Narrating(−)Life – In Lieu of an Introduction

Stefan Herbrechter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Abstract

‘Narrating life’ – this phrase warrants some investigation. Who is the ‘agency’ or the ‘subject’ in this phrase, ‘narrating’ or ‘life’? Who, or what, is narrating life? Which would mean that life was an object (or being subjected to narration), as if life was ‘in need of’ narrating in order to become what it ‘is’. Or, instead, might life be the narrator or the narrating instance: life that expresses itself through narration? In both cases, life ‘as such’ would be something ‘outside’ narration (while being in need of it) but, as such, it would remain invisible (at least for the (human?) observer). However insistent the questioning, life would not be able to yield its secrets ‘outside’ or ‘without’ narration. But life would always be ventriloquized by some (human?) narrator – unless, by some magical process of inscription, life was to do the narrating and writing ‘itself’ (which would presuppose a ‘self’, or at least some ‘sense of self’, selfreflexivity and thus consciousness, or at least iterability, in the Derridean sense – life itself).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNarrating Life – Experiments with Human and Animal Bodies in Literature, Science and Art
EditorsStefan Herbrechter, Elisabeth Friis
PublisherBrill
Pages1-13
ISBN (Print)9789004302594
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

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