Analects of the Core: Malinowski on the ephemeral material of ethnology

Ethnology is in the sadly ludicrous, not to say tragic, position, that at the every moment when it begins to put its workshop in order, to forge its proper tools, to start ready for work on its appointed task, the material of its study melts away with hopeless rapidity.

– Malinowski, Argonauts of the Pacific, page xv, from the author’s Foreword

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