Yesterday was a very special day. I held off reading Marcel Mauss’ The Gift: Forms and functions of exchange in archaic societies (1954), like saving the best lolly in the bag until last. (I was going to say like reading a lovely novella as slow as possible for fear it will end, but that analogy just didn’t quite fit). I have read numerous texts from various disciplines that are about Mauss’ work or otherwise inspired by it, however, it was not until yesterday that I visited the original text.
I have to admit that I felt more than a little sentimental holding the red and blue hardback edition on the fourth floor of the library. It felt something like a treasured historical artefact. All alone with Mauss on the fourth floor of the library. I’m in love. Marcel Mauss, I know you’re dead, but I really quite fancy you.
* I don’t know if that is actually a word.