By Bruce Chatwin

ISBN-10: 0140256989

ISBN-13: 9780140256987

Even though he's top recognized for his luminous stories from the farthest-flung corners of the earth, Bruce Chatwin possessed a literary sensibility that reached past the go back and forth narrative to span an international of topics—from paintings and antiques to archaeology and structure. This lively choice of formerly missed or unpublished essays, articles, brief tales, commute sketches, and feedback represents each element and interval of Chatwin’s occupation because it unearths an abiding subject matter in his paintings: his fascination with, and starvation for, the peripatetic existence.

While Chatwin’s poignant look for an appropriate position to “hang his hat,” his compelling arguments for the nomadic “alternative,” his revealing fictional debts of exile and the unique, and his wickedly en pointe social background of Capri end up him to be an exceptional observer of social and cultural mores, Chatwin’s personal restlessness, his craving to be at the movement, glimmers underneath each floor of this outstanding physique of labor.

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One other example of the use of metaphor must suffice. In What is Sociology? (1978) Norbert Elias argues that a well-chosen metaphor can help us break out of more static ways of thinking about society: One only needs to compare the imaginative possibilities of such static concepts as the individual and society or ego and system with the imaginative possibilities opened up by the metaphoric use of various images of games and players; the comparison will help us to understand that the models have served to unleash our powers of imagination.

In 1982, my colleagues in the Media Group obtained a modest amount of funding to study the United Nations Special 16 Stretching Exercises Conference on Peace and Disarmament, which was to take place in June 1982. This was to involve looking at all the coverage of the conference on British television news and in the press. The intention was to look at how extensively this conference was covered and how the news was selected, filtered and framed. Since we had access to all the speeches that were delivered at the conference, this provided us with a neat research design: we could compare what was available to the press with what was disseminated to the British public.

Merton commented that it requires a theoretically sensitized observer to detect the universal in the particular: After all, men [sic] had for centuries noticed such trivial occurrences as slips of the tongue, slips of the pen, typographical errors and lapses of memory, but it required the theoretical sensitivity of a Freud to see these as strategic data through which he could extend his theory of repression and symptomatic acts. (Merton 1957: 105) The notion of unanticipated discoveries had parallels for Merton in his long-standing interest in the unanticipated consequences of planned human action, which itself had roots in the sociology of Max Weber (Merton 1936).

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