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Chapter 6. Strange perspectives = strange (narrative?) identities?

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Abstract

Narrative is a constitutive element of our knowledge of and communication about world and self. A key element of narrative and our understanding of it is the (re-)construction of perspective and the specific kind of narrative identity this perspective projects and pre-figures. If our understanding of fictional narratives is based on real-world experiential cognitive parameters, how do we deal with texts that cannot be fully grasped in accordance with these parameters, and what effects do these “unnatural” texts have on everyday storytelling? This essay discusses fictional narratives and narrative perspectives that transcend mimetic and experiential theories of interpretation and narrative in various forms and manners. It asks how, why and with which consequences for our conceptions of narrative identity fictional narratives go beyond our everyday experiences and cannot be fully explained in terms of real-world experiential cognitive parameters. This essay aims to show how fictional narratives and “unnatural” perspectives open up new horizons and narrative identities, specifically ways of world-making, and that our appreciation for this “unnaturalness” leads to a more profound understanding of these narratives as well as our knowledge of world and self.

References

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