Download Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of by Kirin Narayan PDF

By Kirin Narayan

Anton Chekhov is respected as a boldly cutting edge playwright and brief tale writer—but he wrote greater than simply performs and tales. In Alive within the Writing—an fascinating hybrid of writing consultant, biography, and literary analysis—anthropologist and novelist Kirin Narayan introduces readers to a couple different aspects of Chekhov: his pithy, witty observations at the writing approach, his existence as a author via money owed by means of his buddies, relatives, and fanatics, and his enterprise into nonfiction via his booklet Sakhalin Island. through heavily getting to the folk who lived lower than the appalling stipulations of the Russian penal colony on Sakhalin, Chekhov confirmed how empirical info mixed with a literary aptitude can carry readers nose to nose with far-off, various lives, enlarging a feeling of human accountability.

Highlighting this stability of the empirical and the literary, Narayan calls on Chekhov to carry new power to the writing of ethnography and artistic nonfiction alike. Weaving jointly choices from writing via and approximately him with examples from different gifted ethnographers and memoirists, she bargains sensible workouts and recommendation on subject matters akin to tale, conception, position, individual, voice, and self. a brand new and full of life exploration of ethnography, Alive within the Writing indicates how the genre’s attentive, sustained reference to the lives of others can turn into a robust instrument for any writer.

Reviews:

“[Kirin Narayan] has written a quick and wonderful ebook approximately what it capacity to be an ethnographer, and the way to do it responsibly, and better.”
(James wooden the recent Yorker)

“I was once skeptical approximately no matter if the writings of a nineteenth-century Russian playwright and storyteller, inspiring as they may be, may well supply a lot suggestions within the extra prosaic activity of crafting educational texts. however. . . . i made a decision to learn on besides. i'm blissful I did. Chekhov, not less than in Kirin Narayan’s deft arms, proved to be a shockingly strong resource of recommendation for the ethnographic writer.”
(James Staples magazine of the Royal Anthropological Institute)

“Narayan’s brief e-book can simply be learn as a guide, and a few (especially people with much less adventure to guarantee them that the doldrums do finally cross) will locate it helpful for accurately that objective. however it is far greater than that. Narayan’s pleasure at assembly Chekhov around the literature-ethnography divide and the wealthy array of lovely ethnographic writing jointly forcefully remind us that ethnographic writing is rarely easily a descriptive workout. As I learn throughout the e-book, i used to be time and again struck by way of the feel of familiarity either with the dilemmas confronted through Narayan’s selected authors and with the exuberant outbursts with which they leaped around the constraints of a scholarly self-discipline to recapture the insights of fieldwork. If a doctoral scholar will locate useful information and encouragement the following, for a professional ethnographic author the comfort is available in the conclusion that there's corporation in these probably lonely moments while one struggles to render into understandable prose the strong presence in all fieldwork of the inchoate, the imponderable, and—what is usually the results of moral matters for the security of one’s informants—the unsayable.”
(Michael Herzfeld American Anthropologist)

“Alive within the Writing is a gem of a e-book. Insightful and energetic to learn, it truly is of use to either starting and pro ethnographers, in addition to to somebody who desires to enhance his or her writing approximately social lifestyles. . . . encouraged by way of her personal paintings as an anthropologist and folklorist, Narayan attracts on Chekhov’s existence and his ethnographic paintings, Sakhalin Island, in addition to the works of alternative ethnographers, to provide an resourceful, enticing, and hugely priceless sequence of workouts and recommendation to make ethnographic writing come alive.”
(Elizabeth advantageous magazine of Folklore Research)

“Chekhov’s distinctive skill to be a scientist and an artist, a doctor and a author, to regularly be found in his writings as an observer and narrator, unfailingly compassionate, yet by no means overbearing, makes Chekhov a task version to which we will be able to all aspire. After interpreting Narayan’s ebook, you might have considered trying to expire and skim Chekhov ahead of you take a seat to do any of your personal writing. i don't imagine Narayan could locate this frightening in any respect. probably it's even what she intends. i've got regularly heard it acknowledged that you just write in addition to what you learn. Bravo to Narayan for reminding us of this significant fact. She has in actual fact realized deeply from her muse. Her writing flickers with all of the glittering features of Chekhov’s work—brevity, precision, audacity, and the need to inform issues as they're, and to take action with love, humor, and abiding interest for what makes humans such ceaselessly fascinating creatures.”
(Ruth Behar present Anthropology)

“Balm for the loneliness and torment of the ethnographic author, this handbook through essentially the most distinct deals the person a private writer's workshop, immediately fascinating, healing, and sensible. The author's mom, her such a lot astute reader, asks: ‘A lot of individuals haven't any challenge writing. the larger factor I'd wish to understand is, do you might have any innovations on the right way to positioned the entire diverse little bits together?’ With assistance from Anton Chekhov, her muse and obsession, Narayan does.”--George Marcus, writer of Ethnography via Thick and Thin
(George Marcus 2011-11-22)

“Narayan skillfully weaves the tale of Anton Chekhov’s stopover at to Sakhalin Island and its literary/ethnographic end result, deftly selected excerpts from modern ethnographic writing, and her personal event as anthropologist and instructor to create an insightful and particularly priceless set of ideas, information, and routines for somebody writing ethnography themselves. learn it and use it, you won’t locate whatever better.”

(Howard S. Becker, writer of Writing for Social Scientists)

"The sustained interplay with Chekhov's lifestyles, paintings, and writing practices is uncommon for a publication dedicated to craft, yet it's a truly efficient and stress-free through-line. the writer weaves jointly wealthy examples from anthropological texts, and those examples collaborate fantastically along with her inquiry into Chekhov's artistry and with the writing workouts she provides. stylish of their simplicity and sensibleness, the routines invite readers to test, they usually aid translate theoretical innovations into matters that writers of all degrees share."

(Michele Morano 2011-11-22)

“With a deft contact and an not likely muse (Anton Chekhov), this consummate author and reader of ethnographies has became her deep appreciation of the craft and its promise right into a present for anthropologists. Narayan bargains versions of and versions for ethnographic writing that would encourage us. i'm desirous to educate the e-book, yet simply as desirous to research from it.”--Lila Abu-Lughod, writer of Writing Women’s Worlds

(Lila Abu-Lughod 2011-11-22)

“Alive within the Writing is just a satisfaction to learn. It walks its speak. it truly is wealthy in workouts to improve an ethnographic writer's skills and marvelous in its tales of Chekhov as ethnographer. Narayan's superb handbook for writers (and readers) of ethnography in addition to artistic nonfiction can be a cornerstone for much-needed classes in writing culture.”--Renato Rosaldo, coauthor of tradition & Truth
(Renato Rosaldo 2011-11-22)

“Wise, lucid, loving—this guidebook of savvy illuminations will educate and encourage scholars, academics, and all these misplaced and located within the writing process.”--James Clifford, writer of at the Edges of Anthropology

(James Clifford 2011-11-22)

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Extra resources for Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov

Sample text

He taught me to dif- Place 35 ferentiate the light green (kuning, also “yellow”) leaves of secondary forest regrowing from old swiddens from the dark green (hijau, “green/blue”) of the mature forest that begins slowly to show its presence after forty to fifty years of regrowth. He pointed to the remains of old cultivation and inhabitants that I might otherwise never have noticed. Red coleus leaves that once decorated the ritual “eye” (pamataan) of someone’s rice field still flourished in five-year regrowth amid trees as thick as one’s arm.

He goes on to describe the many weeks “with clouds the colour of lead” and their depressive effect on inhabitants. ” Here is how Margaret Mead describes the crushing midday heat in her chapter “A Day in Samoa,” which sets the stage for Coming of Age in Samoa: It is high noon. The sun burns the feet of the little children, who leave their palm leaf balls and their pin-wheels of frangipani blossoms to wither in the sun, as they creep into the shade of the houses. The women who must go abroad carry great banana leaves as sunshades or wind wet cloths about their heads.

Here is how Margaret Mead describes the crushing midday heat in her chapter “A Day in Samoa,” which sets the stage for Coming of Age in Samoa: It is high noon. The sun burns the feet of the little children, who leave their palm leaf balls and their pin-wheels of frangipani blossoms to wither in the sun, as they creep into the shade of the houses. The women who must go abroad carry great banana leaves as sunshades or wind wet cloths about their heads. Lowering a few blinds against the slanting sun, all who are left in the village wrap their heads in sheets and go to sleep.

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