Saturday, November 28, 2009
the fabric of our lives
Narrative adjacency is not always narrative continuity.
That’s important—or rather, it reminds me of something very important to me: The narratives that we do provide as stances of continuity and coherence are always selective. That allows for the coherence of the story, a sense of singularity of narrativity or integrity of the narrating,
for there is no story without coherence which expresses the integrity
that the story is a story.
So much literary writing plays with this presumption (or can) only because the desire for coherence is so normal. (Nowadays, a strong plot can feel like an assertion against a normal incoherence of life.)
So, to have the securing, if not soothing, story, there’s often an at-least-implicit desire to exclude from one’s sense of the day or era of one’s life what will not be remembered to have been apposite, because the desire for resolve and moving on is so compelling. The desire to have continuity—to have “the” explanation—is often emblematic of need to assert a—some (final)—sense of what happened. What really happened?
That’s not so important in the short run.
Often, we eventually come know what really happened. But not in the first draft of telling (the diary, the letter, the journalism). The invalidly excluded does return someday—often with happy meaning or pleasure earlier unforeseen. (It’s not all about negation gaining revenge in shadows.)
Being exclusive—a resonant disposition—secures a coherence of inclusiveness that is necessary at the time: deadline for publication, getting on with one’s life usefully, (re)affirming who belongs, if not that “we” are most important or most valid.
-- gary e. davis --- 9:51 PM