Both the novel and anthropology think about and through marriage and kinship. Furthermore, many of us use theories that ultimately originate in anthropology to think about how marriage and kinship work in the novel. This essay argues that the historical emergence of anthropological theory in Britain in the 1860s changes how British novels depict, make use of, and think about marriage and kinship. Paying attention to this shift to what I call the “post-anthropological novel” requires us to reevaluate what we are doing when we invoke anthropology in literary theory/criticism.
Kathy Alexis Psomiades; The Marriage Plot in Theory. Novel 1 May 2010; 43 (1): 53–59. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00295132-2009-062
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