Documents for Karl Reisman [people lost in time]

“The Beat Generation – John Clellon Holmes NYTimes Magazine 1952
Robert Layzer
Irving Younger
Michael Mabry
John V Murra

Search by ==N where N – a number 1 2 3 etc

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This Is The Beat Generation
by John Clellon Holmes
The New York Times Magazine, November 16, 1952

Several months ago, a national magazine ran a story under
the heading ‘Youth’ and the subhead ‘Mother Is Bugged At
Me.’ It concerned an eighteen-year-old California girl
who had been picked up for smoking marijuana and wanted
to talk about it. While a reporter took down her ideas in
the uptempo language of ‘tea,’ someone snapped a picture.
In view of her contention that she was part of a whole
new culture where one out of every five people you meet
is a user, it was an arresting photograph. In the pale,
attentive face, with its soft eyes and intelligent mouth,
there was no hint of corruption. It was a face which
could only be deemed criminal through an enormous
effort of reighteousness. Its only complaint seemed to
be: ‘Why don’t people leave us alone?’ It was the face of
a beat generation.

That clean young face has been making the newspapers
steadily since the war. Standing before a judge in a
Bronx courthouse, being arraigned for stealing a car, it
looked up into the camera with curious laughter
and no guilt. The same face, with a more serious bent,
stared from the pages of Life magazine, representing a
graduating class of ex-GI’s, and said that as it believed
small business to be dead, it intended to become a
comfortable cog in the largest corporation it could find.
A little younger, a little more bewildered, it was this
same face that the photographers caught in Illinois when
the first non-virgin club was uncovered. The young
copywriter, leaning down the bar on Third Avenue,
quietly drinking himself into relaxation, and the
energetic hotrod driver of Los Angeles, who plays Russian
Roulette with a jalopy, are separated only by a continent
and a few years. They are the extremes. In between them
fall the secretaries wondering whether to sleep with
their boyfriends now or wait; the mechanic berring up
with the guys and driving off to Detroit on a whim; the
models studiously name-dropping at a cocktail party. But
the face is the same. Bright, level, realistic,
challenging.

Any attempt to label an entire generation is unrewarding,
and yet the generation which went through the last war,
or at least could get a drink easily once it was over,
seems to possess a uniform, general quality which demands
an adjective … The origins of the word ‘beat’ are
obscure, but the meaning is only too clear to most
Americans. More than mere weariness, it implies the
feeling of having been used, of being raw. It involves a
sort of nakedness of mind, and, ultimately, of soul; a
feeling of being reduced to the bedrock of consciousness.
In short, it means being undramatically pushed up against
the wall of oneself. A man is beat whenever he goes for
broke and wagers the sum of his resources on a single
number; and the young generation has done that
continually from early youth.

Its members have an instinctive individuality, needing
no bohemianism or imposed eccentricity to express it.
Brought up during the collective bad circumstances of a
dreary depression, weaned during the collective
uprooting of a global war, they distrust collectivity.
But they have never been able to keep the world out of
their dreams. The fancies of their childhood inhabited
the half-light of Munich, the Nazi-Soviet pact, and the
eventual blackout. Their adolescence was spent in a
topsy-turvy world of war bonds, swing shifts, and troop
movements. They grew to independent mind on beachheads,
in gin mills and USO’s, in past-midnight arrivals and
pre-dawn departures. Their brothers, husbands, fathers or
boy friends turned up dead one day at the other end of a
telegram. At the four trembling corners of the world,
or in the home town invaded by factories or lonely
servicemen, they had intimate experience with the nadir
and the zenith of human conduct, and little time for much
that came between. The peace they inherited was only as
secure as the next headline. It was a cold peace. Their
own lust for freedon, and the ability to live at a pace
that kills (to which the war had adjusted them), led to
black markets, bebop, narcotics, sexual promiscuity,
hucksterism, and Jean-Paul Sartre. The beatness set in
later.

It is a postwar generation, and, in a world which seems
to mark its cycles by its wars, it is already being
compared to that other postwar generation, which dubbed
itself ‘lost’. The Roaring Twenties, and the generation
that made them roar, are going through a sentimental
revival, and the comparison is valuable. The Lost
Generation was discovered in a roadster, laughing
hysterically because nothing meant anything anymore. It
migrated to Europe, unsure whether it was looking
for the ‘orgiastic future’ or escaping from the
‘puritanical past.’ Its symbols were the flapper, the
flask of bootleg whiskey, and an attitude of desparate
frivolity best expressed by the line: ‘Tennis, anyone?’
It was caught up in the romance of disillusionment, until
even that became an illusion. Every act in its drama of
lostness was a tragic or ironic third act, and T.S.
Eliot’s The Waste Land was more than the dead-end
statement of a perceptive poet. The pervading atmosphere
of that poem was an almost objectless sense of loss,
through which the reader felt immediately that the
cohesion of things had disappeared. It was, for an
entire generation, an image which expressed, with
dreadful accuracy, its own spiritual condition.

But the wild boys of today are not lost. Their flushed,
often scoffing, always intent faces elude the word, and
it would sound phony to them. For this generation lacks
that eloquent air of bereavement which made so many of
the exploits of the Lost Generation symbolic actions.
Furthermore, the repeated inventory of shattered ideals,
and the laments about the mud in moral currents, which so
obsessed the Lost Generation, do not concern young people
today. They take these things frighteningly for granted.
They were brought up in these ruins and no longer notice
them. They drink to ‘come down’ or to ‘get high,’ not to
illustrate anything. Their excursions into drugs or
promiscuity come out of curiousity, not disillusionment.

Only the most bitter among them would call their reality
a nightmare and protest that they have indeed lost
something, the future. For ever since they were old
enough to imagine one, that has been in jeapordy
anyway. The absence of personal and social values is to
them, not a revelation shaking the ground beneath them,
but a problem demanding a day-to-day solution. How to
live seems to them much more crucial than why. And it is
precisely at this point that the copywriter and the
hotrod driver meet and their identical beatness becomes
significant, for, unlike the Lost Generation, which was
occupied with the loss of faith, the Beat Generation is
becoming more and more occupied with the need for it. As
such, it is a disturbing illustration of Voltaire’s
reliable old joke: ‘If there were no God, it would be
necessary to invent him.’ Not content to bemoan his
absence, they are busily and haphazardly inventing totems
for him on all sides.

For the giggling nihilist, eating up the highway at
ninety miles an hour and steering with his feet, is no
Harry Crosby, the poet of the Lost Generation who planned
to fly his plane into the sun one day because he could no
longer accept the modern world. On the contrary, the
hotrod driver invites death only to outwit it. He is
affirming the life within him in the only way he knows
how, at the extreme. The eager-faced girl, picked up on a
dope charge, is not one of those ‘women and girls carried
screaming with drink or drugs from public places,’ of
whom Fitzgerald wrote. Instead, with persuasive
seriousness, she describes the sense of community she has
found in marijuana, which society never gave her. The
copywriter, just as drunk by midnight as his Lost
Generation counterpart, probably reads God and Man at
Yale during his Sunday afternoon hangover. The difference
is this almost exaggerated will to believe in something,
if only in themselves. It is a will to believe, even in
the face of an inability to do so in conventional terms.
And that is bound to lead to excesses in one direction or
another.

The shock that older people feel at the sight of this
Beat Generation is, at its deepest level, not so much
repugnance at the facts, as it is distress at the
attitudes which move it. Though worried by this
distress, they most often argue or legislate in terms
of the facts rather than the attitudes. The newspaper
reader, studying the eyes of young dope addicts, can only
find an outlet for his horror and bewilderment in demands
that passers be given the electric chair. Sociologists,
with a more academic concern, are just as troubled by the
legions of young men whose topmost ambition seems to be
to find a secure birth in a monolithic corporation.
Contemporary historians express mild surprise at the lack
of organized movements, political, religous, or
otherwise, among the young. The articles they write
remind us that being one’s own boss and being a natural
joiner are two of our most cherished national traits.
Everywhere people with tidy moralities shake their heads
and wonder what is happening to the younger generation.

Perhaps they have not noticed that, behind the excess
on the one hand, and the conformity on the other, lies
that wait-and-see detachment that results from having to
fall back for support more on one’s capacity for human
endurance than on one’s philosophy of life. Not that the
Beat Generation is immune to ideas; they fascinate it.
Its wars, both past and future, were and will be wars of
ideas. It knows, however, that in the final, private
moment of conflict a man is really fighting another man,
and not an idea. And that the same goes for love. So it
is a generation with a greater facility for entertaining
ideas than for believing in them. But it is also the
first generation in several centuries for which the act
of faith has been an obsessive problem, quite aside from
the reasons for having a particular faith or not having
it. It exhibits on every side, and in a bewildering
number of facets, a perfect craving to believe.

Though it is certainly a generation of extremes,
including both the hipster and the radical young
Republican in its ranks, it renders unto Caesar (i.e,
society) what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s. For
the wildest hipster, making a mystique of bop, drugs
and the night life, there is no desire to shatter the
‘square’ society in which he lives, only to elude it. To
get on a soapbox or write a manifesto would seem to him
absurd. Looking at the normal world, where most
everything is a ‘drag’ for him, he nevertheless says:
‘Well, that’s the Forest of Arden after all. And even it
jumps if you look at it right.’ Equally, the young
Republican, though often seeming to hold up Babbitt as
his culture hero, is neither vulgar nor materialistic, as
Babbitt was. He conforms because he believes it is
socially practical, not necessarily virtuous. Both
positions, however, are the result of more or less the
same conviction — namely that the valueless abyss of
modern life is unbearable.

For beneath the excess and the conformity, there is
something other than detachment. There are the stirrings
of a quest. What the hipster is looking for in his
‘coolness’ (withdrawal) or ‘flipness’ (ecstasy) is, after
all, a feeling on somewhereness, not just another
diversion. The young Republican feels that there is a
point beyond which change becomes chaos, and what he
wants is not simply privelege or wealth, but a stable
position from which to operate. Both have had enough of
homelessness, valuelessness, faithlessnes.

The variety and the extremity of their solutions are
only a final indication that for today’s young people
there is not as yet a single external pivot around which
they can, as a generation, group their observations and
their aspirations. There is no single philosophy, no
single party, no single attitude. The failure of most
orthodox moral and social concepts to reflect fully the
life they have known is probably the reason for this, but
because of it each person becomes a walking, self-
contained unit, compelled to meet, or at least endure,
the problem of being young in a seemingly helpless
world in his own way.

More than anything else, this is what is responsible
for this generation’s reluctance to name itself, its
reluctance to discuss itself as a group, sometimes its
reluctance to be itself. For invented gods invariably
disappoint those who worship them. Only the need for
them goes on, and it is this need, exhausting one
object after another, which projects the Beat Generation
forward into the future and will one day deprive it of
its beatness.

Dostoyevski wrote in the early 1880’s that ‘Young Russia
is talking of nothing but the eternal questions now.’
With appropriate changes, something very like this is
beginning to happen in America, in an American way; a re-
evaluation of which the exploits and attitudes of
this generation are only symptoms. No single comparison
of one generation against another can accurately measure
effects, but it seems obvious that a lost generation,
occupied with disillusionment and trying to keep busy
among the broken stones, is poetically moving, but
not very dangerous. But a beat generation, driven by a
desparate craving for belief and as yet unable to accept
the moderations which are offered it, is quite another
matter. Thirty years later, after all, the generation of
which Dostoyevski wrote was meeting in cellars and
making bombs.

This generation may make no bombs; it will probably be
asked to drop some, and have some dropped on it, however,
and this fact is never far from its mind. It is one of
the pressures which created it and will play a large part
in what will happen to it. There are those who believe
that in generations such as this there is always the
constant possibility of a great new moral idea, conceived
in desparation, coming to life. Others note the self-
indulgence, the waste, the apparent social
irresponsibility, and disagree.

But its ability to keep its eyes open, and yet avoid
cynicism; its ever-increasing conviction that the problem
of modern life is essentially a spiritual problem; and
that capacity for sudden wisdom which people who live
hard and go far possess, are assets and bear watching.
And, anyway, the clear, challenging faces are worth it.

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a. Robert Layzer M.D.
A CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT B. LAYZER, MD: NEUROLOGIST POET
[CAREERS PLUS] Antoline, Dawn

How does one juggle a busy career as an academic neurologist and a passion for writing poetry? For Robert B. Layzer, MD, the answer was to tackle them successively, not concurrently. Although he was an avid poet during his undergraduate and medical school years at Harvard University in Boston, MA, he stopped writing just before he began his internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1957. He didn’t pen so much as a couplet during his 20-year career as a neurologist at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), although he did write numerous papers on his research into neuromuscular diseases.

Dr. Layzer was trained in neurology at the Neurological Institute of New York. He then studied the biochemistry of muscle diseases and made fundamental contributions to the characteristics of phosphofructokinase deficiency. He moved to UCSF, with a group led by Dr. Robert A. Fishman, elevating that department to become one of the best in the country. Dr. Layzer became an international leader in neuromuscular diseases, renowned for his analytical mind and graceful writing. His papers on cramps and fasciculations are models. His monograph on Neuromuscular Manifestations of Systemic Disease (F.A. Davis, 1986) was widely praised.

Retiring to an Emeritus Professorship at UCSF in 1996, Dr. Layzer was soon bitten by the poetry bug again. He began what he terms his second career in poetry, and has so far written more poems than in the early days before he pursued a career in medicine.

Currently, he sends his poems mostly to his daughters and close friends, but he recently shared some of his work with Neurology Today

“Yes, I had a crisis in college. I majored in French History and Literature. I started writing seriously, and even won the Harvard poetry prize, the Garrison Prize, my senior year. I was also very active in theater as an actor. I had four careers open: medicine, actor, poet, and academic in the humanities.

I decided that I didn’t want to be an academic and didn’t trust myself as a poet. To be a great poet, you have to produce much more than I did and you have to have irrational confidence in yourself. I didn’t think that I had enough ideas.

HOW DID YOUR POEMS GET PUBLISHED IN THE PARIS REVIEW?
One of the founders of the Paris Review, Harold Humes, was living in Cambridge when my Garrison prize poem was published. I met him, and that is how I happened to be published in the Paris Review. Subsequently, I met Donald Hall, who was the poetry editor of the Paris Review, had gone to Harvard, and was living in the Boston area. I became a friend of his, showed him my poems, and he published several of them. Some years later, the Paris Review published a 10-year retrospective, which included some of my poems. They have rejected some of my recent poems.

SKELETONS

Thousands of skeletons have been discoveredat Vilnius,
still wearing the brass buttonsof the Grand Army of
Napoleon, stopped coldon the road home from Moscow
Their stiff postures remind me of my mother’s
relativestossed in a trench by passing Einsatzkommandosa
few hours away in Berestovitsa, where I could find them, if
I cared to visit.

Bones are everywhere – in the Rift Valleyand in Rwanda,
underfoot in the catacombs, crouching in caves at
Herculaneum, stackedlike crockery in Cambodia. I used to
think I’d make a nice clean specimen myself, like the box
of bones they handed out years agoin Gross Anatomy. We
passed the bones around, rubbing the bumps and sounding the crippled Latin: capitulum, epicondyle,
a vocabulary for looking underneath the skin:
ars moriendi instead of ars vivendi,
saying goodbye to the flesh over a long lifetime of study
and discipline:
aficionados of disease,
doctors of disintegration.
And you see we are perfect at this diablerie;
for a fee(a sol or two) we will predict your death
before you can imagine it,
when your skinstill flutters with pleasure,
and the blood pumps in your thighs, dear amateurs!
And after you’re dead, perhaps you’ll visit my quaint relatives in Belarus:
tell them your sad stories
and ask them to sing those sacred melodies
one hears below the ground.
In the meantime, while shreds of appetite still cling to your bones,
here’s my prescription: Burn, burn, burn

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Irving Younger

1. Irving Younger http://www.NITA.org
Legal Texts From Legal Scholar Irving Younger
At NITA
2. Irving Younger @ ALI-ABA peg.ali-aba.net The Irving Younger CLE Series
Online CLE Courses
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# The great Irving Younger was our trial advocacy teacher at Cornell, and he’d told us to ask open-ended questions to get jurors talking.

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Part 3 Michael Mabry

But instead of looking forward to it, many in the northwestern Connecticut town are dreading the film’s arrival, because it may signal the closing of their theater, Cinema IV Bantam.

The theater, opened in 1929, is believed to be the oldest continuously operating movie house in Connecticut. It seems a relic these days — an ivy-covered red barnlike single-screen theater in a world of multiscreen complexes.

But the theater’s practice of showing foreign films like “Cinema Paradiso” makes it invaluable to loyal patrons, some of whom drive more than an hour to see movies here.

“This audience, who thinks of the theater as their living room, is a literate, passionately devoted audience,” said the theater’s owner, James Bohnen. From Elvis to Art Films

Mr. Bohnen, a theatrical director who lives in Chicago, has owned the 255-seat theater since 1984. Unless he finds a buyer, he said, he will close the theater on Dec. 23, following a three-night showing of “Cinema Paradiso.”

Built in the era of silent films, the theater went on to show “terrible films starring Jerry Lewis, Elvis Presley and John Wayne,” recalled Michael Mabry of Litchfield, who bought the theater in 1969 after moving to the area from New York City.

“The one thing we truly missed was seeing good movies,” Mr. Mabry said. “I found Bantam geographically situated to cater to a large audience, so away we went.

“My feeling was to show the best films, be they foreign, American, British, as well as revivals of classic films. That was my programming policy, and when Jim Bohnen bought the theater, he shared my views.”

Mr. Mabry said he looked into the theater’s history and believes it to be the state’s oldest continously operating movie house. He also bestowed the current tongue-in-cheek name on what had been known as the Bantam Theater. “It was a bit of whimsy,” he said. “When I bought it, Cinema One-Two-Three in Waterbury had just opened, so this was kind of a play on words. It was a cinema for Bantam, so I called it Cinema IV.”

Among the theater’s longtime patrons are the artist Cleve Gray and his wife, the author Francine du Plessix Gray, who live in nearby Warren. Mr. Gray, who has lived in the area for 43 years, said he has gone to the theater since the days when it was “more like a general movie house,” he said.

“After Michael Mabry bought it, we were both very happy,” Mr. Gray said. “We both feel the theater is extremely important for our happiness here in this part of the country. The films are wonderful, and we depend on it every week, so we’re very distressed about the place possibly closing.”

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John V Murra
http://www.ethnohistory.org/sections/news/index.php?id=17

American Society for Ethnohistory Logo

American Society for Ethnohistory

Ethnohistory News:
OBITUARY: John V. Murra

John V. Murra died in his home on 16 October 2006, at the age of 90. Noted for his contributions in historical anthropology and particularly in Andean studies, his loss will be felt in a wide range of communities.

Born Isak Lipschitz in 1916 in Odessa, Ukraine, Murra then grew up in Bucharest, Romania. Expelled from his last year at the lycée for belonging to the Social Democratic youth, he eventually received his federal baccalauréat as a privately prepared student, and worked in paper factories in Romania and in Croatia. There he observed the political and ethnic divisions of Serbs, Croats, Gypsies, Bulgarians, Saxons, Greeks, etc. He also had several short stays in jail in 1933-34, once as the only “red” in a group of Iron Guardists, which he survived in part through his knowledge of soccer.

His uncle, a virtuoso musician in Chicago, arranged for Murra to enter the University of Chicago, which he had read about as becoming a radical institution under the presidency of Robert Maynard Hutchins. He arrived at the end of 1934, and soon gravitated to the social sciences, where he found particular interest in the worldwide and comparative scope of anthropology as taught by Fay-Cooper Cole, with a prominent historical dimension. Still using his birth name, Murra graduated in June 1936.

As he recalled later, “nothing in academic life compared with the urgencies of politics,” and that fall Murra joined the International Brigade and went to fight in the Spanish Civil War. That experience added nuance to his political stance: “Few experiences will do as well as participating in a modern civil war to explore the realities of ‘democratic’ centralism or the strength of national and ethnic ties over class ascription.” But despite some disillusionment, Murra remained committed to progressive action. He later maintained, “I did not graduate from the University of Chicago. I graduated from the Spanish Civil War.” After the war he was interned for about six months in camps in France; he was divorced from his first wife during the war, dissolving his formal connection to the United States and leaving him something of a man without a country.

Finally able to return to Chicago in 1939, Murra — who began to use that name around this time — embraced the historically oriented anthropology of Fay- Cooper Cole, and also worked with Fred Eggan. He completed his Master’s degree in 1942. In 1941 he traveled to Ecuador with Donald Collier; the planned archaeological project had to be abandoned when the Peruvian army invaded, but Murra made extensive survey work and began to realize that he was more interested in ethnology with the living Andean peoples than in archaeology, although his emphasis on historical processes and integrating documentary sources continued. This work did lead to published contributions in the Handbook of South American Indians. In 1942-43 Murra worked with John Dollard and Ruth Benedict interviewing Abraham Lincoln Brigade veterans, and in 1943 he began teaching at Chicago, filling in for Fred Eggan while he was in military service. Although never an Africanist, Murra felt that the contributions of the British social anthropologists working in Africa — which he had learned through Radcliffe- Brown at Chicago — were among the most significant works of the time, and he began teaching a course on “African ethnology” in 1944. He was a deep believer in comparative understanding, and kept up with African scholarship for the rest of his career.

In 1946 Murra was turned down for US citizenship on the grounds that he had fought with the Spanish Republican Army, which cost him the SSRC grant that would have funded his dissertation research in Ecuador. Murra’s radical history continued to haunt him in the era of McCarthyism; he was eventually granted citizenship in 1950, after a lawsuit, but did not receive a passport until 1956. Denied the possibility of travel to South America he ultimately chose to write a dissertation that did not involve fieldwork. He defended his dissertation, The Economic Organization of the Inca State, in 1955. There Murra first proposed his model of “vertical archipelagos,” a structure of exchange and access to the altitudinally separated resource zones (pisos ecologicos) of the Andes that was taken as fundamental to Andean civilizations. The Inca system moved vast amounts of goods through ritual rather than simple trade, and redistribution included products of remote ecological zones and brides trained in the royal institutions. This model has been corroborated in the Andes, where it remains one of the most powerful analyses for the economic and political basis of Andean state formation. In more general form it was also applied in many other parts of the world, and has been of particular influence in the study of pastoralist societies and precapitalist states.

To support himself through this period he taught at several universities, including the University of Puerto Rico — during which time he also served as the field director (1948-49) for The People of Puerto Rico project led by Julian Steward — and Vassar College, where officials defended Murra from the government’s efforts to have him deported, and spent two years in the late ’50s teaching and doing archival research in Peru. He continued traveling, researching and teaching in a series of limited appointments through the early 1960s.

In 1968 John Murra joined the faculty at Cornell University, taking the Andean position opened by the untimely death of Alan Holmberg. Andean studies at Cornell had long been a major focus, but with a different orientation than Murra’s historical interests; in some ways he was “a square peg in a round hole” at Cornell. He found some companionship among his colleagues, particularly with Bernd Lambert and Bob Ascher, but was often on “the other side” in local debates and developed something of a reputation for being ornery. He always particularly liked teaching undergraduates, and felt that he was able to do less of that at Cornell than he had during his peripatetic years. The innovation at Cornell he was most proud of was a course on the history of US anthropology as an institution and a craft rather than as a survey of ethnological theory. Not known for his patience with anyone he saw as naïve, facile, or selfish, Murra nevertheless could be quite generous, and is remembered warmly by many former students and colleagues.

After his retirement from regular teaching in 1982 Murra continued research, and remained an active if increasingly occasional participant in the department even well into the 1990s. He was always active in the international professional societies, and worked continually to improve communications between Latin America and the English-speaking scholarly community. He served as President of the American Society for Ethnohistory (1970-71), the American Ethnological Society (1972-73), and the Institute for Andean Research (1977-83), and gave the Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture in 1969, “Reciprocity and Redistribution in Andean Civilizations.” Murra’s many stints in Latin American institutions, from the 1950s through his retirement years, reflect a deep commitment to building research and educational institutions and opportunities in the region, a pattern followed by many of the Latin American students whose studies Murra supervised at Cornell. Murra was a founding member of the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, the Asociación Peruana de Antropólogos, and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Ecuador. In 1987 he was awarded the Great Cross of the Order of the Sun by the government of Peru. After Franco’s death Murra was able to renew his passionate connections with Spain, returning several times for research, honorific teaching engagements, and helping fellow veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade revisit the land they had fought for.

John Murra published extensively, and his work touched on many disparate fields. His best known works are probably The Economic Organization of the Inca State (1956, 1980; published in Spanish in 1978, and in Italian in 1980); Cloth and its Functions in the Inca State (1962); Current Research and Prospects in Andean Ethnohistory (1970), and the series of articles from the late 1960s and early 1970s explicating the model of vertical archipelagos, one of the contributions Murra is best known for today. The other would be his focus on historical perspectives within anthropology; Murra’s ethnohistory was a comparative and theoretical approach, but always empirically grounded in the local, and integrated archaeological, archival, and ethnographic sources. Through close readings of chronicles, lawsuits, and other documents Murra emphasized the recapture of voices as close as possible to the daily lives and ethnic identities of the colonial-Inca world. He was a strong optimist about the chances of recovering the past; Frank Salomon recalls Murra saying in seminar, “Don’t say lost, say not yet found.”

John Murra was married and divorced twice, leaving no children. His papers are avaialble to researchers at the National Anthropological Archives. An interview by John Howland Rowe was published in 1984 in Hispanic American Historical Review 64(4), which furnished much of the information here. Further information can also be found in Nispa Ninchis: Conversaciones con John Murra (Victoria Castro, Carlos Aldunate and Jorge Hidalgo, eds.; Lima, 2000); commentary on that volume by Tom Lynch in Chungará (Arica) 34(1), 2002; and the guide to his papers at the NAA. At least two festschrifts were published: Configurations of Power: Holistic Anthropology in Theory and Practice (John S. Henderson and Patricia J. Netherly, eds.; Ithaca, 1993) and Los Andes: Concuenta Años después (1953-2003). Homenaje a John Murra (Ana María Lorandi, Carmen Salazar-Soler and Nathan Wachtel, eds.; Lima, 2003).

John Murra’s legacy will be found in many fields, in many individuals, in the Andes, the United States, and elsewhere.

Prepared by Frederic W. Gleach, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University, with assistance from David Block, Jane Fajans, John Henderson, David Holmberg, and Eduardo Kohn (Cornell), Heather Lechtman (MIT), Frank Salomon (University of Wisconsin, Madison), and Gabriela Vargas-Cetina (Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán)

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2 responses to “Documents for Karl Reisman [people lost in time]

  1. Heather Lechtman

    Karl:

    You must have changed your email address, because I sent you an email recently, and it was returned as ‘unable to deliver’.

    What is your new email address?

    Also, I have a copy of the JVM memorial issue of Andean Past that I’d like to send to you, but I need to know your current postal mailing adddress.

    Thanks,

    Teddy

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