The article focuses on Niccolò Zapponi’s interest for cultural anthropology through the analysis of his book La modernità deviante published in 1993. It makes reference to the theories of prominent scholars and key concepts in anthropological studies, as well as the importance given by Zapponi to Lévi-Strauss’ thought. The purpose of this article, however, is to look beyond the explicit and frequent references to this author and highlight, instead, the affinity between Zapponi’s thought and interpretative anthropology on the one hand, postmodern critical anthropology on the other. The article suggests, in particular, that there is a methodological connection between Zapponi’s analysis of modernity and Clifford’s. A sense of loss of purity and authenticity, moreover, characterizes Zapponi’s approach to modernity. In this essay, three perspectives are suggested to read Zapponi’s relation with anthropology as it is expressed in La modernità deviante: a symmetrical, a methodological and an iconographic-imaginative interpretation.
Keywords: Niccolò Zapponi, history of ideas, anthropology, hermeneutics, modernity, Modernità deviante