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Vogue of fake-news and post-truth (in 2006 word of the year)

“did you read the book? Markline said/ yes said sanjay. Cover to back. Good boy. Keep it and readit t
again carefully. Study it well if you want to be any kind of writer…and now he leaned forward and
jabbed sanjay lightly in the chest with a stiff forefinger, just below the place where the ribs meet.
There is much in here, he said, jabbing again, we need to get rid of, much stuff we must scoop out
and throw away. If you’re to amount to anything. You’re riding with a handicap, do you understand?
All the weight of centuries of superstition and plain ignorance…I’ve read your great books…

such a mass and morass of darkness, confusion, necromancy, stupidity, avarice. I've never seen. Plots meander,
veering from grief to burlesque in a minute. Unrelated narratives entwine and break into each other. Whole huge
battles, millions of men a side, stop short so that some dying patriarch can give a speech about duty, a speech
that goes on for fifties of pages. Metaphors that call attention to themselves, strings of similes that go from line
to line. Characters fall in love or murder, only to have their actions explained away as the results of past births.
Characters die, only to be reborn again. Beginnings are not really beginnings, middles are unendurably long and
convoluted, nothing ever ends. Tragedy is impossible here!'

SANJAY'S story grows larger and larger. It is full of coincidence, accidents with
elephants, weapons with names, magical fires -- and includes an appearance by
Alexander the Great. Even after he dies, Sanjay must continue. He walks to
London to fight an old foe, an epic journey. When he arrives, the contest he has
with the English villain is huge, magical, cinematic. Mr. Chandra avoids the pitfalls
his god spoke of -- grim shortness and hustle -- and while there may have been a
few curlicues too many for me (and certainly too many characters whose names
start with "S"), who wants an editor when you're spinning stories to save your life?
Dar dacă memoria are într-adevăr caracterul fundamental al imaginarului, care e de-a fi
eufemism, ea e totodată, datorită chiar acestui fapt, anti-destin şi se ridică împotriva timpului.

Actul reflex e din punct de

vedere ontologic schiţa acestui refuz fundamental al morţii şi anunţă spiritul p. 398
de-a pleda pentru timp, memoria, ca şi imaginarul, se ridică împotriva feţelor timpului şi
asigură fiinţei, în pofida disoluţiei devenirii, continuitatea conştiinţei si posibilitatea de-a
reveni, de-a regresa, dincolo de necesităţile , destinului.

). As a result, Brooks also reads "plot" in the sense suggested by a grave plot: a bounded space, one
that is, indeed, intimately tied with questions of death, or at least closure; in other words, Brooks
reads plot as following "the internal logic of the discourse of mortality" (22)
Brooks: if we think of the effects of serialization (which, monthly, weekly, or even daily, was the
medium of publication for many of the great nineteenth-century novels) we can perhaps grasp more
nearly how time in the representing is felt to be a necessary analogue of time represented.

"Death," says Benjamin, "is the sanction of everything that the storyteller can tell." 23 Benjamin thus
advances the ultimate argument for the necessary retrospectivity of narrative: that only the end can
finally determine meaning, close the sentence as a signifying totality. Many of the most suggestive
analysts of narrative have shared this conviction that the end writes the beginning and shapes the

Repetition as the movement from passivity to mastery reminds us of another essay, "The Theme of
the Three Caskets" (1913), where Freud, considering Bassanio's choice of the lead casket in The
Merchant of Venice-the correct choice in the suit of Portiadecides that the choice of the right maiden
in man's literary play is also the choice of death; by this choice, he asserts an active mastery of what
he must in fact endure. "Choice stands in the place of necessity, of destiny. In this way man
overcomes death, which he has recognized intellectually

to this faculty are due the novel, the drama, mythology together with all that preceded CHECK FOR

Think about what this war means to Midnight's Children. Saleem has no memory, he's
fighting on the Pakistani side of the war, and not only is his family dead, but he meets his
childhood friends while they are dying.

This chapter braves a bigpicture perspective by arguing that fabulation is not simply an inadequate or
distorted representation of reality; on the contrary, it is a symbolic means through which human
beings gain imaginative access to the world. As such, it is a core ingredient in the emergence of novel
forms of individuality and collectivity

Fabulation, from this perspective, is less a question of misrepresenting a pre-existent world of facts,
and more a question of gaining imaginative access to a world that ever exceeds us, but that we are
already in some sense a part of. Rational thought based on concepts is itself, I shall argue, a precious
and precarious achievement that builds upon modes of fabulation that it is never far from plunging
back into, or soaring back out of. But fabulation is equally tied to mysticism, if by mysticism we mean
‘insight into depths as yet unspoken’

precede more rational modes of thought

Fabulation, in this sense, is tied to a necessary project of creating ourselves, both individually and
collectively: a project of selfformation through culture

When a people is created [se crée: literally, ‘creates itself’], it does so through its own means, but in a
way that rejoins something in art … or in such a way that art rejoins that which it lacks. Utopia is not
a good concept: rather, there is a ‘fabulation’ common to the people and to art. We should take up
again the Bergsonian notion of fabulation and give it a political sense. (Deleuze 1990, cited in Bogue
2006, p. 202)
it is very clear on which side Plato stands in the ‘old quarrel between philosophy and poetry’, since
the final book of the Republic is perhaps the world’s most famous attack on poetry

Durkheim abt totems, even more important than the animal itself: ‘material form by which human
minds can picture that immaterial substance, that energy diffused throughout all sorts of
heterogeneous things, that power which alone is the true object of the cult’

Durkheim generalizes this idea to all religion: in worshipping its gods or god, a society is in reality
worshipping itself. The primordial task of religion is to supply a system of ideas ‘by means of which
individuals can envisage the society of which they are members, and the relations, obscure yet
intimate, which they bear to it’

Bergson celebrates, by contrast, he calls ‘supraintellectual’. It alone is ‘productive of ideas’ and not
reflective. It does not follow from a representation that is clearly distinct from it, but rather it
generates ideas and is ‘pregnant with representations’ in process of formation, which it ‘draws or
might draw from its own substance by an organic development’ (p. 44). This second type is not a
surface agitation but an ‘upheaval of the depths’. It brings an ‘affective stirring of the soul’ (p. 43).
Such supra-intellectual emotion, for Bergson, ‘is the source of the great creations of art, of science
and of civilization in general’

It is precisely in liminal experience that new ‘representations’ are formed, and with them new ways
of proceeding. The reason for this is on one level quite simple: during liminal experiences our usual
‘representations’ fail us, and new ways of going on are required. That is why we need to become
something different

Fabulation vs intelligence: Fabulation functions as if it were an auto-immune mechanism, immunizing

the individual and society against the unexpected side-effects of its own powers. Fabulation achieves
this by—just at the right moment—causing phantasmic images to arise in the mind which intercept
and counteract the direction in which an intellectual train of thought would otherwise take the

As we have seen, for Bergson it is precisely the phantasmic aspects of fabulation that lead him to
distinguish it from mystical intuition and hence to relegate it to that part of the imagination that is
the source of static morality and religion. Deleuze, by contrast, precisely values the disconcerting
visions produced by fabulation, since, for him, these are the basis of any genuine becoming-other

An event, in Deleuze’s sense, is a rupture or deviation from prior causality and chronology which
opens reality up to a new set of possibilities. Since it diverges from prior causality and chronology
(which Deleuze associates with the Titan Kronos), an event is always ‘untimely’ (associated with the
God Aion)

If the untimely and liminal time of Aion is always transhistorical, then this is precisely because it
disrupts the conformities of historical time.

Compromise between Deleuze and Bergson concepts: The aspects of fabulation found here would
loosely correspond to a ‘separation’ since the disturbance unsettles any taken for granted realm of
clear identities and entities. But there should also be aspects of fabulation which concern the
invention of new forms that make possible a ‘new normal’ as part of a re-formed collective

This why Deleuze insists that the closer writing comes to becoming, the more it destroys itself as
writing, and the more it approximates a vision. In the work of a great writer, language is ‘toppled or
pushed to a limit, to an outside or reverse side that consists of Visions and Auditions that no longer
belong to any language’ (p. 5). The language of the writer thus ‘seems to be seized by a delirium,
which forces it out of its usual furrows’. Fabulation, in this sense, entails the becoming liminal of

But the same could be said of each medium of fabulation. Artaud (1964/1974, p. 32), for example,
railed against the Modern Western theatre of his day, which he described as a ‘mad, crazy,
perverted, rhetorical, philistine, antipoetic and Positivistic’ degradation which has lost its
metaphysical and mystical vocation in preference for a facile ‘human, psychological meaning’. The
crux of his attack is that theatre should not be based on scripted speech, but should ‘make language
convey what it does not normally convey… to use it in a new, exceptional or unusual way, to give it
its full physical shock potential… really to manifest something’ (p. 32

This temporary suspension, both ideal and real, of hierarchical

rank created during carnival time a special type of communication
impossible in everyday life. This led to the creation of special
forms of marketplace speech and gesture, frank and free, permitting
no distance between those who came in contact with each
other and liberating from norms of etiquette and decency imposed
at other times. A special carnivalesque, marketplace style of expression
was formed which we find abundantly represented in
Rabelais' novel.
it demanded ever
changing, playful, undefined forms. All the symbols of the carnival
idiom are filled with this pathos of change and renewal, with the
sense of the gay relativity of prevailing truths and authorities

Carnival was the true

feast of time, the feast of becoming, change, and renewal. It was
hostiletoall that was immortalized and completed

laughter is the laughter of all the people. Second, it is universal
in scope: it is directed at all and everyone, including the carnival's
partici pants. The entire world is seen in its droll aspect, in its gay
relativity. Third, this laughter is ambivalent: it is gay, triumphant,

an ideal and at the same time real type of communication, impossible

in ordinary life, is established
This exaggeration has a positive, assertive character. The leading
themes of these images of bodily life are fertility, growth, and
a brimming-over abundance. Manifestations of this life refer not
to the isolated biological individual, not to the private, egotistic
"economic man," but to the collective ancestral body of all the
people. Abundance and the all-people's element also determine the
gay and festive character of all images of bodily life; they do not
reflect the drabness of everyday existence.

Even more important is the theme of the mask, the most complex
theme of folk culture. The mask is connected with the joy of
change and reincarnation, with gay relativity and with the merry
negation of uniformity and similarity; it rejects conformity tooneself. The mask is related to transition,
metamorphoses, the
violation of natural boundaries, to mockery and familiar nicknames.
It contains the playful element of life; it is based on a
peculiar interrelation of reality and image, characteristic of the
most ancient rituals and spectacles. Of course it would be impossible
to exhaust the intricate multiform symbolism of the mask.
Let us point out that such manifestations as parodies, caricatures,
grimaces, eccentric postures, and comic gestures are per se derived
from the mask. It reveals the essence of the grotesque.If)
In its Romantic form the mask is torn away from the oneness
of the folk carnival concept. It is stripped of its original richness
and acquires other meanings alien to its primitive nature; now
the mask hides something, keeps a secret, deceives. Such a meaning
·would not be possible as long as the mask functioned within
folk culture's organic whole. The Romantic mask loses almost
entirely its regenerating and renewing element and acquires a
somber hue.


pronounced hyperbolism of bodily images,

especially those of eating and drinking

Besides universalism and freedom, the third important trait of

laughter was its relation to the people's unofficial truth.

t also gives Rushdie the opportunity to insert a narrative voice into the text that is other than Saleem 's
first-person perspective. Thus, even ... While at the factory, Saleem writes out his life story and reads
it out loud to his friend and coworker, Padma, who is illiterate.

“there had been an altercation at the heart of the maidan (…). It had started over seating, over who had
the god-given right to occupy a particular patch of land (…) the affair now had religious, ethnic, caste,
class and socio-economic overtones” (PAG).

The Kathakali Theatre Author(s): Eugenio Barba and

SimonneSanzenbach p. 38
Storytelling, Narrative, and the Thematic Apperception Test --------- “his-story”
De Phebe Cramer

World Literature Reader: A Reader

(264) In other words, allegory works and sells because it makes the non- Western text
manageable, decipherable, and thus answerable to Western sensibilities and expectations
(sometimes even by way of the non-Western text's inscrutability)

Postcolonial Literatures and Deleuze: Colonial Pasts, Differential Futures

falsifying a situation would essentially correspond to what Hallward calls de- specification and what
Deleuze would later on define, following Bergson, as the creative conditions of ‘fabulation’ (1997, p.
3’ fabulation reinforces social cohesion

DeleuzianFabulation and the Scars of History

De Ronald Bogue: p.17

spiritului e insubordonarea faţă de existenţă şi faţă de moarte, iar funcţia fantastică se
manifestă ca model al acestei revolte.

îmbunătăţire nu e vreo deşartă speculaţie „obiectivă", întrucât realitatea care se manifestă la

nivelul său e creaţia, transformarea lumii morţii si a lucrurilor în cea a asimilării adevărului

că acest inventar al imaginarului, de la marele mit sacru la emoţia estetică pur laică, este axat
în întregime pe fundamentala sa inspiraţie care e de-a scăpa de moarte şi de vicisitudinile

Această fabulaţie, acest izvor

inepuizabil „de idei şi imagini" e, după propria mărturie a lui Bergson *138, simbolizat de
spaţiu, „simbol al tendinţei plăsmuitoare de inteligenţă umană", „imagine pur mentală"
evident, dar, în ceea ce ne priveşte, vom lua această expresie în sens literal: nu există intuire
decât de imagini, în cadrul spaţiului, locul imaginaţiei noastre.

„Spaţiul e prietenul nostru", „atmosfera noastră" spirituală, în vreme ce

timpul „consumă"
‘As novels, they are written under the aegis of the fictionality convention whereby the individual
writer enjoys the freedom to invent and the reader enjoys the freedom to make-believe in the
existence of a world “uncommitted to reality”’ (Rigney 19). But as ‘historical novels, […] they also link
up with the ongoing collective attempts to represent the past and invite comparison with what is
already known about the historical world from other sources’ 18

That intertextuality grounds an ontological connection to actuality that is the condition of possibility
of the genre’s realist claims

For critics of the genre, the intuitive justice of Carey’s reply shows that novels cannot be evaluated
for their truth, and must therefore be ontologically distinctive in a way that precludes their status as
a kind of valid historical interpretation

n. The ‘real nonexistence’ of fictional characters generates a ‘peculiar affective force’; the absence of
a literal referent produces an illusion of psychological depth that makes imaginary individuals ‘deeply
and impossibly familiar’ (Gallagher ‘The Rise of Fictionality’ 356). Abstraction from actuality, in other
words, seems to enable a paradoxical kind of identification, a feeling of humanness that readers
attest to when they discuss the acts, emotions, motivations, or desires of fictional characters in
language usually reserved for real people.

The most effective form of resistance, on this reading, is therefore anti-mimetic allegory, a form that
interpolates ‘a literal level of fiction’ to ‘displace the matter of history into a secondary level of the
text accessible only through the mediation of the primary fictional level’ (Slemon ‘PostColonial
Allegory’ 160, 64

Movement , from ‘psychology, or more specifically, libidinal investment’ to the ‘primarily political
and social terms’ that give it meaning (Jameson ‘Third-World Literature’ 72)

the nation’s ‘transcendent or metaphysical authority’ disappears into the gap between pedagogical
and performative time (Bhabha) + the third space

Re-Orientalism differs from Orientalism in its manner of and reasons for

referencing the West: while challenging the metanarratives of Orientalism,
re-Orientalism sets up alternative metanarratives of its own in order to
articulate eastern identities, simultaneously deconstructing and reinforcing
Orientalism. [ ... ] While remaining eastern in voice, the discourse of
“re-Orientalism” is a discourse which is an “orientally”-generated discourse
coming out of postcolonial and diasporic legacies, of which it is acutely
aware. Unlike Orientalism, re-Orientalism does not rely on the binaries of
“India” and the “West”; it is based on a nuanced reading of both, accommodating
the vital role of diasporic reception and production in countries such
as post-liberalization India (Re-oriental, Lisa Lau…)

asymmetry of knowledge

dogged by the spectre of authenticity p. 28

To have
a narrator who is unreliable inverts the conventional, expected readernarrator
relationship, renders the reading experience edgier, less easy to
take for granted, even discomfiting.
The unreliable narrator
permits the author greater freedom to be elusive and inconsistent, creating
a space in which to deconstruct notions of authenticity, realism, and
truth claims.

…training readers
out of the passivity of easy, unquestioning trust in the narrator, educating
a readership to be more critical, to read at more than one level simultaneously,
and to develop a more sophisticated and less linear relationship
with the text.

Living to Tell about it: A Rhetoric and Ethics of Character Narration

De James Phelan

The locus classicus for discussions of unreliability is Wayne C. Booth’s 1961 study The Rhetoric of Fiction (…) A narrator is
“reliable”, Booth writes, “when he speaks for or acts in accord with the norms of the work (which is to say the implied author’s
norms), unreliable when he does not” (158-59) (…) may be unreliable about either facts (what I will call the axis of events) or
values (what I will call the axis of ethics) …describe the special communication…between implied author and audience that
goes on behind an unreliable narrator’s back 33

unreliable narrator, in pulling the rug from under the reader’s feet to an
extent, may be devolving the re-Orientalism process, by insisting – even
while a single version is being presented – that there can be no single
version of reality, calling into question the whole notion of authenticity
as a result of the unreliability of the narrators. 29 The Re-Orientalising Strategy of the
Unreliable Narrator

Yarrow. Indian Theatre

p. 25
If I say that certain things took place which you, lost in Brahma's dream, find hard to believe, then
which of us is right? Have some more chutney,' I added graciously, taking a generous helping myself.
'It tastes very good.'

Salman Rushdie insists that this practice

is the norm in the Indian storytelling tradition, where most stories were
“Arabian Nights kind of stories”: in them, he says, “you could actually tell
akind of truth which you couldn’t tell in other ways”. what kind of truth??

“a novel should be mimetic, it should imitate the world, obey the rules of naturalism or of social realism. So I
find myself constantly struggling with the fact that my assumptions are opposite to the assumptions of many
people in the West, for whom fantasy or the use of the imagination is exceptional. For me it seems to be

“then I found in novels like TristramShandy, for example, a very similar spirit. So it seemed to me that what I
was finding out was the kind of writing that stood, so to speak, at the frontier between both the cultures. That I
could, as a migrant from that culture into his culture, bring with me that luggage and already find that there was a
similar thing going on. So I had something to connect myself to.”

Translation latin= Metaphorgreek = carry across… “so again this comes back to my preoccupation with the idea
of migration. People are also carried across, you see; they’re carried physically from one place to another and I
formed the idea that the act of migration was to turn people somehow into things, into people who had been
translated, who had, so to speak, entered the condition of metaphor, and that their instinctive way of looking at
the world was in that more metaphorical, imagistic manner”

History…distinguished by the storyness of its truth

To discover the truth ofhistoric;U objects and connections is

the ironical J1rivilege of the subaltern. One of these truths was the
consrructedness of history, what we today with a language full of finer
insults would express as history being ideologic;U; in aUhistory, there is
a contamination of interest. Colonial intellectuals of the nineteenth
• century spontaneously discovered this truth about historical 'truth'. History
is not a realm of truths in that bland, stnightforward, positive sense;
it is a realm of truth estoblished by belief. In other words, history was not
a purely ac:adernic, but a./pragmotic science; its wk was not to leovc the
world as it found iL The past was an inugecreoted in the interest of the

The lion is always shown as being ~_feoted, Banlcim would argue, bcause
itwasnun who painted the picture.' By an extension of this logic, Bengalis
initially, but later Indians, must win the right to their own history. They •
must assert the right to narratives of the self.

Reason: Gndually, Bengalis, and later, for identical reasons, Indians in general,
became a people obsessed with history, with these narratives and the
crucialoontrol over them. They appear tO be obsessed with history in
every form-history of their own country, history of others who could
be as yet only tenuously linked to the~lvesin a collective we, history
ofaU its periods, of past, and prosent, sometimes indeed with the history
of history itsel£

AU histories, despite the ideology of positivist objectivity,

partly 'describe' some things that did not 'happen'. Indian inferiority, seen
racially or otherwi«: essentially, was not part of what happened; racial
superiority of the British was not something that could occur. Yet, through
the inevitable transmutation of the historically contingent into the narratively
necessary, this was part of evety standard history of India.

In fact.sometimes in their thinking the second =imaginative

sort of history appears to be a continuotion of the first =rational by other means.
Novel$ ore • continuotion of histoty, uttering what history could not. --- by analogy, the third division, historiographic
metafictions/autobiographies utter what history didn’t allow itself to and what novels weren’t supposed to

In Rushdie’s vision of a plethora of ‘small’ stories, set in opposition to the ‘grand mythology’ of
nation, there is an echo of Lyotard’s famous distinction between petites recits and metenarratives in
his book The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (Lyotard 82)

how characters like Saleem and Padma can resist the ‘teleological movement of events in the
homogenised form of time’ through the act of memorising.

I told you the truth . . . Memory’s truth, because memory has its own special kind. It selects,
eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimises, glorifies, and vilifies also, but in the end it creates its own
reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events, and no same human being ever
trusts someone else’s version more than his own (211).

With “consumed multitudes . . . jostling and shoving inside” and guided “only by the of a large white
bedsheet” Saleem “commence(s) the business of remaking” his life “from the point at which it really
begins” (4). Saleem tells not only his personal story, but also the story of a generation of one
thousand and one children, who were born during the first hour of August 15th 1947

With his desire for a place at the centre of nation’s history, Saleem’s desire is to convert the ‘passive-
literal’ mode to the mode of the ‘active-metaphorical’, which “grouped together those occasions on
which things done by or to me were mirrored in the macrocosm of the public affairs”, and his
“private experience was shown to be symbolically at one with history” (331).

Stone-Mediatore: reading across borders:

it must exceed both Enlightenment and poststructuralist

epistemologies and must account for the power of stories to render our
world intelligible.

Literary narration…an obstruction to truth

Insofar as such
remembrance treats events of public significance and insofar its medium
is language, it is not a mere individual but a cultural phenomenon.

The German philosopher Hannah Arendt believes that storytelling can be used
to reopen the idea of public space and to facilitate dialogue/action amongst
citizens aimed at attaining a more participative society. She regards
storytelling as the only real political action, as it opens up the idea of public
space where everybody is invited to take part in the discussion in which
decisions upon the polis – the common realm – are taken together

aesthetics of everyday lives coming from people’s experiences and stories

towards a
olic dimension that enables the unlocking and the wide spreading of new
meanings: a
mythology of everyday life. In that sense, narratives come from multiple
perspectives and with the
contribution of different users that are taking part into a collective me
making process, as they
are playing the role of the “choir”. This finds a match with what the German
philosopher Hannah
Arendt says about storytelling and the public space (Arendt 1958 and
Arendt, H. in Benjamin 1969).

She claims only that the events

initiated by human action do not comprise a predictable casual chain
but constitute rather subjectively meaningful deeds and sufferings that
are related to one another as beginnings and endings …. Reality created as it is being narrated

She teils us that,

insofar as narration uses poetic language to convey the subjective
qualities of phenomena, insofar as narration does not follow fixed
causallaws but traces beginning elements from the perspective of the
conclusion, and insofar as narration relates together in one pattern a
plurality of distinct actors and actions, narration helps us to confront
the essentially subjective,

The conviction that everything that happens on earth must be comprehensible to man can lea3^ to
interpreting history by commonplaces. Comprehension does not mean denying the outrageous,
deducing the unprecedented from precedents, or explaining phenomena by such analogies and
generalities that the impact of reality and the shock of experience are no longer felt. It means, rather,
examining and bearing consciously the burden which our century has placed on us—neither denying
its existence nor submitting meekly to its weight. Comprehension, in short, means the
unpremeditated, attentive facing up to, and resisting of, reality—whatever it may be.

to save from oblivion the striving for immortality which originally had been the spring and center of the vita
Ardent Human Cond. –Chicago UP 1998 p. 49

As David Grossman puts it, storytelling counters the arbitrariness of existence; it allows one the
freedom “to articulate the tragedy of [one’s] situation in [one’s] own words

Michael Jackson –The politics of storytelling --- VVV GOOD

Ontogenetically, this ability to contradict or deny reality is imperative for existential survival, for
storytelling enables us to create the “necessary illusions” without which life becomes insupportable,
e.g. making us appear central to events in which we were, in reality, only marginal. At the same time,
these fictional reworkings provide us with a rhetorical means of exploiting the beliefs, sympathies,
and desires of others, and so securing some future advantage. “Getting what you want very often
means getting the right story” (Bruner 1990, 86)
Walter Benjamin’s distinction, in The Storyteller, between immediate experiences that have been
directly undergone (Erlebnis) and experiences that have been thought through in ways that render
them comprehensible to and shareable with others (Erfahrung

one is realizing, or objectifying, one’s own experience in ways that others can relate to through
experiences of their own. Stories are like the coins of the realm, the currency we implicitly agree to
make the means of exchange, and, as such, a means of creating a viable social world.

“Don’t create fiction” is Arendt’s warning. The fictional blocks the

story, it does not wait for the story to unfold, but thrusts itself forward
with a preconceived pattern, a plan. Both the story and life are violated
by fiction: the story is expected to tally, to be correct and consistent;
life is expected to take its course as planned, to realize what fiction has
preconceived. --- truthful storytelling

“The past is never dead, it is not even past” (Arendt 1993b, 10). Precisely
because the past does not belong to what has gone, but keeps coming to
us, it forces us to tell about it time and again. And, as Isak Dinesen has it,
only the narrated past will ultimately set us free.

Thomas Macaulay's notoriously cavalier dismissal of all of classical Indian literature9 , of the
conventions of Indian epic narrative: "Plots meander, veering from grief to burlesque in a minute.
Unrelated narratives entwine and break into each other ... Beginnings are not really beginnings,
middles are unendurably long and convoluted, nothing ever ends." (RE 335)
As philosophers like Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor have argued, our self-identity is in no
small part a result of the narrative and autobiographical stories we tell ourselves and others about
ourselves. These are—or claim to be and should be when in good faith—acts of remembering, of
establishing a ‘necessary fiction’ of ourselves.


Collective memory is not ‘a misleading new name’ for ‘myth’: it is not some spurious spiritual entity
like Jung’s ‘Collective unconscious’ but constantly acted out and embodied in collective practices,
material, and otherwise.1

Halbwachs argued that ‘it is in society that people normally acquire their memories. It is also in
society that they recall, reorganise and localise their memories.’18 He argued that memory existed
through collective and social frameworks, and that these enabled individual memory to function:
‘there is no point in seeing where [memories] are

preserved in my brain or in some nook of my mind to which I alone have access: for they are recalled
to me externally, and the groups of which I am a part at any time give me the means to reconstruct

One consequence of this is that memory is not motionless, and adapts and evolves as the present
changes, as identity changes. It is not the case that ‘for most people, their memories are among their
most cherished possessions’, as memory is not a static ‘possession.’22 This idea of memory as a
posession reflects an imagist view of memory, as if memory is like a mental photograph or
representation of an event, recalled to the mind’s eye like opening the right page of a photograph

Advances on this argue that memory is perhaps not a ‘picture’ but an active system—events are
recalled as interactions—and, as a result, they can be distorted, changed, or misremembered,

Because human beings are in and of time—are historical—their ontological structure reflects this and
they experience time as anticipation of the future and the experience of pastness. Just as
consciousness is always consciousness of something, pastness always exists not as an abstract, but as
full and, with the exception of sleep and forgetfulness, this fullness is manifested as memory

Abt Nora: Memory and history, far from being synonymous, appear now to be in fundamental
opposition. Memory is life borne by living societies founded in its name. It remains in permanent
evolution; open to the dialectic of remembering and forgetting, unconscious of its successive
deformation, vulnerable to manipulation and appropriation, susceptible to being long dormant and
periodically revived. History, on the other hand, is the reconstruction, always problematic and
incomplete, of what is no longer. Memory is a perpetually actual phenomenon, a bond tying us to
the eternal present; history is a representation of the past (8, emphasis mine).

that there are as many memories as there are groups, that memory is by nature multiple and yet
specific; collective, plural, and yet individual

CONWAY: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749596X05000987#bib145

The main contention of this paper is that when people remember they imagine and when
they imagine they use memory. Imagining involves ‘working with memory’ (Moscovitch,
1992). Because of the intrinsic relatedness of memory and imagination we refer to what we
term the remembering imagining system