Sunday, 8 May 2011

Narrative IV

"Chronology means the child is always narrated from a third-person perspective ['Isn't Chloe a cute/ugly/intelligent/stupid kid'], before it gains the ability to influence its own narration. Overcoming childhood could be understood as an attempt to correct the false narrations of others, of our story-telling parents. But the struggle against narration continues beyond childhood. A propaganda war surrounds the decision of who we are, a number of interest groups struggling to assert their view of reality, to have their story heard. "


"We [...] proceed by abbreviation, we take the dominant feature [of a tree, of an emotional state] and label as a whole something that is only a part. Similarly, the story we tell of an event remains a segment of the totality the moment comprised; as soon as the moment is narrated, it loses its multiplicity and ambivalence in the name of abstracted meaning and authorial intent. The story embodies the poverty of the remembered event. [...] Pressed for time and eager to simplify, we are forced to narrate and remember things by ellipsis, or we would be overwhelmed both by our ambivalence and our instability. The present becomes degraded first into history, then into nostalgia."

From Essays in Love by Alain de Botton

1 comment:

wolfy said...

um . . . could you elaborate?