Story telling modes


…historians consistently differ from ecologists, who more often than not treat people as exogenous variables that fit awkwardly if at all into the theoretical models of the discipline. The historian’s tendency is quite opposite. The chief protagonists and antagonists of our stories are almost always human, for reasons that go to the very heart of our narrative impulse.*

We archaeologists often try hard to get people, emotional people, into our publications, but it’s difficult to do while appeasing the gods of science by describing what is nearly unarguably true—systematically observed truths, anyway (and replicable, if at all possible—that’s why there’s so much data published in addition to discussions and analysis).

Charles Hudson’s recent fiction, Conversations with the High Priest of Coosa, is an example of a premier ethnohistorian abandoning the limitations of academic publishing in a search for (adventure in?) truths not readily accepted there.

BTW, a triumphant (not triumphal) 4.6 miles today at 3.6 mph. Whew! T-shirt weather already, even before 8 am.

* William Cronon. 1992. A Place for Stories: Nature, History, and Narrative, Journal of American History 78:1347–1376.

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