narratives and everyda y life doing narrative research at novella october 2013 n.
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There are countless varieties of narrative in the world. First of all, there is a prodigious variety of genres, each of which branches out into a variety of media, as if all substances could be relied on to accommodate man’s stories. Among the vehicles of narrative are articulated language, whether oral or written, pictures, still or moving, gestures, and an ordered mixture of all those substances; narrative is present in myth, legend, fables, tales, short stories, epics, history, tragedy, drame(suspense drama), comedy, pantomime, paintings (in Santa Ursula by Carpaccio, for instance), stained-glass windows, movies, local news, conversation…how are we to control such variety, how are we to justify our right to distinguish or recognise (narratives)? (Roland Barthes, 1975)

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The good and bad things about stories is they're a kind of filter. They take a lot of information, and they leave some of it out, and they keep some of it in. But the thing about this filter, it always leaves the same things in. You're always left with the same few stories. …So often a story is of triumph, of struggle; there are opposing forces, which are either evil or ignorant; there is a person on a quest, someone making a voyage, and a stranger coming to town. And those are your categories, but don't let them make you too happy….This idea of hovering, of epistemological hovering, and messiness, and incompleteness, and not everything ties up into a neat bow, and you're really not on a journey here. You're here for some messy reason or reasons, and maybe you don't know what it is, and maybe I don't know what it is…

(Tyler Cowen, 2009)

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Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.

(ChimimandaAdichie, 2009)

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Doing narrative research: what has changed?

  • Narrative media: spoken, written, visual, bodily, digital, transmedia
  • Multiplicity, particularity, incoherence
  • Performance, context