Chapter

Living and Dying

Johannes Fabian

in Out of Our Minds

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2000 | ISBN: 9780520221222
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923935 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520221222.003.0003
Living and Dying

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From the beginning, European exploration of Africa had a rationality that was anything but linear and logical. The ideas and practices evoked by each pair of terms were also sources of tension—gathering the whole project into a net of contradictions and casting the myth of a heroic quest in the service of science against the harsh conditions of exploration. Unlike theoretical paradigms, racial and cultural stereotypes, and colonial ideologies, habits grow from experience. Habits determining what European and African actors experienced, and how, when, and where, accumulated in the drama, or the tragicomedy, of exploration. This chapter examines the timing of the exploration; coping with the topics in terms of hygiene, medicine, opiates and alcohol, and food and meals; conviviality and friendship; the odds of survival in Africa; and monuments and graves.

Keywords: European exploration; Africa; exploration habits; survival; hygiene

Chapter.  11481 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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