In Cannibal Talk, Gananath Obeyesekere sets out to expose cannibalism as racist slander and anthropologists' perpetuation of a mistaken sense of “identity.” In the very act of denying its existence, however, he employs it as sheep's clothing for the beast of genocide and other atrocities, implying that they, too, can be classified as slander or treated as aberrations outside the bounds of social rules or analysis. In claiming to deconstruct centuries of falsehood and defamation, Obeyesekere paradoxically opens the door to revising real crimes-the global horrors that he compares with cannibalism-lending them the same aura of unreality.

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