Narrative and Identity: Studies in Autobiography, Self and Culture

Narrative and Identity: Studies in Autobiography, Self and Culture

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How does narrative give shape and meaning to human life? And what special role do narratives play in identifying one as a person in the world? This book explores these questions from the vantage points of various human and cultural sciences, with special attention to the importance of narrative as expression of embodied experience, mode of communication, and form for understanding the world and ultimately ourselves. Presenting a variety of perspectives — from narrative psychology and literary criticism, to discourse, communication and cultural theory — these studies examine the intricacies of narrative identity construction. With contributions from some of the leading scholars in the field, the book highlights the cultural field in which narratives shape forms of life. Using verbal and pictorial, linguistic and performative, oral and written, natural and literary autobiographical texts, the studies demonstrate how the construction of selves, memories, and life-worlds are interwoven in one narrative fabric.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588110565
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/01/2001
Series: Studies in Narrative Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 313
Product dimensions: 6.46(w) x 9.65(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Part INarrative and Self Construction: Theoretical Perspectives
2.Self-making and world-making25
3.Narrative: Problems and promises of an alternative paradigm39
4.Metaphysics and narrative: Singularities and multiplicities of self59
5.Narrative integrity: Autobiographical identity and the meaning of the "good life"75
Part IIWorlds of Identity: Life Stories in Cultural Context
6."The people will come to you": Blackfeet narrative as a resource for contemporary living103
7.Narratives of national identity as group narratives: Patterns of interpretive cognition129
8."You're marked": Breast cancer, tattoo, and the narrative performance of identity145
Part IIIBetween Past and Present: Autobiographical Memory and Narrative Identity
9.Richard Wagner's creative vision at La Spezia: or The retrospective interpretation of experience in autobiographical memory as a function of an emerging identity187
10.Identity and narrative in Piaget's autobiographies219
11.From the end to the beginning: Retrospective teleology in autobiography247
Concluding Commentary
12.From substance to story: Narrative, identity, and the reconstruction of the self283
List of contributors299
Credits and acknowledgements301

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