Gesture and Speech

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Overview

André Leroi-Gourhan (1911-1986) was an anthropologist and paleontologist whose theoretical endeavors extended well beyond those realms to encompass the culture of the twentieth century and its most advanced developments. His bold and coherent revision of both analytic and archaeological methods revolutionized the study of prehistoric culture. His adoption of the structuralist method for the analysis of prehistoric art enabled a radical rethinking and clearer understanding of its nature, with resulting implications for the understanding of the art of our own times, and for a broad range of contemporary issues.Leroi-Gourhan was, for example,concerned with questions of communication, particularly the ways in which new techniques of communication reshape our understanding of language and writing. His work in this field has proved catalytic for the thinking of other major theorists, among them Jacques Derrida. Gesture and Speech combines in one volume Technics and Language and Memory and Rhythms, which are the cornerstones ofLeroi-Gourhan's comprehensive theory of human behavior and cultural development.In Technics andLanguage, Leroi-Gourhan looks at prehistoric technology in relation to the development of cognitive and linguistic faculties, expanding on the cultural ramifications of erect posture, a short face, a free hand during locomotion, and possession of movable implements.Memory and Rhythms approaches its subject from the standpoints of sociology and aesthetics. Here Leroi-Gourhan addresses the problems of instinct and intelligence. He defines the relationship between aesthetic behavior, on the one hand, and species attitudes and the personalization of ethnic groups, on the other, and undertakes a sweeping aesthetic analysis from visceral perception to figurative art, including a discussion of the "language of forms" that makes figurative art an abstract expression of language.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262121736
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 6/4/1993
  • Series: October Books
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 453
  • Sales rank: 805,081
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
I Technics and Language
1 The Image of Ourselves 3
2 Brain and Hand 25
3 Archanthropians and Palaeoanthropians 61
4 The Neanthropians 117
5 The Social Organism 145
6 Language Symbols 187
II Memory and Rhythms
7 The Freeing of Memory 219
8 Gesture and Program 237
9 The Expanding Memory 257
III Ethnic Symbols
10 Introduction to a Paleontology of Symbols 269
11 The Body as the Source of values and Rhythms 281
12 Functional Aesthetics 299
13 The Symbols of Society 313
14 The Language of Forms 363
15 Imaginary Freedom and the Fate of Homo sapiens 401
Notes 409
Bibliography 415
Index 421
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