Germaine Dieterlen finished writing The Pale Fox after Marcel Griaule's death in 1956. I note in my next book:
"The Pale Fox can be a difficult volume – not because of any fault in its clarity – but because its structure may have been deliberately designed to reflect many of the deep enigmas of the Dogon religion itself. It is possible that at the time of its composition, Germaine Dieterlen found herself in an intractable dilemma – caught between the ethic of a professional anthropologist and the moral obligation of a Dogon initiate. Professionally, she was required to report the many intimate details she had learned about the Dogon religion, but as a caretaker of privileged tribal knowledge she may also have felt morally bound to uphold its mysteries. Her thoughtful solution to that ethical quandary may have been to compose an anthropological study which was carefully designed to safeguard its own inner secrets, and which – like the Dogon religion itself – offered answers only to the most persistent of questioners. And so it is within this ethical context that we find several key Dogon drawings – some of which Dieterlen herself describes as fundamental to a correct understanding of the Dogon religion – distributed widely among diverse chapters of the study, often labeled in generic ways, sometimes tucked away unceremoniously in the body of an appendix to the book."