Our Stories are Ourselves: A Review of Narrative Madness by Katie Fox

As a friend, Ron has always been a favorite (and frequent) storyteller. As an author, Prof. Richardson is even more so–an enthusiastic and knowledgeable talesmith, while also a thoughtful, entertaining, and erudite scholar. His work is a joy to read.

Richardson employs his own fresh re-examination of the text and lore of the oft-autopsied Quixote as a foundation for a much-needed unpacking of our current post-post-modern practical literary reality. He gives us a surprisingly new perspective into who we are, as both readers and creatures, that could only be offered by this refreshingly wide-eyed, queer, ex-Mormon San Franciscan. He fearlessly and deftly recruits Don Q. (and his equally brave companions), as well as his own personal anecdotes, in presenting open-ended queries and suggestions of what narrative now means and implies. Our modern-day understanding of Cervantes’ great work would be poorer for the lack of his insights.

Students of the origins of language and the human animal will find this work equally intriguing as those who are interested in the importance of Cervantes and the genesis of metafiction. Narrative Madness is like a little dose of acid–your mind will be expanded in ways you won’t fully understand until much, much later–but for today, it’s a fun read, by an author who’s with you, holding your hand, on this long, strange trip. Richardson playfully reminds us that narrative is not, in fact, madness, but instead the true basis of the human condition.

 

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