Chekhov’s gun and narrative topography in social science texts

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

A social science text has topography. Idea, concepts, and data are structured in a narrative form and the writer faces three challenges: 1) how to deal with the complexity of knowledge in a linear form of writing, 2) how to transform experience and the wealth of data you needed to know to write, into focused and lean writing that the reader needs to read, and finally 3) how, while providing a synthetic representation of reality, to establish memorable credibility of the data and narrative. These challenges can be addressed and overcome by the use of devices we can identify most clearly in art.

TidsskriftAnthropology and Humanism
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)54-68
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Thanks to for and for . For the photographs of and , thanks to (Paris), to , managers of the Picasso estate in the US, and to managers of the Picasso estate in Denmark. Special thanks to Marie‐Louise Dyrlund Hansen for advice. Thanks to Lars Bjørnsten for letting me use the photograph of the collector/fidelity stamp , from the margarine company Bjørn A/S, that is part of his collection of Andersen memorabilia, and thanks to (who bought Bjørn A/S in 1919) for allowing its use in this article. I sketched myself. I have received great help to move everything to the top from Ben Jones, Bernardo di Almeida, Bettina Engels, Duncan McDuie‐Ra, Eric Hahonou, Gry Thorsen, Jason Cons, Jens Friis Lund, Jesse Ribot, Kasper Hoffmann, Kristina Dietz, Louise Fortmann, Malene Jensen‐Juul (who was also in charge of spelunking into the caverns of intellectual property rights and fair use to enable me to illustrate), Mariève Pouliot, Mattias Borg Rasmussen, Muriel Côte, Pauline Peters, Penelope Anthias, Prathiwi Putri, Ruth Pinto, Signe Marie Cold Ravnkilde, Stephanie Lagoutte, Thorsten Treue, Tirza van Bruggen, Tomas Martin, Veronica Gomez‐Temesio. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the anonymous reviewers and to the editors of , Neni Panourgiá and Katrina Daly Thompson, for instructive and illuminating comments and suggestions. The remaining errors and infelicities are mine. The research for this article has benefitted from generous funding from the European Research Council (ERC). ERC Grant: State Formation Through the Local Production of Property and Citizenship (Ares (2015)2785650 – ERC‐2014‐AdG – 662770‐Local State). Acknowledgements. Wikipedia Gun on the Wall The Fractal Structure of a Snowflake Death of a Bullfighter La Pique Agence photographique de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux et du Grand Palais Artists Rights Society Visual Rights Denmark, The Tinder Box Unilever Denmark The Narrative Topography of a Text Anthropology and Humanism

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