Publication details for Dr Trudi BuckBuck, T. J. & Pipyrou, S. (2014). You can die but once? Creativity, narrative and epistemology in Western death. Mortality 19(3): 261-283.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 1357-6275 (print), 1469-9885 (electronic)
- DOI: 10.1080/13576275.2014.929567
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
Employing two case studies from different spheres of anthropological practice, we argue that a narrative approach provides productive analytical ground for the study of Western death. It has been argued that narratives are attempts to create a presence to what is absent and truth to what is imagined and forgotten. Inverting this thesis, in this paper, we investigate how narratives can create absence where there is presence and ignite imagination and speculation where there is truth. Arguing that death ‘invites a story’, we examine cases which are as much about creative orchestration of human ingenuity as of meaningful accounts of epistemological meta-language.