At the imperial dawn of the 20th century, there was the “civilized” world and the “savage” or “primitive” world, and one felt free to judge the other.
By the century’s end, the whole idea of primitive man as separate from civilized man was pretty well gone. And with it, the “savage mind.”
Much of the banishing was the work of the towering anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss. Levi-Strauss has died at 100 in his native France. We are all, he said, driven by deep myth and common structures of thinking — even to our own extinction.
This hour, On Point: The mind and work of Claude Levi-Strauss.