[lit-ideas] Re: Living Philosophically.

  • From: carol kirschenbaum <carolkir@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2011 00:38:58 -0700

Worser and worser. First "spiritual" perplexed me, having first learned its
meaninas "witty," in French. Now "storytelling" seems to have pushed other,
more familiar terms off the stage. Terms like "narrative," which I prefer.
It's plain, doesn't have that liar's air to it. In narrative, I can tell you
a version of what just happened without giving it a tedious beginning,
middle and end, as "story" implies. I prefer snippets, scenes, events or
moods that aren't so all-encompassing to be a veritable "story." (I hear
people asking one another about their "story," as if we're now supposed to
be our obituaries, fashion ourselves as characters--pick one for Thursday,
another for weekend use.)

I forget who I am all the time. Yesterday, I realized that I truly don't
know how my father managed to go to college, but it's too late to ask him.
So I'll make up a few reasons and cycle among them, depending on my mood.
Having a firm identity isn't nearly as important as a high tolerance for
fluctuating moods, I find.


On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 6:03 PM, John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>wrote:

> Suppose that, instead of mentioning "spiritual interior," Lopez had written
> only, "Story-telling is the best protection we have against forgetting who
> we are?"
> As I get older, I find myself repeating a handful of stories that seem
> central to my life and times. Without them who would I be?
> Anthropologists' descriptions of other lives and times suggest some
> possibilities. Could I be Balinese, in the sense described by Clifford
> Geertz, only an avatar in an endless recycling of a handful of primeval
> identities? Could I be chaotic, with no interior to speak of, like the
> mentally ill residents of a shelter in Boston, described by Robert DeJarlais
> in a book called *Shelter Blues, *so mired in the moment and its needs
> that "me" gets totally lost? What about being a member of the Japanese
> Imperial Family, the latest moment in a history that disappears into myth?
> I suppose one should also ask if story-telling is only a way of preserving
> who we become for later recollection. Could it not be a way of breaking out
> and moving on to something new?
> It's hot here in northern Virginia. Have survived, even enjoyed quite a bit
> of, another day with the grandkids. But the second beer has fuddled my
> brain.
> Others may have more cogent thoughts.
> John
> On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 7:17 PM, Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx
> > wrote:
>> "Story-telling is the best protection we have against forgetting the
>> spiritual interior of our lives."  (Barry Lopez)
>> Philosophically, what do you think of this quote?  Meaningful?  A pledge
>> of allegiance?  Pure bullshit?  What could possibly give it
>> credence?  Personally, I agree with the sentiment, though I don't know what
>> "the spiritual interior of our lives" means.  In an affective kind of way,
>> it has meaning to me.  But does it hold up to logical analysis?  I've never
>> been very good at logic, my wants are much stronger than my thoughts.
>> What think ye?
>> Mike Geary
>> Physically if philosophically still in Memphis
> --
> John McCreery
> The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
> Tel. +81-45-314-9324
> jlm@xxxxxxxxxxxx
> http://www.wordworks.jp/

Other related posts: