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Narrative Paradigm

Narrative Paradigm
Walter Fisher Chapter 23 (pg. 300)
Narration and Paradigm
Since this section is about defining terms, I will start off by defining a couple of them.
Narration: “Symbolic actions-words and/or deed- that have sequence and meaning for those who live, create, or interpret them” (300).
Paradigm: “A conceptual framework; a universal model that calls for people to view events through a common interpretive lens” (300).
Fisher defines narration beautifully saying, “It is embedded in the speaker's ongoing story that has a beginning, middle, and end, and it invites listeners to interpret its meaning and assess its value for their own lives” (as cite in Griffin, 300). To me this embodies the idea of sharing books with people that I love. I lend books to friends in hopes that they will get something as wonderful, or even better, out of it as I did. It also gives me a totally new perspective on the material when we can then discuss the book. Seeing it from another person's “interpretive lens” gives me so much more to look at, than just seeing it through my own. Have you ever read a book three or four times, and gotten something different out of it each and every time? As time goes by my experiences and newly acquired knowledge change my interpretation of a book I have read time and time again. Perception has a lot to do with what I get from a book, and my outlook on life at that point in time. I enjoy reading books several times, at different points in time, because I always find that more will be revealed, each time. It is like the onion layers of my life coordinate differently each time with the layers in the book.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the definitions and explanation.

    Fisher’s concept of “narrative being” is elegant; people are storytelling animals. It is interesting that Fisher broadly defines narration as: symbolic actions (words and/or deeds) that have sequence and meaning for those who live, create, or interpret them. It is so general and all-encompassing. It covers verbal and nonverbal aspects.

    His narrative paradigm is also quite innovative. I was particularly enthralled by the third assumption: history, biography, culture, and character determine what we consider good reasons. It explains many rational and irrational behaviors of individuals, peoples, governments, and businesses.

    The fifth assumption is also captivating: the world is a set of stories from which we choose, and thus constantly re-create, our lives. I see the operative word as “choose.” We choose the stories to recreate our lives. This explains the constantly-changing world. Yesterday’s enemy is today’s friend; today’s foe may be tomorrow’s partner.