For queer people, the personal is very political, just to talk about it in a public space. It's very political just to come out and take up that space and be like, 'This is my narrative. It's not an outsider narrative, and it's not a fetish narrative; it's just my story, and it's worth being told and listened to.'
We all have an ongoing narrative inside our heads, the narrative that is spoken aloud if a friend asks a question. That narrative feels deeply natural to me. We also hang on to scraps of dialogue. Our memories don't usually serve us up whole scenes complete with dialogue. So I suppose I'm saying that I like to work from what a character is likely to remember, from a more interior place.
This isn't to deny that there were fierce arguments, at the time and ever since, about the causes and goals of both the Civil War and the Second World War. But 1861 and 1941 each created a common national narrative (which happened to be the victors' narrative): both wars were about the country's survival and the expansion of the freedoms on which it was founded. Nothing like this consensus has formed around September 11th... Indeed, the decade since the attacks has destroyed the very possibility of a common national narrative in this country.
I feel like there's already a written narrative going on everywhere. All the different situations and realities you're in, like words floating by. It's something that I didn't start thinking about until recently, but you can hitch that ride, that narrative that's already been created. You just have to read it and write it down.
For myself, the only way I know how to make a book is to construct it like a collage: a bit of dialogue here, a scrap of narrative, an isolated description of a common object, an elaborate running metaphor which threads between the sequences and holds different narrative lines together.
Ideally, writers and narrative designers should be included much earlier in the process, where they can be of most benefit. However, although the industry is slowly getting used to fitting narrative professionals into games development, we're still going through a bit of a 'square-peg in a round hole' phase.
The close-up has no equivalent in a narrative fashioned of words. Literature is totally lacking in any working method to enable it to isolate a single vastly enlarged detail in which one face comes forward to underline a state of mind or stress the importance of a single detail in comparison with the rest. As a narrative device, the ability to vary the distance between the camera and the object may be a small thing indeed, but it makes for a notable difference between cinema and oral or written narrative, in which the distance between language and image is always the same.
Are you repeating someone else's narrative, taking it for granted? Talk therapy sessions and 12-step recovery shares help develop the ability to present a coherent life narrative through the safe structure of clear rules of communication that support healthy self-expression and self-awareness.
It is important to insist on the historical truthfulness of the narrative of the fall of Adam and Eve. Just as the account of the creation of Adam and Eve is tied in with the rest of the historical narrative in the book of Genesis, so also this account of the fall of man, which follows the history of man's creation, is presented by the author as straightforward, narrative history
Novel is a particular form of narrative./ And narrative is a phenomenon which extends considerably beyond the scope of literature; it is one of the essential constituents of our understanding of reality. From the time we begin to understand language until our death, we are perpetually surrounded by narratives, first of all in our family, then at school, then through our encounters with people and reading. - The Novel as Research. (1968)
The simple circumstantial narrative (did such a narrative exist) of the ruin of a single town, of the misfortunes of a single family, might exhibit an interesting and instructive picture of human manners; but the tedious repetition of vague and declamatory complaints would fatigue the attention of the most patient reader.
Maybe, generations ago, young people rebelled out of some clear motive, but now, we know we're rebelling. Between teen movies and sex-ed textbooks we're so ready for our rebellious phase we can't help but feel it's safe, contained. It will turn out all right, despite the risk, snug in the shell of rebellion narrative. Rebellion narrative, does that make sense? It was appropriate to do, so we did it.
Living "in" a story, being part of a narrative, is much more satisfying than living without one. I don't always know what narrative it is, because I'm living my life and not always reflecting on it, but as I edit these pages I am aware that I have an urge to see my sometimes random wandering as having a plot, a purpose guided by some underlying story.
It is however, difficult to make your narratives relative by yourself. A novelists' work is to provide models to make your narratives relative. If you read my novels then you may feel, "I have the same experience as this narrative", or "I have the same idea as this novel". It means that your narrative and mine sympathize, concord and resonate together.
To read fiction means to play a game by which we give sense to the immensity of things that happened, are happening, or will happen in the actual world. By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us when we try to say something true about the world. This is the consoling function of narrative - the reason people tell stories, and have told stories from the beginning of time.
In 1990 I did a story with Helena Christensen about a woman who lives in a trailer in the middle of the desert and finds a little crushed UFO with a martian who has survived the crash. She takes him home, and they fall in love. Later he has to meet with his fellow martians who have arrived to rescue him. It's a sad ending. This was my first truly narrative story and apparently the first narrative story in fashion photography.
I do think the challenge, in a way for me, is to write a narrative film and when you finish watching it you feel like it's a collage. You tell the narrative, you tell the story, but you feel like you've created this tapestry. But it also has a shape, a story. So I think there's a middle ground I try to strike . . . away from where everyone else seems ready to go, which is, setup, payoff. You know, He's afraid of water, oh, and at the end he's swimming in water - Oh, my God. I hate that stuff.
While the Passover narrative [in Exodus] energizes Israel's imagination toward justice, Israel's hard work of implementation of that imaginative scenario was done at Mt. Sinai. . . . Moses' difficult work at Sinai is to transform the narrative vision of the Exodus into a sustainable social practice that has institutional staying-power, credibility, and authority.
Some people's lives seem to flow in a narrative; mine had many stops and starts. That's what trauma does. It interrupts the plot. You can't process it because it doesn't fit with what came before or what comes afterward. A friend of mine, a soldier, put it this way. In most of our lives, most of the time, you have a sense of what is to come. There is a steady narrative, a feeling of "lights, camera, action" when big events are imminent. But trauma isn't like that. It just happens, and then life goes on. No one prepares you for it.
There are a whole other range of sciences that must deal with the narrative reconstruction of the inordinately complex events of history that can occur but once in their detailed glory. And for those kinds of sciences, be it cosmology, or evolutionary biology, or geology, or palaeontology, the experimental methods, simplification, quantification, prediction and repetition of the experimental sciences don't always work. You have to go with the narrative, the descriptive methods of what? Of historians.
What joins the Americans one to another is not a common ancestry, language or race, but a shared work of the imagination that looks forward to the making of a future, not backward to the insignia of the past. Their enterprise is underwritten by a Constitution that allows for the widest horizons of sight and the broadest range of expression, supports the liberties of the people as opposed to the ambitions of the state, and stands as premise for a narrative rather than plan for an invasion or a monument. The narrative was always plural; not one story, many stories.
Lewis H. Lapham
As a cultural form, database represents the world as a list of items and it refuses to order this list. In contrast, a narrative creates a cause-and-effect trajectory of seemingly unordered items (events). Therefore, database and narrative are natural enemies. Competing for the same territory of human culture, each claims an exclusive right to make meaning out of the world.
Narrative should flow as flows the brook down through the hills and the leafy woodlands...a brook that never goes straight for a minute, but goes and goes briskly, sometimes ungrammatically, and sometimes fetching a horseshoe of ¾ of a mile around and at the end of the circuit flowing within a yard of the path that it traversed an hour before; but always going and always following at least one law, always loyal to that law, the law of narrative, which has no law. Nothing to do but make the trip; the how of it is not important, so that the trip is made.
The continuous narrative of existence is a lie. There is no continuous narrative, there are lit-up moments, and the rest is dark. When you look closely, the twenty-four hour day is framed into a moment; the still-life of the jerky amphetamine world. That woman-a pieta. Those men, rough angels with an unknown message. The children holding hands, spanning time. And in every still-life, there is a story, the story that tells you everything you need to know.
In narrative cinema, a certain terminology has already been established: 'film noir,' 'Western,' even 'Spaghetti Western.' When we say 'film noir' we know what we are talking about. But in non-narrative cinema, we are a little bit lost. So sometimes, the only way to make us understand what we are talking about is to use the term 'avant-garde.'
Let the painter composing narrative pictures take pleasure in wealth and variety, and avoid repeating any part that occurs in it, so that the uniqueness and abundance attract people to it and delight the eye of the observer. I say that a narrative painting requires (depending on the scene), wherever the eye falls, a mixture of men of diverse appearances, of diverse ages and dress, combined together with women, children, dogs, horses, buildings, fields, and hills.
Leonardo da Vinci
A garden path, ' write the landscape architects Charles W. Moore, William J. Mitchell, and William Turnbull, 'can become the thread of a plot, connecting moments and incidents into a narrative. The narrative structure might be a simple chain of events with a beginning, middle, and end. It might be embellished with diversions, digressions, and picaresque twists, be accompanied by parallel ways (subplots), or deceptively fork into blind alleys like the althernative scenerios explored in a detective novel.
When Dylann Roof walked into a black church, he wanted to start a race war. We didn't let him do that because we didn't cast him as a representative of the white race. We didn't give into his narrative. We did the exact opposite. And I think that we have to be careful not to give into the apocalyptic narrative of ISIS that wants to start a war between Muslims and everybody else.
In Globetrotter, David Albahari explores the consciousness of emigres from the former Yugoslavia, Croatia and Serbia, showing that while abroad, many of us are even more intensely preoccupied with our histories than we were while living in Yugoslavia. His narrative structured out of realistic details and perceptions with self-conscious meditation blending history, civilization and its discontents, and personal experience reaches a density and intensity akin to Krasznahorkai's and Thomas Bernhard's. An intensely idiosyncratic narrative, enjoyable and thoughtful.
Abstraction didn't have to be limited to a kind of rectilinear geometry or even a simple curve geometry. It could have a geometry that had a narrative impact. In other words, you could tell a story with the shapes. It wouldn't be a literal story, but the shapes and the interaction of the shapes and colors would give you a narrative sense. You could have a sense of an abstract piece flowing along and being part of an action or activity. That sort of turned me on.
If you're a certain type of actor, then eventually stepping into a director's shoes is a natural transition. I've always been the actor who's very focused on the narrative, where my character is in the story, and how I can benefit the story. I've always had a technical aspect of what the lens is, how the camera is going to move, how I can feed the information the director applies within that move. If you're that type of actor, narrative-based, technically proficient, the next step is actually not that far.
But however minimal, however threadbare, it (collective memory) is ballast of a kind. We all need that seven-eighths of the iceberg, the ballast of the past, a general past, the place from which we came. That is why history should be taught in school. to all children, as much of it as possible. If you have no sense of the past, no access to historical narrative, you are afloat, untethered; you cannot see yourself as a part of the narrative, you cannot place yourself within a context. You will not have an understanding of time, and a respect for memory and its subtle victory over the remorselessness of time.
Literary Fiction and Reality Towards the beginning of his novel The Man Without Qualities, Robert Musil announces that 'no serious attempt will be made to... enter into competition with reality.' And yet it is an element in the situation he cannot ignore. How good it would be, he suggests, if one could find in life ' the simplicity inherent in narrative order. 'This is the simple order that consists in being able to say: "When that had happened, then this happened." What puts our mind at rest is the simple sequence, the overwhelming variegation of life now represented in, as a mathematician would say, a unidimensional order.' We like the illusions of this sequence, its acceptable appearance of causality: 'it has the look of necessity.' But the look is illusory; Musil's hero Ulrich has 'lost this elementary narrative element' and so has Musil. The Man Without Qualities is multidimensional, fragmentary, without the possibility of a narrative end. Why could he not have his narrative order? Because 'everything has now become nonnarrative.' The illusion would be too gross and absurd. Musil belonged to the great epoch of experiment; after Joyce and Proust, though perhaps a long way after, he is the novelist of early modernism. And as you see he was prepared to spend most of his life struggling with the problems created by the divergence of comfortable story and the non-narrative contingencies of modern reality. Even in the earlier stories he concerned himself with this disagreeable but necessary dissociation; in his big novel he tries to create a new genre in which, by all manner of dazzling devices and metaphors and stratagems, fiction and reality can be brought together again. He fails; but the point is that he had to try, a sceptic to the point of mysticism and caught in a world in which, as one of his early characters notices, no curtain descends to conceal 'the bleak matter-of-factness of things.
Writers imagine that they cull stories from the world. I'm beginning to believe that vanity makes them think so. That it's actually the other way around. Stories cull writers from the world. Stories reveal themselves to us. The public narrative, the private narrative - they colonize us. They commission us. They insist on being told. Fiction and nonfiction are only different techniques of story telling. For reasons that I don't fully understand, fiction dances out of me, and nonfiction is wrenched out by the aching, broken world I wake up to every morning.
I want you to write a narrative, a narrative from the future of your city, and you can date it, set it out one year from now, five years from now, a decade from now, a generation from now, and write it as a case study looking back, looking back at the change that you wanted in your city, looking back at the cause that you were championing, and describing the ways that that change and that cause came, in fact, to succeed. Describe the values of your fellow citizens that you activated, and the sense of moral purpose that you were able to stir. Recount all the different ways that you engaged the systems of government, of the marketplace, of social institutions, of faith organizations, of the media. Catalog all the skills you had to deploy, how to negotiate, how to advocate, how to frame issues, how to navigate diversity in conflict, all those skills that enabled you to bring folks on board and to overcome resistance. What you'll be doing when you write that narrative is you'll be discovering how to read power, and in the process, how to write power. So share what you write, do you what you write, and then share what you do. [... ] Together, we can create a great network of city that will be the most powerful collective laboratory for self-government this planet has ever seen. We have the power to do that.
History is about the past. Yet it exists only in the present - the moment of its creation as history provides us with a narrative constructed after the events with which it is concerned. The narrative must then relate to the moment of its creation as much as its historical subject. History presents an historian with the task of producing a dialogue between the past and the present. But as these temporal co-ordinates cannot be fixed, history becomes a continuous interaction between the historian and the past. As such, history can be seen as a process of evaluation whereby the past is always coloured by the intellectual fashions and philosophical concerns of the present. This shifting perspective on the past is matched by the fluid status of the past itself.
By far, the most important distortions and confabulations of memory are those that serve to justify and explain our own lives. The mind, sense-making organ that it is, does not interpret our experiences as if they were shattered shards of glass; it assembles them into a mosaic. From the distance of years, we see the mosaic's pattern. It seems tangible, unchangeable; we can't imagine how we could reconfigure those pieces into another design. But it is a result of years of telling our story, shaping it into a life narrative that is complete with heroes and villians, an account of how we came to be the way we are. Because that narrative is the way we understand the world and our place in it, it is bigger than the sum of its parts. If on part, one memory, is shown to be wrong, people have to reduce the resulting dissonance and even rethink the basic mental category: you mean Dad (Mom) wasn't such a bad (good) person after all? You mean Dad (Mom) was a complex human being? The life narrative may be fundamentally true; Your father or mother might really have been hateful, or saintly. The problem is that when the narrative becomes a major source of self-justification, one the storyteller relies on to excuse mistakes and failings, memory becomes warped in its service. The storyteller remembers only the confirming examples of the parent's malevolence and forgets the dissonant instances of the parent's good qualities. Over time, as the story hardens, it becomes more difficult to see the whole parent - the mixture of good and bad, strengths and flaws, good intentions and unfortunate blunders. Memories create our stories, but our stories also create our memories.