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Sir James George Frazer and THE GOLDEN BOUGH

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Author Topic: Sir James George Frazer and THE GOLDEN BOUGH  (Read 964 times)
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« on: May 13, 2007, 03:53:42 pm »

Today Frazer's books are still considered a storehouse of ethnographic information, although his theories belong rather to history than current orientation of anthropology. Frazer traveled little and did not have time to do field work. His knowledge of primitive societies was entirely second-hand, gathered largely from questionnaires sent to missionaries among primitive people. Frazer's notions of totemism were finally destroyed by Lévi-Stauss.

Among Frazer's other works are PSYCHE'S TASK (1909), TOTEMISM AND EXOGAMY (1910), which was a primary source for Freud's Totem und Taboo, THE BELIEF IN IMORTALITY AND THE WORSHIP OF THE DEAD (1913-24), FOLKLORE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT (1918). He published a commentary on Pausanias (1898), an edition of Ovid's Fasti (1929), and other works on classical and literary topics.

Frazer was knighted in 1914. Aside from occasional trips to Greece and the Continent, he and Lady Frazer rarely left Cambridge. In 1931 he went blind but continued his work with the aid of secretaries and amanuenses. Frazer died in Cambridge on May 7, 1941.

FOR FURTHER READING: James George Frazer: The Portrait of a Scholar by R.A. Downie (1940); The Tangled Bank by S.E. Hyman (1962); Frazer and the Goden Bough by R.A. Downie (1970); The Literary Impact of the Golden Bough by J.B. Vickery (1973); J.G. Frazer by R. Ackerman (1987); Sir James Frazer and the Literary Imagination
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