Experience and story; Fugitive/narrative

I know it is a privilege to have the safety, time, and education to try to shape my experience into something coherent, to think critically and creatively about my life. There’s a difference between story and experience. Experience is the whole mess, all that actually happened; the story is the pieces you string together, what you make of it, a guide to your own existence. Experience is the scars on my legs. My story is that they’re proof that I’m alive. Your story, the meaning you choose to take when you listen to me, might be different.

Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil (2018) THE GIRL WHO SMILED BEADS: A Story of War and What Comes After. NY: Crown Publishers.

It is because no narrative—whether juridical, political, or fictional —can do these circumstances justice that we must consider the fugitive aspects of narrative: the ways in which a story both tells and does not tell, the ways in which it is both a home and away for stories such as these.

Stephen Clingman (2018), “Fugitive/Narrative: Some Starting Points,” http://politicsslashletters.org/fugitivenarrative-starting-points/


About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor teaches and directs programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He studies the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context as well as innovation in teaching, group process, and interdisciplinary collaboration (see bit.ly/pjtaylor). He is especially interested in conversations with others who are, in diverse ways, "troubled by heterogeneity" (bit.ly/tbhblog)

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