In recent years geographers have borrowed from a variety of creative literary forms to find new ways of telling stories. And yet despite the profusion of experimentation, there has been little in the way of intellectual justification for why such formats are necessary. The aim of this paper is to provide such a rationale. Specifically, it argues that stories are more than evidence. Traditionally, the role of stories is to support a particular theory, framework or hypothesis and, in doing so, provide the substantive evidence by which an argument can be judged. The consequence is that stories are subsumed to the author’s explanatory framework. There is little purpose to reading the story since we already know the ending. We know what the characters and events will do and the purpose the story will serve. Drawing upon the anthropologist Viveiros de Castro, this paper positions stories as the origin of our thinking, rather than its evidence. Specifically it argues that stories have a purpose beyond evidence, beyond the author and beyond the empirical situation from which they are derived. By acknowledging the role of stories in our thinking, the paper situates a place for stories that is defined not by what they prove but by what they give to us as both authors and subjects.
- the other
- creative geographies