Friday, August 17, 2007

Narrative, Memory, Identity

I'll have to give this more thought, but what caught my attention in Ann's comments on Narrative Patterns in Fantasy was how the transition devices that carry the action (as she described them), adhere to the patterns by which memory fashions narrative, one might say--as manifest to latent content in a Freudian sense. Only here, the latent and invisible pattern is not the working out of conflicts between primal drives and assimilated repressive forces, but the organic relationship between memory and narrative.

Narrative is about memory. Not exclusively, of course, but always and without exception, as imaginative writing is (not exclusively) but always and without exception, about language.

Narratives show us how we think about memory, and perhaps more important, about the limits we impose on organic memory in order to create narrative. Think of Aristotle's rationalization for the Iliad beginning in medias res, or how Proust's exploration of involuntary memory demanded a new form of narrative for its explication--which brings to mind a third element: personal identity.

Narrative, then, is about memory and identity, not exclusively, but always and without exception.

The fantasy narratives Ann describes would seem to have made these relationships explicit in patterns of action and transition.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. You have the chance to give the best memory for your dog.
    Dog grave in here

    Good luck for the memory of them.....

    Ardacy the man