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

By Kirin Narayan

Anton Chekhov is respected as a boldly leading 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 few different aspects of Chekhov: his pithy, witty observations at the writing technique, his lifestyles as a author via debts by way of his acquaintances, kin, and fans, and his enterprise into nonfiction via his ebook Sakhalin Island. through heavily getting to the folk who lived less than the appalling stipulations of the Russian penal colony on Sakhalin, Chekhov confirmed how empirical info mixed with a literary aptitude can deliver readers head to head with far away, assorted lives, enlarging a feeling of human accountability.

Highlighting this stability of the empirical and the literary, Narayan calls on Chekhov to convey new power to the writing of ethnography and artistic nonfiction alike. Weaving jointly choices from writing via and approximately him with examples from different proficient ethnographers and memoirists, she bargains useful workouts and suggestion on subject matters comparable to tale, idea, position, individual, voice, and self. a brand new and energetic exploration of ethnography, Alive within the Writing exhibits how the genre’s attentive, sustained reference to the lives of others can turn into a strong software for any writer.

Reviews:

“[Kirin Narayan] has written a quick and superb e-book approximately what it capability to be an ethnographer, and the way to do it responsibly, and better.”
(James wooden the recent Yorker)

“I was once skeptical approximately even if the writings of a nineteenth-century Russian playwright and storyteller, inspiring as they could be, may perhaps provide a lot tips within the extra prosaic job of crafting educational texts. however. . . . i made a decision to learn on besides. i'm pleased I did. Chekhov, a minimum of in Kirin Narayan’s deft palms, proved to be an incredibly strong resource of recommendation for the ethnographic writer.”
(James Staples magazine of the Royal Anthropological Institute)

“Narayan’s brief publication can simply be learn as a handbook, and a few (especially people with much less adventure to guarantee them that the doldrums do ultimately cross) will locate it invaluable for accurately that function. however it is way 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 isn't easily a descriptive workout. As I learn during the e-book, i used to be again and again struck through the experience 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 assistance and encouragement the following, for a pro ethnographic author the relaxation is available in the conclusion that there's corporation in these doubtless lonely moments whilst one struggles to render into understandable prose the strong presence in all fieldwork of the inchoate, the imponderable, and—what is typically the results of moral issues for the safety of one’s informants—the unsayable.”
(Michael Herzfeld American Anthropologist)

“Alive within the Writing is a gem of a booklet. Insightful and full of life to learn, it's of use to either starting and professional ethnographers, in addition to to an individual who desires to enhance his or her writing approximately social existence. . . . encouraged by means 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 different ethnographers, to supply an inventive, attractive, and hugely priceless sequence of routines and suggestion to make ethnographic writing come alive.”
(Elizabeth tremendous magazine of Folklore Research)

“Chekhov’s particular skill to be a scientist and an artist, a physician and a author, to consistently 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 all aspire. After studying Narayan’s booklet, you might have considered trying to expire and browse Chekhov prior to you take a seat to do any of your individual writing. i don't imagine Narayan may locate this provoking in any respect. possibly it really is even what she intends. i've got consistently heard it stated that you simply write in addition to what you learn. Bravo to Narayan for reminding us of this important fact. She has truly realized deeply from her muse. Her writing flickers with the entire glittering features of Chekhov’s work—brevity, precision, audacity, and the will to inform issues as they're, and to take action with love, humor, and abiding interest for what makes humans such perpetually attention-grabbing creatures.”
(Ruth Behar present Anthropology)

“Balm for the loneliness and torment of the ethnographic author, this guide by means of essentially the most distinctive bargains the person a private writer's workshop, without delay fascinating, healing, and functional. The author's mom, her so much astute reader, asks: ‘A lot of individuals haven't any challenge writing. the larger factor I'd prefer to understand is, do you have got any recommendations on the right way to positioned all of the assorted little bits together?’ With the aid of 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 adventure as anthropologist and instructor to create an insightful and mainly worthy set of concepts, tips, and workouts for somebody writing ethnography themselves. learn it and use it, you won’t locate something 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 really efficient and relaxing 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 offers. stylish of their simplicity and sensibleness, the routines invite readers to scan, they usually support 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 motivate us. i'm wanting to educate the ebook, yet simply as desirous to study 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 mind-blowing in its tales of Chekhov as ethnographer. Narayan's extraordinary guide 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 coach and encourage scholars, lecturers, and all these misplaced and located within the writing process.”--James Clifford, writer of at the Edges of Anthropology

(James Clifford 2011-11-22)

Show description

By Kirin Narayan

Anton Chekhov is respected as a boldly leading 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 few different aspects of Chekhov: his pithy, witty observations at the writing technique, his lifestyles as a author via debts by way of his acquaintances, kin, and fans, and his enterprise into nonfiction via his ebook Sakhalin Island. through heavily getting to the folk who lived less than the appalling stipulations of the Russian penal colony on Sakhalin, Chekhov confirmed how empirical info mixed with a literary aptitude can deliver readers head to head with far away, assorted lives, enlarging a feeling of human accountability.

Highlighting this stability of the empirical and the literary, Narayan calls on Chekhov to convey new power to the writing of ethnography and artistic nonfiction alike. Weaving jointly choices from writing via and approximately him with examples from different proficient ethnographers and memoirists, she bargains useful workouts and suggestion on subject matters comparable to tale, idea, position, individual, voice, and self. a brand new and energetic exploration of ethnography, Alive within the Writing exhibits how the genre’s attentive, sustained reference to the lives of others can turn into a strong software for any writer.

Reviews:

“[Kirin Narayan] has written a quick and superb e-book approximately what it capability to be an ethnographer, and the way to do it responsibly, and better.”
(James wooden the recent Yorker)

“I was once skeptical approximately even if the writings of a nineteenth-century Russian playwright and storyteller, inspiring as they could be, may perhaps provide a lot tips within the extra prosaic job of crafting educational texts. however. . . . i made a decision to learn on besides. i'm pleased I did. Chekhov, a minimum of in Kirin Narayan’s deft palms, proved to be an incredibly strong resource of recommendation for the ethnographic writer.”
(James Staples magazine of the Royal Anthropological Institute)

“Narayan’s brief publication can simply be learn as a handbook, and a few (especially people with much less adventure to guarantee them that the doldrums do ultimately cross) will locate it invaluable for accurately that function. however it is way 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 isn't easily a descriptive workout. As I learn during the e-book, i used to be again and again struck through the experience 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 assistance and encouragement the following, for a pro ethnographic author the relaxation is available in the conclusion that there's corporation in these doubtless lonely moments whilst one struggles to render into understandable prose the strong presence in all fieldwork of the inchoate, the imponderable, and—what is typically the results of moral issues for the safety of one’s informants—the unsayable.”
(Michael Herzfeld American Anthropologist)

“Alive within the Writing is a gem of a booklet. Insightful and full of life to learn, it's of use to either starting and professional ethnographers, in addition to to an individual who desires to enhance his or her writing approximately social existence. . . . encouraged by means 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 different ethnographers, to supply an inventive, attractive, and hugely priceless sequence of routines and suggestion to make ethnographic writing come alive.”
(Elizabeth tremendous magazine of Folklore Research)

“Chekhov’s particular skill to be a scientist and an artist, a physician and a author, to consistently 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 all aspire. After studying Narayan’s booklet, you might have considered trying to expire and browse Chekhov prior to you take a seat to do any of your individual writing. i don't imagine Narayan may locate this provoking in any respect. possibly it really is even what she intends. i've got consistently heard it stated that you simply write in addition to what you learn. Bravo to Narayan for reminding us of this important fact. She has truly realized deeply from her muse. Her writing flickers with the entire glittering features of Chekhov’s work—brevity, precision, audacity, and the will to inform issues as they're, and to take action with love, humor, and abiding interest for what makes humans such perpetually attention-grabbing creatures.”
(Ruth Behar present Anthropology)

“Balm for the loneliness and torment of the ethnographic author, this guide by means of essentially the most distinctive bargains the person a private writer's workshop, without delay fascinating, healing, and functional. The author's mom, her so much astute reader, asks: ‘A lot of individuals haven't any challenge writing. the larger factor I'd prefer to understand is, do you have got any recommendations on the right way to positioned all of the assorted little bits together?’ With the aid of 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 adventure as anthropologist and instructor to create an insightful and mainly worthy set of concepts, tips, and workouts for somebody writing ethnography themselves. learn it and use it, you won’t locate something 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 really efficient and relaxing 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 offers. stylish of their simplicity and sensibleness, the routines invite readers to scan, they usually support 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 motivate us. i'm wanting to educate the ebook, yet simply as desirous to study 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 mind-blowing in its tales of Chekhov as ethnographer. Narayan's extraordinary guide 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 coach and encourage scholars, lecturers, and all these misplaced and located within the writing process.”--James Clifford, writer of at the Edges of Anthropology

(James Clifford 2011-11-22)

Show description

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Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov

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 interesting hybrid of writing consultant, biography, and literary analysis—anthropologist and novelist Kirin Narayan introduces readers to a few different facets of Chekhov: his pithy, witty observations at the writing strategy, his lifestyles as a author via bills by way of his buddies, relatives, and enthusiasts, and his enterprise into nonfiction via his booklet Sakhalin Island.

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

Example text

It doesn’t go anywhere, by definition. If you are walking there, it is either because you are lost or you are trespassing, or both. The wet clay builds clods on your boots, if you have any, sapping your strength, and if you don’t have any boots, the sun and the hot mud are unmerciful. Whole hillsides slide down beside you into the stagnant pools where the mosquitoes breed. Abandoned roads soon lose their shape, forcing you in and out of eroded canyons and over muddy trickles where bridges once stood but which are now choked by loose soil, vines crawling on disinterred roots and trunks sliding, askew.

Moving from a tropical day, consider the far extreme: the cold in the Siberian taiga. In The Reindeer People, Piers Vitebsky follows the close association between the indigenous Eveny people and their reindeer in the wake of Soviet policies that transformed their nomadic ways of life. Going on a winter hunt with a retired herder, he mentions dressing in up to fifteen layers before venturing from the tent. Here is his entry from the first day of the hunt: The temperature today felt cold, but had not quite reached the threshold of –40 F.

At twenty-six, when his first collection of stories was being published, he wavered until the last minute about whether Antosha Chekhonte would be the author; Anton Chekhov won out. But even as Anton Chekhov grew in stature, writing longer, more serious stories and plays, Antosha Chekhonte’s droll voice and delight in absurd detail continued to surface 18 one like a light fizz in a strong drink. At twenty-eight, when he was finding recognition as a writer, Chekhov complained of others’ desire to pin him down.

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