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 facets of Chekhov: his pithy, witty observations at the writing approach, his lifestyles as a author via debts by means of his neighbors, kin, and fans, and his enterprise into nonfiction via his e-book Sakhalin Island. by way of heavily getting to the folks who lived less than the appalling stipulations of the Russian penal colony on Sakhalin, Chekhov confirmed how empirical information mixed with a literary aptitude can deliver readers head to head with far-off, diversified lives, enlarging a feeling of human accountability.
Highlighting this stability of the empirical and the literary, Narayan calls on Chekhov to convey new strength to the writing of ethnography and inventive 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 themes comparable to tale, conception, position, individual, voice, and self. a brand new and full of life exploration of ethnography, Alive within the Writing exhibits how the genre’s attentive, sustained reference to the lives of others can develop into a robust software for any writer.
“[Kirin Narayan] has written a quick and extraordinary booklet 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 even if the writings of a nineteenth-century Russian playwright and storyteller, inspiring as they may 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 blissful I did. Chekhov, at the least in Kirin Narayan’s deft palms, proved to be a shockingly strong resource of recommendation for the ethnographic writer.”
(James Staples magazine of the Royal Anthropological Institute)
“Narayan’s brief booklet 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 beneficial for accurately that objective. 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 is rarely easily a descriptive workout. As I learn throughout the publication, i used to be again and again struck by way of the feel of familiarity either with the dilemmas confronted by way of 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 professional ethnographic author the relaxation is available in the belief 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 e-book. Insightful and energetic to learn, it's of use to either starting and pro ethnographers, in addition to to someone who desires to enhance his or her writing approximately social lifestyles. . . . encouraged via her personal paintings as an anthropologist and folklorist, Narayan attracts on Chekhov’s lifestyles and his ethnographic paintings, Sakhalin Island, in addition to the works of different ethnographers, to supply an ingenious, enticing, and hugely worthwhile sequence of workouts and suggestion to make ethnographic writing come alive.”
(Elizabeth advantageous magazine of Folklore Research)
“Chekhov’s specified skill to be a scientist and an artist, a physician and a author, to constantly be found in his writings as an observer and narrator, unfailingly compassionate, yet by no means overbearing, makes Chekhov a job version to which we will be able to all aspire. After examining Narayan’s publication, it's your decision to expire and browse Chekhov prior to you take a seat to do any of your individual writing. i don't imagine Narayan might locate this scary in any respect. possibly it truly is even what she intends. i've got regularly heard it acknowledged that you simply write in addition to what you learn. Bravo to Narayan for reminding us of this important fact. She has essentially realized deeply from her muse. Her writing glints with the entire glittering characteristics 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 attention-grabbing creatures.”
(Ruth Behar present Anthropology)
“Balm for the loneliness and torment of the ethnographic author, this guide through some of the most distinctive bargains the person a private writer's workshop, right now captivating, healing, and useful. The author's mom, her such a lot astute reader, asks: ‘A lot of individuals don't have any challenge writing. the larger factor I'd wish to be aware of is, do you could have any options on find out how to positioned the entire varied 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 consequence, deftly selected excerpts from modern ethnographic writing, and her personal event as anthropologist and instructor to create an insightful and particularly precious set of techniques, information, and workouts for someone 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 existence, paintings, and writing practices is uncommon for a booklet 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 routines she offers. stylish of their simplicity and sensibleness, the routines invite readers to scan, and so they support translate theoretical options 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 reward for anthropologists. Narayan deals versions of and versions for ethnographic writing that may motivate us. i'm wanting to educate the booklet, yet simply as wanting 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 pride to learn. It walks its speak. it truly is wealthy in workouts to strengthen an ethnographic writer's skills and miraculous in its tales of Chekhov as ethnographer. Narayan's remarkable 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 train 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)
Read Online or Download Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov PDF
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Additional resources for Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov
Composing within the rigid demands of nonfiction, Chekhov betrayed the impatience of a writer who could usually invent the necessary details for short stories and plays. ” In a letter written a few years earlier to his brother Alexander, Chekhov had laid out what he considered to be key to a short story: 1. absence of lengthy verbiage of political-social-economic nature; 2. total objectivity; 3. truthful descriptions of persons and objects; 4. extreme brevity; 5. audacity and originality: flee the stereotype; 6.
Where I at first saw only the forest’s natural beauty, he showed me how to read the forest socially. 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.
Describe the quality of air in a place. Painful Places In a scolding letter to his older, alcoholic brother, written some years before his trip to Sakhalin Island, Chekhov noted that among the traits of decent people is that “they have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. ” He seemed to be exhorting his brother to take an imaginative leap into the sources of people’s suffering, mentioning among his examples an old couple turning gray and lying awake with worry for an alcoholic son (a perhaps not too oblique reference to their own parents).
Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov by Kirin Narayan