Leach Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
People retreated behind their front doors into the hidden zone of their private, family worlds and when outsiders asked how things were they answered, Oh, everything's going along just fine, not much to report, situation normal. But everyone secretly knew that behind that door things were rarely humdrum. More typically, all hell was breaking loose, as people dealt with their angry fathers, drunken mothers, resentful siblings, mad aunts, lecherous uncles and crumbling grandparents. The family was not the firm foundation upon which society rested, but stood at the dark chaotic heart of everything that ailed us. It was not normal, but surreal; not humdrum, but filled with event; not ordinary, but bizarre. He remembered with what excitement he had listened, at the age of twenty, to the Reith Lectures delivered on BBC Radio by Edmund Leach, the great anthropologist and interpreter of Claude Levi-Strauss who, a year earlier, had succeeded Noel Annan as provost of King's. 'Far from being the basis of the good society, ' Leach had said, 'the family, with its narrow privacy and tawdry secrets, is the source of all our discontents.' Yes! he thought. Yes! That is a thing I also know. The families in the novels he later wrote would be explosive, operatic, arm-waving, exclamatory, wild. People who did not like his books would sometimes criticize these fictional families for being unrealistic-not 'ordinary' enough. However, readers who did like his books said to him, 'Those families are exactly like my family.

Salman Rushdie
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