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A sheaf of annotated book reviews and article abstracts in a leather folder, all dealing with the theme of 'mechanizing the East'. One example typed up below, including the handwritten notes:


(Book Review)

Infernal Machines by Peter van Vriesland
(Leiden: Kropf, 1967. 345 pages.)

"A self-proclaimed 'ethnography of the Indonesian spirit of bricolage', this is the culmination of anthropologist Peter van Vriesland's travels through the former Dutch East Indies, documenting the various tools and contraptions the local population have fashioned from the leftover machines discarded by WW2 troops and former occupiers. An antiquated dirigible propeller becomes a deadly weapon. An ambiphone becomes a rudimentary lantern. Sometimes it is as simple as incorporating cogs and sprockets into protective amulets. Drawing from Claude Levi-Strauss's ground-breaking The Savage Mind, van Vriesland deftly compares Western engineering with Eastern bricolage, providing us with insight into these two worlds' different approaches to science and invention. Beautifully illustrated and compellingly written in an engaging conversational style, this book will capture one's imagination, whether one is intrigued by the mystical traditions of the Orient or the dynamic new frontiers of European technology." - Paul Wolff, 1968


Annotations:

esp. Ch. 4 'From Batavia to Borneo' -- urban vs. rural bricolage
Ch. 7 'Encroaching Modernity' -- evolution of machinery
(compare w/ Weber's precapitalist societies)

BRICOLEUR = crafty, world is closed
ENGINEER = creative, world is open
- Levi-Strauss, 'Savage Mind' (1962) i.e. the ghost of Hegel! master/slave dichotomy, reliance on the Myth. (totemism?)

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