Reading as Theorizing: A Conjecture Based on the Savage Detectives’ Mode of Inquiry

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In this essay, readings from three different areas are made to intersect in order to produce a conjecture. The frst area is social-scientifc methods and in particular recent discussion on theorizing. The second area is a sub-tradition that inspects crime and detective fction as a refection on social scientifc research. The third type of readings are literary analyses of detective fction. The conjecture is that a book of fction—Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives— can be used to think about a surprisingly unnoticed moment in discussions on social scientifc theorization, namely the role of reading. New ideas in social science often require a self-genealogical work. When making new theories, social researchers need to read their antecessors in order to situate their work so it can actually make sense as a social scientifc contribution. The fctionalized inquiry presented in The Savage Detectives can be read as a refection on this specifc theorizing operation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrganization 2666 : Literary Troubling, Undoing and Refusal
EditorsChristian De Cock, Damian O'Doherty, Christian Huber, Sine N. Just
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
PublisherSpringer VS
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9783658296490
ISBN (Electronic)9783658296506
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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