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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ranch Dressing

From James Gibbons' article Beyond Recognitions on Richard Powers' new book The Echo Makers in this month's Bookforum http://www.bookforum.com/gibbons.html :
Narrative, then, is a primal reflex, a mode of action as integral to our species as the sandhill cranes' migratory programming is to theirs. 'Consciousness is a story telling machine,' Powers said, articulating a view bolstered by recent science about the brain, and proposed that narrative is the means we use to bridge the gap between who we are and the memory of what we were -- or might have been, or perhaps weren't quite. And yet telling stories to ourselves is all we can do to make sense of our past...We live, that is, in distorted remembrance of ourselves. 'The defamiliarized world,' Powers stressed when we spoke, 'is already inside us.'

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