Narrative Madness: Endorsements by Michael Krasny, Geoffrey Green and Robert Alter

You’re crazy! By that, I mean you cannot easily distinguish fiction from reality, and you let delusions brought on by narrative influence your perception and behavior. Like Don Quixote, you wander lost through clouds of story. Your madness, however, does not actually separate you from the world; rather, it connects you because narrative language is the principle means by which humans understand and reshape ourselves and our world.

Ronald B. Richardson, aka Ronosaurus Rex, has published a new book, edited by Katie Fox, which is available at narrativemadness.com or on Amazon. He has also had an excerpt called “Narrative is Memory, Memory is Narrative” published in the post-beat pre-apocalypic Sensitive Skin Magazine.

“Although I hesitate to use the word, it is, on the whole, a brilliant work,” said Dr. Michael Krasny, host of Forum on KQED and Dr. Geoffrey Green, Executive Editor of Critique, wrote, “Thoroughly innovative . . . insightful, provocative, and, in the best sense of the word, scholarly.”

“The writing is lively and at times quite amusing–a blessed relief from dreary academic prose,” wrote Dr. Robert Alter, author of Partial Magic: The Novel as Self-Conscious Genre, “The fundamental argument that Don Quixote is no madder than the rest of us but rather an exemplar of our condition as language-using, storytelling creatures is quite persuasive.”

Narrative Madness: What is Narrative and How Do Our Conceptions of It Warp Our Understanding?

(A summarized extract of my book Narrative Madness, edited by Katie Fox, which you can get at narrativemadness.com or on Amazon.)

Narrative is a Very Limited Selection of So-Called Facts

 Since language is inherently narrative and its stories strongly influence our perception and actions, it is important to understand what narrative is.

The word “narrative,” from the French narratif, began appearing in the English language in the early 1500s, referring to parts of a legal document laying out “alleged or relevant facts” (Oxford English Dictionary). The word “alleged” reminds us that all facts may be challenged in a court of law. A fact is not a fact until it has been proved. Even then, a legal decision is open to appeal. In many fields, including science and history, “facts” are frequently disputed and reinterpreted.

Continue reading “Narrative Madness: What is Narrative and How Do Our Conceptions of It Warp Our Understanding?”

Narrative Madness: Endorsements by Michael Krasny, Geoffrey Green and Robert Alter

You’re crazy! By that, I mean you cannot easily distinguish fiction from reality, and you let delusions brought on by narrative influence your perception and behavior. Like Don Quixote, you wander lost through clouds of story. Your madness, however, does not actually separate you from the world; rather, it connects you because narrative language is the principle means by which humans understand and reshape ourselves and our world.

Ronald B. Richardson, aka Ronosaurus Rex, has published a new book, which is available at narrativemadness.com or on Amazon. He has also had an excerpt called “Narrative is Memory, Memory is Narrative” published in the post-beat pre-apocalypic Sensitive Skin Magazine.

“Although I hesitate to use the word, it is, on the whole, a brilliant work,” said Dr. Michael Krasny, host of Forum on KQED and Dr. Geoffrey Green, Executive Editor of Critique, wrote, “Thoroughly innovative . . . insightful, provocative, and, in the best sense of the word, scholarly.”

“The writing is lively and at times quite amusing–a blessed relief from dreary academic prose,” wrote Dr. Robert Alter, author of Partial Magic: The Novel as Self-Conscious Genre, “The fundamental argument that Don Quixote is no madder than the rest of us but rather an exemplar of our condition as language-using, storytelling creatures is quite persuasive.”

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.

Continue reading “Our Stories are Ourselves: A Review of Narrative Madness by Katie Fox”