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Maduro, R. (1982). Hook, R. (Ed.). Fantasy and Symbol; Studies in Anthropological Interpretation.: London, Academic Press, 1979. £11.80. $25.00.. J. Anal. Psychol., 27(1):89-94.

(1982). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 27(1):89-94

Hook, R. (Ed.). Fantasy and Symbol; Studies in Anthropological Interpretation.: London, Academic Press, 1979. £11.80. $25.00.

Review by:
Renaldo Maduro

Human beings are distinguished from other primates by their unique capacity to form symbols and to participate in symbolic process. Fantasy and Symbol is a collection of thirteen papers written in honour of George Devereux, the well-known Freudian psychoanalyst-anthropologist. The papers are the result of a symposium on Psychoanalysis and the interpretation of symbolic behaviour held in Canberra in 1975 under the auspices of the Anthropology Section at the 46th Congress of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science. The preparation of this volume was carried out in the Department of Anthropology in the Research School of Pacific Studies of the Australian National University in which the editor, Dr R. H. Hook, and George Devereux were both Visiting Fellows at that time. The book is easy and pleasant to read, but contains only five photographs when more would have enriched the overall quality of the book by helping readers to see documented symbolic behaviour and ritual processes in their natural ethnographic contexts. Bibliographic references are not adequate. Because they occur only at the end of each chapter and cover what for most readers are very specialised subjects, no comprehensive list of references for the general reader in the field of culture and personality (psychological anthropology) is provided. Books and articles central to modern studies in symbolic anthropology are missing, which makes it a difficult book to assign as a general text.

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