Twentieth Century Narratives
As we have seen from the spectrum of works we have encountered this semester, and myriad ways of reading these works you have presented, stories are as varied as the authors who tell them, and readings are as varied as the readers who suggest them. Literature tells a story, and we as readers, consider and grapple with the story that it tells, in turn telling our own version of the story.
The prompt or question for the final paper is a simple one: What is the story that the text you chose tells (specifically about the 20th century) and what is your author’s approach to the act of telling that story itself (of his or her 20th century moment)?
A thesis (different from a direct response to the question) for this paper will start, I suppose, with the proposition that the act of storytelling for your author and text is a complicated task, one fraught with political and ethical dilemmas and complexly enmeshed in a historical and cultural locale. Good storytelling is often:
1) aware of its political milieu
2) historically conscious of the sources of the stories it relates and the inherited contexts of storytelling
3) philosophically attuned to the perils, challenges, and complexities involved in any form of narration
ethically aware of the urgency of preserving a tale through storytelling and doing it in a way that respects the community it relates in its story and creates and reconstitutes through its telling