In sum it is clear that balinese conventional

This preview shows page 138 - 140 out of 171 pages.

In sum, it is clear that Balinese conventional attitudes towards death are very different from ours and that their attitudes in some ways resemble or simulate nonattachment or the fey state. It appears, however, that the Balinese ―happiness‖ (so -called by them) in the presence of death is not simple. It is possible that they repress the expression of grief just as we repress impulses to ghoulish behavior. It is, I suspect, not an accident that the Hindu goddess of death has, in Bali, not only her Hindu names, Durga and Kali, and the attributes that go with those names, but she is also Rangda, the Queen of Witches, herself a witch of the Medusa type, with monstrous face and power to paralyze those who approach. In her masked form, she has only to hold out the anteng she carries (the sling in which Balinese mothers carry their babies) to freeze any hostile approach. Witches, perhaps all over the world, resemble the fey and the partially [[p_173]] non-attached and exemplify the hostility that this state may incur. The witch traditionally operates on the edge of logic, 31 making the context appear different from what conventional persons had supposed it to be. She creates contextual puns to make a continual sliding of double binds. 31 For examples of such behaviour, see: Margaret Murray, The Witch Cult in Western Europe (New York: Oxford UPP, 1062); Sylvia Townsend Warner, Lolly Willows (Chicago: Academy Chicago, 1979), and Isak Dinesen, Seven Gothic Tales (New York: Random House, 1979. etc. These sources are of different kinds. Margaret Murray was an anthropological historian, specializing in medieval Europe. She claimed also to now of two covens of witches still functioning in England before Word War II. Sylvia Townsend Warner was a careful and scholarly historical novelist who probably got many ideas from Margaret Murray. Isak Dinesen was a famous Danish novelist whose plot structures have commonly the twisted form of “punning on the context.” On at least one occasion, she is reported to have cursed with bell, book, and candle a rival who plagiarized some of her work. It does not seem that the so-called witches of Salem, Massachusetts, at the end of the seventeenth century, were either organized into covens or that they played tricks with context.
Image of page 138
Interestingly enough, the traditional European test and/or punishment of witches was by dipping, a grotesque and horrible double bind creating a symmetry between the crime and the punishment. The suspect was tied to the end of a plank to be immersed in water. If he or she sank, this proved innocence but resulted in drowning. To float proved guilt and was followed by burning. Whether the crime of witchcraft really is especially characteristic of old women I do not know, but that is the stereotype in European folklore and fairy stories.
Image of page 139
Image of page 140

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 171 pages?

  • Fall '19
  • Gregory Bateson

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors