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Friday, January 20, 2012

Source 3 Redux

Okay, so apparently we were supposed to do the question format for four sources, not two. Oh well. So I redid my entry on Nine Lives. Anyhow, here it is after the jump.

Nine Lives
William Dalyrmple

Dalrymple, William. Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India. New York: Vintage Departures, 2009. Print.

1. What is the stated purpose (the argument or thesis)?
Dalrymple is basically just explaining nine different biographies of religious Indians he finds fascinating. The point is mostly just to explore and see what is going on. He begins the book by explaining that he is not trying to be exhaustive or comprehensive. He is just attempting to tell nine stories with as little influence of himself as possible. Although a friend of mine has pointed out how that may or may not be actually possible.

2. What evidence does the author provide to support his or her main argument? How is the author attempting to logically prove his or her thesis and how does this affect the organization of the document?
He just presents the story. The most significant part of this book is that all his evidence is from his conversations with these people. However, he presents them as fact, basically, even though most of these stories, if not all of them were obtained through translation. He never says if he used recording equipment or how he made sure he got exactly what they said. I believe this to be significant because the whole point of the book is that these are nine stories that propose to be authentic, yet it leaves the question of if they are really authentic. Thus there is no real problem in the heart of his work, per se, but there could be, which has bearings on my own work.

3. Who is the audience? What does the author assume the audience already knows about the topic?
The audience is just general readers. He assumes they know little or nothing and includes a glossary of important terms.

4. Describe the author’s methods (i.e. how does the author know what he or she knows). In your opinion, were they appropriate? Why or why not?
Dalrymple traveled around India and used a bunch of his contacts. I don’t know that there would be any other way to do it than to just go and get to know people.

5. To what other sources (theorist, researchers, artists) does the author refer? Explain the specific ideas the author draws upon from these other sources to support his or her own argument (the theoretical framework).
Other sources are not relevant to this work, as it is all his own primary research, I guess you could say.

6. What are the connections between this source and your project? How useful or applicable is this source’s approach to your own project? How is yours new and different?
I am not going to be doing a bunch of biography, but his methods and his presentation are significant for my own work. Depending on the route I end up going, I may very well basically be just trying to meet people and get to know them like this. His presentation is a little more complicated. I am interested in the idea of presenting data as much as possible straight from the horses mouth, however as I said, a friend of my pointed out that even though he says he is just presenting what they said, that may not be true. I have been thinking a lot about how that relates to my own project and how it will affect how I end up presenting things.

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