation into the nature of the magical thought world brilliantly illuminates the structural similarities of magical thinking all over the world and the strong connexion between magical and sacred/religious thinking; they are the same.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of Anthropology! 16 Nov 2002
By A Customer - Published on
This book, first published in 1902-1903, in co-authorship with H. Hubert, is one of the classics of Anthropology. Marcel Mauss, disciple and nephew of great French sociologist Emile Durkheim, strongly influenced generations of anthropologists, including Claude Lévi-Strauss. The book stablished a new pattern for understanding the magical and religious phenomena. Unfortunaly, the two previous reviewrs seems to have looking for something very different. It is not a how-to-do book, it is for people interested in the Social Sciences.
7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crossing the Pond 10 July 2008
By Mick Bysshe - Published on
I first heard of Marcel Mauss while reading Daniel O'Keefe's *Stolen Lightning* and knew I wanted to learn more on Mauss, who is not that well known here in the United States.

Mauss mentions sympathetic magic as being part of many cultures as does O'Keefe. Mauss might have been interested in Jung's concept of synchronicity as a form of sympathetic magic or even the concept of apophenia if he had lived when the word was created in the late 1950s.

This book does not explain how magic works. Those looking for a how-to will be disappointed as another reviewer has pointed out.
4 of 72 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What is Magic About? 24 Oct 2002
By Brian Cheong - Published on
After reading this book, I still haven't got a clue what magic is about. This one goes to the trash bin.
2 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Academic Writing 7 Nov 2002
By "computer_maniac" - Published on
Seems to be excellent academic writing from someone who doesn't know about real magic.
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Popular Highlights

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A magical rite is any rite which does not play a part in organized cults—it is private, secret, mysterious and approaches the limit of a prohibited rite. &quote;
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users
They possess magical powers not through their individual peculiarities but as a consequence of society’s attitude towards them and their kind. &quote;
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magic should be used to refer to those things which society as a whole considers magical and not those qualified as such by a single segment of society only. &quote;
Highlighted by 4 Kindle users

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