Beyond Eboli, in the Heart of Darkness. A Brief Note on Postcolonial De Martino

  • Ulrich van Loyen Universität Siegen


The following reflections are intended to highlight a contradiction that is not only present in De Martino’s works but also in Western emancipatory thought during the first wave of the decolonisation of the world (1947-1961). It could probably be argued that the essay Around a History of the Subaltern Folk World in some ways presents an exception, given that a few years later, in Death and Ritual Mourning in the Ancient World (1958), De Martino denies possible reciprocity between the “literate” European world and that of the illiterate peoples currently living: “There is, therefore, no direct cultural relationship of filiation between us and these peoples, but rather one of distant cousinship with uncertain paternity”. However, the solution or, rather, the reconciliation of these contradictions occurs with the Land of Remorse a few years later.