My intention is to read anthropology for a year. That’s the basic goal. I’m not an anthropologist; so from time to time, I may write heresy. That’s not to say that I won’t also write things that are just plain wrong. Feel free to proselytize and/or correct. Oh, the clock hasn’t started, yet, as far as counting down that year. I’ll start the clock once I feel that I’ve gotten going properly. I’m sorting and categorizing available reading material — year published, subject, subfield, area of the world…

I’ve started reading, grazing. I’ve been experiencing a lot of mental motion sickness. The reawakening of my literacy is getting in the way of my reading. Paragraphs are once again filled with bedazzled hooks, some dangling overhead, some already underneath the skin — The Lure of the Tangent Line. I’m being yanked and I like it. Yes, I did see the episode of SpongeBob with the hooks (“Hooky“).  My medicated mind had been impervious to hooks and yanking.  I expect discipline and focus to return with practice.

I started reading an article yesterday, “Anthropologist View American Culture” (Ann. Rev. Anthropol. 1983. 12:49-78) and I came across the word “particularistic” on the first page.  Probably I had heard mention of particularism, but it wasn’t readily familiar.  I visited Wikipedia for a quick reference.  I first looked at Historical particularism, an approach in anthropology and then I read Epistemological particularism, an approach in philosophy.   As to the latter:  “Epistemological particularism is the belief that one can know something without knowing how one knows that thing.”  I start thinking about learning, memory and cognitive development.  I remember how as a little girl I could not shake the picture of my great grandfather “driving” a horse and buggy.   My mother, with firm memories of riding in a car with her grandfather, said with bemusement that it wasn’t THAT long ago.  I started thinking of how children view the past, how it’s all a fairly compact wad of once-upon-a-time.   I recently reread Huck Finn.  Huck did remark quick a bit on the concept of time, didn’t he?  Are there similarities across cultures as to how children view time?  Didn’t I come across several articles concerning culture and concepts of time?  Should I scan some of those now?  I very recently started watching episodes of “The L Word“.   In season 2, episode 11, a biracial woman reads Huck Finn to her African-American father as he lies in his hospital bed.  I recognized the passage right away.  Were the writers/producers making a statement about race, language and literature?  Did people comment on this at time?  Should I do a search?  Hmm, I don’t think anyone experiences time linearly no matter how they speak about it.  I should at least scan the titles of the articles about time, shouldn’t I?  Didn’t so-and-so say something interesting about time? The name starts with an “L,” maybe?  I almost got it.

And before I know it, there I am hook-in-lip flapping around on someone’s boat.  I go back to page 1 paragraph 2 of “Anthropologist View American Culture.”   I’m scanning the section headings now… More on this tomorrow.  Yes, set a deadline.