“I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratchnmine” takes on the character of naturalnlaw.nThe implications of such ethologicalndata for economic theory are enormous.nIn the first place, exchange cannbe plausibly viewed as an essentiallynbehavioral relationship, independent ofnobjects. Secondly, exchange can beninterpreted as a much more complexnaffair than a profit-loss transfer, sincengrooming and food transfer can be conductednin more than one context; e.g.,nmaternal nurturing of children on thenone hand or coercion of inferiors on thenother. Still, Reynolds’ study may go anlong way to support what seemed to benthe weakest aspect of George Gilder’snWealth and Poverty: his insistence onnmaking gift-giving and reciprocity thenbasis for capitalism.nReynolds’ emphasis on continuitynleads him to conclude that the humannrepresents merely an “increase of malefemalencare giving and more exclusivensexual relationships within a social organizationnsimilar to a multimalentroop,” e.g., of chimpanzees. He pointsnout—rather brilliantly—that it is easiernto derive human social organizationnfrom a multimale troop than from ansingle-male harem organization (of, fornexample, the hamadryas baboons usednby Fox and Tiger in The Imperial Animal),nbecause in a multimale group,n”cooperative relationships among unrelatednadult males already exist.” Hentherefore rejects the naturalness of thennuclear family in favor of “matrilinesnand semipromiscuous mating of thenmultimale troop.”nBut surely that is not a reasonablenconclusion from his own evidence. AsnRobin Fox pointed out, the essence ofnthe human family is that it combinesn—uniquely—two different systems ofnprimate relatedness: the mother-childnbond of chimpanzees and the malefemalenpair bond of many baboons.nWhenever or however it was that hominidnfemales captured hominid males inna permanent alliance for the rearing ofnchildren, it is now a feature universal tonmankind. While it is true, as Reynoldsnargues, that the nuclear family nowherenexists as the highest level of socialnorganization, autonomous extendednfamilies are found. In fact, one of thenmost striking features of many primitivensocieties is the high degree of autonomynenjoyed by family groups—an odd developmentnif the multimale group werenthe origin of our social system.nAll in all, Reynolds has produced ansignificant book. It is to be regrettednthat some editor did not terrorize himninto writing a readable prose, relegatingnhis endless bibliographical quibbles tonthe footnotes and equipping his booknwith a usable index instead of a pagenand a half summary of topics. ccnIN FOCUSnSo Long, St.nGeorgenby Stephen L. TannernThe Slaying of the Dragon: ModemnTales of the Playful Imagination; Editednby Franz Rottensteiner; HarcourtnBrace Jovanovich; San Diego.nThis collection, announces FranznRottensteiner in his introduction, givesnus none of the traditional “high” fantasynof heroic quests in imaginary lands,nfilled with magic and sorcery and pittingngood against evil. Such fantasy,nRottensteiner argues, can provide littleninsight into modern society or thenhuman mind because it is rooted in pastnworlds divorced from the peculiar stressnand pressure of the contemporary realnworld.nThe fantasy represented in this collectionnis something different. It oscillatesnbetween the real and fantastic, thenordinary and extraordinary, the plausiblenand implausible. It is not a merenescape from a complex and confusednage. “It challenges the certainties ofnlife” and “is, ultimately, literature ofndoubt, not of affirmation.” It can protestna too complacent world, questionnestablished norms, and challenge whatnis usually taken for granted. It can stressnthe irrational and unknown or unknowablenrealms of human life and raisenunsettling questions about reason, reality,nand the human psyche. By underminingnfixed notions of reality, suggestsnRottensteiner, this genre can probe andnilluminate the real world often moreneffectively than realistic writing can.nAlthough Rottensteiner does not usenthe term, the genre he describes is oftenncalled “magical realism,” a term appliednsince the I950’s to certain worksnof South American fiction, and whichnhas increased in currency since GabrielnGarcia Marquez received the NobelnPrize for Literature. The genre has beenncalled “a pleasant joke on ‘realism,'”nand is really not so much a challenge tonconventions of literary realism as to thenbasic assumptions of modern positivisticnthought, the soil in which realismnflourished. Some feel its inquiries gondeep, questioning the political and metaphysicalndefinitions of the real many ofnus live by. Its basic effect is aimed atnunsettling our normal expectations as anmeans of stimulating and renewing ournsense of wonder.nThe II stories in this collection arenby Dino Buzzati, Julio Gortazar, JorgenLuis Borges, Mircea Eliade, GarlosnFuentes, Italo Galvino, Use Aichinger,nJ.G. Ballard, Donald Barthelme, JoycenGarol Gates, and Stanislaw Lem. Thensubjects include a man who contemplatesnsalamanders in an aquarium sonintensely that he becomes one; anwoman who is transported, as in anhectic trip across town, from the gravenback to the womb; a dead giant washednashore and gradually dismembered bynsouvenir hunters and enterprising dealersnin by-products; a woman who givesnbirth to an enormous emerald; and anbeautiful woman who is merely thenouter casing for an insect-like killernrobot. The tide story, set in 1902, tellsnof the cruel and purposeless destructionnin the mountains of Italy of a family ofnrather harmless reptiles purported to bendragons. The tale is an ironically symbolicnrendering of technological man’snrejection of the stuff of fairy tales.nMOVING?nLET US KNOW BEFORE YOU GO.nTo assure uninterrupted delivery of Chroniclesnof Culture, please notify us in advance. Sendnthis form with the mailing label from yournlatest issue of Chronicles of Culture to: SubscriptionnDepartment, Chronicles of Culture, P.O.nBox 800, Rockford, Illinois 61105.nNAME.nADDRESSnCITYnnnSTATE. .ZIPnDECEMBER 1985 / 29n