Narratives Quotes

Quotes tagged as "narratives" Showing 1-30 of 45
Daniel J. Siegel
“Our dreams and stories may contain implicit aspects of our lives even without our awareness. In fact, storytelling may be a primary way in which we can linguistically communicate to others—as well as to ourselves—the sometimes hidden contents of our implicitly remembering minds. Stories make available perspectives on the emotional themes of our implicit memory that may otherwise be consciously unavailable to us. This may be one reason why journal writing and intimate communication with others, which are so often narrative processes, have such powerful organizing effects on the mind: They allow us to modulate our emotions and make sense of the world.”
Daniel J. Siegel, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are

Catherynne M. Valente
“A tale may have exactly three beginnings: one for the audience, one for the artist, and one for the poor bastard who has to live in it.”
Catherynne M. Valente, Radiance

Catherynne M. Valente
“...while epic fantasy is based on the fairy tale of the just war, that’s not one you’ll find in Grimm or Disney, and most will never recognize the shape of it. I think the fantasy genre pitches its tent in the medieval campground for the very reason that we even bother to write stories about things that never happened in the first place: because it says something subtle and true about our own world, something it is difficult to say straight out, with a straight face. Something you need tools to say, you need cheat codes for the human brain--a candy princess or a sugar-coated unicorn to wash down the sour taste of how bad things can really get.

See, I think our culture has a slash running through the middle of it, too. Past/Future, Conservative/Liberal, Online/Offline. Virgin/Whore. And yes: Classical/Medieval. I think we’re torn between the Classical Narrative of Self and the Medieval Narrative of Self, between the choice of Achilles and Keep Calm and Carry On.

The Classical internal monologue goes like this: do anything, anything, only don’t be forgotten. Yes, this one sacrificed his daughter on a slab at Aulis, that one married his mother and tore out his eyes, and oh that guy ate his kids in a pie. But you remember their names, don’t you? So it’s all good in the end. Give a Greek soul a choice between a short life full of glory and a name echoing down the halls of time and a long, gentle life full of children and a quiet sort of virtue, and he’ll always go down in flames. That’s what the Iliad is all about, and the Odyssey too. When you get to Hades, you gotta have a story to tell, because the rest of eternity is just forgetting and hoping some mortal shows up on a quest and lets you drink blood from a bowl so you can remember who you were for one hour.

And every bit of cultural narrative in America says that we are all Odysseus, we are all Agamemnon, all Atreus, all Achilles. That we as a nation made that choice and chose glory and personal valor, and woe betide any inconvenient “other people” who get in our way. We tell the tales around the campfire of men who came from nothing to run dotcom empires, of a million dollars made overnight, of an actress marrying a prince from Monaco, of athletes and stars and artists and cowboys and gangsters and bootleggers and talk show hosts who hitched up their bootstraps and bent the world to their will. Whose names you all know. And we say: that can be each and every one of us and if it isn’t, it’s your fault. You didn’t have the excellence for it. You didn’t work hard enough. The story wasn’t about you, and the only good stories are the kind that have big, unignorable, undeniable heroes.”
Catherynne M. Valente

Natsume Sōseki
“The average novel invariably reads like a detective's report. It is drab and tedious because it is never objective.”
Natsume Soseki, The Three-Cornered World

Rebecca Solnit
“The struggle to find a poetry in which your survival rather than your defeat is celebrated, perhaps to find your own voice to insist upon that, or to at least find a way to survive amidst an ethos that relishes your erasures and failures is work that many and perhaps most young women have to do”
Rebecca Solnit, Recollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir

Foz Meadows
“Context is everything in both narrative and real life, and while the accusation is never that these creators deliberately set out to discriminate against gay and female characters, the unavoidable implication is that they should have known better than to add to the sum total of those stories which, en masse, do exactly that. And if the listmakers can identify the trend so thoroughly – if, despite all the individual qualifications, protests and contextualisations of the authors, these problems can still be said to exist – then the onus, however disconnected from the work of any one individual, nonetheless falls to those individuals, in their role as cultural creators, to acknowledge the problem; to do better next time; perhaps even to apologise. This last is a particular sticking point. By and large, human beings tend not to volunteer apologies for things they perceive to be the fault of other people, for the simple reason that apology connotes guilt, and how can we feel guilty – or rather, why should we – if we’re not the ones at fault? But while we might argue over who broke a vase, the vase itself is still broken, and will remain so, its shards ground into the carpet, until
someone decides to clean it up.

Blog Post: Love Team Freezer”
Foz Meadows

“Often it is not the act that hurts you but the story you tell yourself afterwards.”

“To be truly liberated is to escape the echo of old narratives.”

“For Jabotinsky, the confrontation between Jews and Arabs was rooted in the fact that both sides shared historical rights to the same land. This was not a struggle between right and wrong, but between right and right.”
Michael Brenner, In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea

Jean-François Lyotard
“Science has always been in conflict with narratives. Judged by the yardstick of science, the majority of them prove to be fables. But to the extent that science does not restrict itself to stating useful regularities and seeks truth, it is obliged to legitimate the rules of its own game.”
Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge

“Narrative writing about our personal experiences and exploring our beliefs is difficult in part because of the web of the lies that we tell ourselves in order to maintain our delicate sense of dignity. Inevitable we are the victims and heroes of our own internal docudramas and we veil everyone else in swatches of black or white, a good versus evil schema prevails. A person is also understandably self-conscious about writing about true emotions. It is a tall task by anyone’s standards to share their unsavory thoughts with strangers, much less family members, and friends.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

Leslie Marmon Silko
“Stories themselves have spirit and being, and they have a way of communicating on different levels. The story itself communicates with us regardless of what language it is told in. Of course stories are always funnier and more vivid when they are told in their original language by a good storyteller. But what I love about stories is they can survive and continue in some form or other resembling themselves regardless of how good or how bad the storyteller is, no matter what language they are told or written in. This is because the human brain favors stories or the narrative form as a primary means of organizing and relating human experience. Stories contain large amounts of valuable information even when they storyteller forgets or invents details.”
Leslie Marmon Silko, The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir

Michael Crichton
“There's only one more thing I can tell you, Katherine. You work in a complex business. If you try to explain that complexity to Martin, you'll be frustrated. You’ll feel he isn't interested. He'll probably cut you off. Because he isn't interested. A lot of people complain that television lacks focus. But that's the nature of the medium. Television's not about information at all. Information is active, engaging. Television is passive. Information is disinterested, objective. Television is emotional. It's entertainment. Whatever he says, however he acts, in truth Martin has absolutely no interest in you, or your company, or your airplanes. He's paid to exercise his one reliable talent: provoking people, getting them to make an emotional outburst, to lose their temper, to say something outrageous. He doesn't really want to know about airplanes. He wants a media moment. If you understand that, you can deal with him.”
Michael Crichton, Airframe

Harriet Ann Jacobs
“But I do earnestly desire to arouse the women of the North to a realizing sense of the condition of two millions of women at the South, still in bondage, suffering what I suffered, and most of them far worse. I want to add my testimony to that of abler pens to convince the people of the Free States what Slavery really is. Only by experience can any one realize how deep, and dark, and foul is that pit of abominations.”
Harriet Ann Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

“When I am so certain—expressing my views, asserting my narrative, and moving my agenda forward—I cannot hear God. His voice is quiet; a whisper that is easily missed in the din and clamor of the world. But I will hear Him: either now (because I step away from my insistence that I am right) or in the end (because all of my nonsense will flee away in His presence). And when I hear Him, error will fall silent and truth will shine forth like the beautiful light of dawn after a dark and lonely night.”
Jean-Michel Hansen

Bryant A. Loney
“It’s frustrating having these narrative expectations. All our lives we want answers—when will this happen, what is that, who are they, do you smell something burning, you name it. And everyone avoids the questions! Never do we actually get the response we’re hoping for. The answers in our head are far superior to whatever they, to whatever I, could come up with. So they leave it to you to figure out. ‘And where’s the fun in that?’ you say. And someone else replies, ‘You tell me.”
Bryant A. Loney, Sea Breeze Academy

Bruce Springsteen
“As it’s told, it is altered, as all stories are in the telling, by time, will, perception, faith, love, work, by hope, decrepit, imagination, fear, history and the thousand other variable powers that play upon our personal narratives.”
Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run

“You don’t learn confidence, you remember it.”

“Essayist and poets share many of the same alluring keystrokes, even if they are rather rabid about asserting their notable pedigree differences. The writer and the poet use the juxtaposition of words to create a lovely portrayal of the touches of sweetness and the bitter edges of life. By doing so, they clarify and affirm the bewildering array of inconsistencies, ironies, absurdities, delights, and enigmas that describe what it entails to be fully alive. Each artistic form serves the same essential purpose, which is to investigate, ponder, and explain the bouquets of comedy and tragedy, covenants of love and mercy, and stones of anger and hatred that compulsory merger contextualize human life. By linking words that explore the chaos and silence within all of nature, essayists and poets’ labor serves to uplift the author and inspire their brethren.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

Graham Hancock
“Not only was the constellation of Orion part of the Moundville story [of Native Americans], not only was a journey to the realm of the dead part of it, too, but now I knew also that a series of trials would have to be faced on that journey, that the Milky Way was involved and, last but by no means least, that Moundville itself had been thought of as an image, or copy, of the realm of the dead on earth. Every one of these were important symbols, concepts, and narratives in the ancient Egyptian funerary texts that I'd been fascinated by for more than 20 years. It would be striking to find even two of them together in a remote and unconnected culture, but for them all to be present in ancient North America in the same way that they were present in ancient Egypt, and serving the same ends, was a significant anomaly.”
Graham Hancock, America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization

Tim Ingold
“A person who can "tell" is one who is perpetually attuned to picking up information in the environment … and the teller, in rendering his knowledge explicit, conducts the attention of his audience along the same paths as his own”
Tim Ingold

Paul    Lynch
“I wanted to explore how we live our lives in certainty, only to discover that we really know nothing, that the truth is we are philosophically blind. And yet the human mind cannot help but tell itself narratives to explain the world. ”
Paul Lynch

Felipe Fernández-Armesto
“History has no course. It thrashes and staggers, swivels and twists, but never heads one way for long. Humans who get caught up in it try to give it destinations. But we all pull in different directions, heading for different targets, and tend to cancel each other's influence out. When trends last for a short spell, we sometimes ascribe them to "men of destiny" or "history makers", or to great movements -- collectively heroic or myopic - or to immense, impersonal forces or laws of social development or economic change: class struggle, for instance, or "progress" or "development" or some other form of History with a capital H. But usually some undetectably random event is responsible for initiating big change. History is a system reminiscent of the weather: the flap of a butterfly's wings can stir up a storm.”
Felipe Fernández-Armesto, 1492: The Year the World Began

Michael Crichton
“I understand,' Marder said. 'But a claim filed in a court has limited publicity. Newsline is going to present these crazy claims to forty million viewers. And at the same time, they'll automatically validate the claims, simply by repeating them on television. The damage to us comes from their exposure, not from the original claims.”
Michael Crichton, Airframe

Michael Crichton
“What she was looking for was a way to shape the story so that it unfolded now, in a pattern that the viewer could follow. The best frames engaged the viewer by presenting the story as conflict between good and bad, a morality story. Because the audience got that. If you framed a story that way, you got instant acceptance. You were speaking their language.

But because the story also had to unfold quickly, this morality tale had to hang from a series of hooks that did not need to be explained. Things the audience already knew to be true. They already knew big corporations were corrupt, their leaders greedy sexist pigs. You didn't have to prove that; you just had to mention it. They already knew that government bureaucracies were inept and lazy. You didn't have to prove that, either. And they already knew that products were cynically manufactured with no concern for consumer safety. From such agreed-upon elements, she must construct her morality story. A fast-moving morality story, happening now.”
Michael Crichton, Airframe

Michael Crichton
“On a show like Newsline, the frame was all-important. Older producers on the show talked about 'context,' which to them meant putting the story in a larger setting. Indicating what the story meant, by reporting what had happened before, or reporting similar things that had occurred. The older guys thought context so important, they seemed to regard it as a kind of moral or ethical obligation. Jennifer disagreed. Because when you cut out all the sanctimonious bullshit, context was just spin, a way of pumping the story—and not a very useful way, because context meant referring to the past. Jennifer had no interest in the past; she was one of the new generation that understood that gripping television was now, events happening now, a flow of images in a perpetual unending electronic present. Context by its very nature required something more than now, and her interest did not go beyond now. Nor, she thought, did anyone else's. The past was dead and gone. Who cared what you ate yesterday? What you did yesterday? What was immediate and compelling was now. And television at its best was now.”
Michael Crichton, Airframe

Adewale Joel
“the voice is simply the emotions and thoughts of the writer
expressed through the eyes of the character, his behavior, thoughts, actions, dialogues and affectations.”
Adewale Joel, Learn Creative Writing: A guide to writing perfect drafts

“The point is not simply to change the narrative. (An infinite number of narratives are possible.) The point is to exchange the false narrative for Truth.”
Jean-Michel Hansen

“We are narratives. If you want to change your life, edit your story”
Stavros Triantafyllidis

Ramani Durvasula
“When these red flags appeared early on, the narrative was “shaped” in a way that was at times romantic, passionate, and even practical. The old saying of “love is blind” applies here, and before these patterns set in, hope is often what allows people to look the other way when the red flags arise. Over time, the narratives become a bit more realistic, hope begins to fade, and it becomes brutally clear that these patterns of mistrust, anger, and deceit are here to stay. A human relationship should not be built on what you can do for someone, but simply on a mutual partnership. A narcissistic relationship can often devolve into superficial attributes, such as jobs, schools, titles, resources, addresses, photo-shopped images, status posts, quiet children, well-appointed homes, and possessions.”
Ramani Durvasula, Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist

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