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From Here to Tierra del Fuego Paul Magee

From Here to Tierra del Fuego

Paul Magee

Published May 19th 2000
ISBN : 9780252025556
Hardcover
200 pages
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 About the Book 

Tierra del Fuego is the southernmost inhabited locale in the world and one of South Americas most popular tourist destinations, although theres nothing there except the end of the world. When asked why they have come to Tierra del Fuego, mostMoreTierra del Fuego is the southernmost inhabited locale in the world and one of South Americas most popular tourist destinations, although theres nothing there except the end of the world. When asked why they have come to Tierra del Fuego, most visitors say, I just wanted to be able to say Id been here. Paul Magee, the anthropologist among them, seizes upon this absurd nonreason to investigate the Wests complex relationship to an island synonymous with the word elsewhere. Beginning with Darwin, who saw the Fuegian Indians as the worlds most primitive inhabitants, Magee interweaves the offhand anecdotes of nineteenth-century colonial adventurers with the primitivist jokes of the travelers he encounters. Reading these self-superior texts through the theories and commentaries of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Michael Taussig, Theodor Adorno, and others, Magee explores the Wests obsession with seeing its commodities, from Coke bottles to cakes of Pears Soap, as objects of native fascination and fetishism. politics, Magee demonstrates how these links between them and the genocidal colonization of the island implicate even the casual, overtly purposeless tourist in the exploitative structures of global capitalism. Experimental, entertaining, and occasionally over the top, From Here to Tierra del Fuego maneuvers through a history of racial violence, primitivist fantasy, and throwaway lines to reveal the international tourist industrys role in contemporary world power.