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 HAU Books is delighted to announce the release of a new title in
the Anthropological Novellas Series:


Arctic Madness:

The Anthropology

of a 



Pierre Déléage

Translated by Catherine V. Howard

134 pp. 


In keeping with our commitment to Open Access, you can download your free copy via the link below.

Download the Digital pdf here

The print version of this title is to follow shortly.

What is the dark side of participant observation? What is the price we pay when we enter alien cultures? And what is a delusion? A profound alteration of the psyche generating false interpretations and perceptions without an object; a temporary exit from life which obliterates reality in favour of a dreaded or beloved illusion? Or else an intolerable suffering sublimated with the production of a thought which subverts life’s idleness by deploying a world of an unprecedented sensibility and unknown intelligence?
Emile Petitot (1838-1916), the first ethnographer to document the oral tradition of an Amerindian group, lived for twenty years among the Dene of the far north of Canada. His corpus includes the first grammar of an Amerindian language and an astonishing body of ritual texts and myths that he transcribed with precision. Slowly, he descended into a long delirium, and began to summon imaginary persecutions, pen improbable interpretations of his Arctic hosts, and explode in paroxysms of schizoid fury. In 1982 Petitot was committed into the Longue-Pointe mental hospital in Montréal. Delving into the obverse of the very texture of ethnographic inquiry, namely phantasmagoria which overwhelm the practice of participant observation, Pierre Déléage takes us through an enthralling journey across the long days and endless nights of the indigenous Arctic world, moving skilfully between ethnobiography and the analytic conundrums that arise in the scene of profound cognitive displacement. Whoever wishes to know the cost of knowing alien cultures will find this anthropological novella hard to put down. 

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Forthcoming Titles from HAU Books

Please browse the following forthcoming titles from HAU Books.


Nullius: The Anthropology of Ownership, Sovereignty, and the Law in India by Kriti Kapila

Pandora's Box: Ethnography and the Comparison of Medical Belief  by Gilbert Lewis

Science in the Forest, Science in the Past edited by Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd and Aparecida Vilaça
Subverted Kinship: Nurturing and Inhabiting Gender in Amerindian Philosophy by Diego Madi Dias

Mafiacraft: An Ethnography of Deadly Science by Deborah Puccio-Den
A Witch's Hand: Curing, Killing, Kinship, and Colonialism among the Lujere of New Guinea’s Upper Sepik River Basin by William E. Mitchell

 – The HAU Books Editorial Team
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