I started thinking about this while reading The Poetics of Military Occupation, by Smadar Lavie (which, by the way, I highly recommend). The book is an ethnography written by an Israeli woman about the Sinai Bedouins, and does not have much to do, as a whole, with what I am here to consider, but this passage that caught my eye:
"She was silent. He was silent. They remained wrapped in their own silences for about an hour, until ants began to crawl into the anthropologist's brain. She was getting fidgety. She sketched one camel after another in her notebook, retied her headdress, scratched her knee, poked her ear, drew more camels." (page 166)While I could go on an entirely different rant about how much I love her writing and the merits of a narrative voice in ethnography, I will refrain. Although I do love a narrative voice in ethnography. Instead, I will go on a rant about measuring things using other, unrelated things.