The word 'experience' in the title of this volume makes me suspicious. I am quite sure that experience is the touchstone of good anthropology. If you are confronted with two pieces of ethnography, one of which bears no relation to the experience of the ethnographer or of the people they write about, and the other of which does bear some sort of relation, you are in no doubt about which is better. And, similarly, if you compare a theory which proposes to explain, say, gift-giving in terms of a market, and one which invokes reciprocity, you will try to come to a view of what your informants' experience is, before adopting one or the other explanatory device. In those cases, 'experience' is a crucial evaluative concept in anthropology. But the word also stands as an emblem for the demand that anthropologists should recreate experience (either their own or other people's) so that it is directly accessible to readers (and occasionally viewers of their movies). That is a tall order: poets sometimes achieve it, although in one restricted area of life at a time; and we can imagine that it is not always their own experience that they conjure, but occasionally that of third parties. Actors, painters, musicians and movie directors also sometimes provide us not just with occasions for heightened understanding of our own lives, but with the sensation that we can live other lives. Of course, some of us are uneasy about the reality of that (do we experience Toscanini, or Verdi or Falstaff? Even, some people fear, do we just experience ourselves?). Even so, we agree that it is heady, exhilarating, memorable and rare.