From this piece in the Guardian on the joys of anthropological writing, written by Will Self, who is becoming every time I read or read about him my total literary crush.
I probably reread Lopez’s book about every couple of years. Arctic Dreams is a more or less perfect example of a tendency in my reading towards what can only be described as “comfort savagery”. Lying abed, in the heart of a great, pulsing, auto-cannibalising conurbation, the supply chain of which girdles the earth like the monstrous tail of some effluent-belching comet, I find descriptions of how I myself might have lived before the great grainy surplus of the agricultural revolution curiously heartening. After all, what does any kind of reading provide for us if not the opportunity to exercise imaginative sympathy? Others may prefer to will themselves into James Bond’s dinner jacket and Aston Martin DB4, but I’d rather slip into a !Kung hunter’s penis sheath and heft his hunting spear.