Telling stories: postmodernism and the invalidation of traditional narrative
Michael Roemer's groundbreaking work argues that every story, be it ancient myth or documentary film, is completed before we read or watch it. He explores why a society like ours - predicated on free will - is addicted to tales that neither we, nor the heroes, can control. Roemer argues that, contrary to both formalist and postmodern aesthetic theories, traditional stories do not create order out of chaos but challenge our order with chaos, undermining the structures we have built to protect ourselves. He finds that stories are both radical and conservative, invalidating our freedom while centering on heroes or heroines who are obliged to act alone; their adventures remove them from the sheltering community. Moreover, their attempt to escape the plot is mandated by the plot itself. Predicated on contradiction, ambiguity, and uncertainty, stories affirm what they deny - just as society both affirms and denies our existence as individuals.
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The Preclusive Form of Narrative
Stories Connect Us
Fictive Figures Must Think They Are Free
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action Adorno aesthetic appears artist artwork audience aware Barthes become believe Bleak House called cited Claude Levi-Strauss clearly comedy consciousness contemporary contradictions critical culture death deconstruction Derrida Dickens E. M. Forster evil existence experience fate feel fiction fictive figure forces formalists freedom Friedrich Friedrich Nietzsche G. W. F. Hegel gods Goethe Heidegger helpless Henry James hero human Ibid Ibsen identity individual Jung Karl Schlechta Levi-Strauss lives longer Marx meaning melodrama myth narrative nature Nietzsche novel object Oedipus Rex once ourselves past Perhaps Peter Brooks philosophy physical play plot Positivism Positivist postmodern predictable reality realm relationship render ritual Roland Barthes role sacred safe arena says sense Sigmund Freud situation social society story's storyteller structures tell theory things tion traditional story tragedy tragic trans truth uncertainty unconscious undermine University Press Verlag Walter Benjamin Werner Heisenberg York