Rodney Needham was Professor of Anthro at Oxford and died on December 4th, aged 83. He was the person who first invited me to pommie land, claiming Oxford was the place for me. Turned out that part was not true, but I did like much of his work. The obituary in the Guardian explains that when Levi-Strauss repudiated some obscure point about kinship that Needham had defended, the portrait of the great structuralist that hung in Needham’s office was turned to face the wall. I love that. May his old curmudgeon bones rest in peace.
Read his book ‘Against the Tranquillity of Axioms’.