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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On Plotted LIfe (a la Ricoeur)


On Mimesis1, 2 and 3Life is preplotted—i.e. plotted before it happens by those who live it (cf. Barth and Kundera et al.). Because we live in a world of signs to which we ascribe meanings—though their meaning varies from degree to kind from person to person, moment to moment, ever threatened, ever shifting—we “always already” exist in an unfolding, unstable plot (Mimesis1), which we make (if we are active and to any degree free) in cooperation with the available narrative materials. The writing of our life (Mimesis 2)i—.e. the telling of our story—functions to stabilize, or, better said, to reduce the play of our lives. We use in fact all stories to reduce this play—other people’s stories, fictions or nonfictions, (it doesn’t really matter) as well as our own. We use other people’s stories to become better equipped to tell (i.e. to construct) our own (Mimesis3). 

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