Narrative Madness: The Influence of Narrative Language on Perception and Behavior

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. The madness, however, is generative because narrative language is the principle means by which humans understand and reshape ourselves and our world.

Gustave Doré

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A Poem Dangerously about Itself

word

Isn’t “word” a weird word,
something blind and burrowing?
Where’s it going? Why so blunt?
What’s it looking for? Itself?

These shapes, these sounds, how
do they mean what I mean
them to mean? I mean
this group of words does

not make meaning nor a poem, yet
if I could turn these lines
against themselves, this line would be
invalidated and oh so very. What?
Full of itself, full of its emptiness?
Either way, it’s not a good beginning
for a poem, a poem meant, as I am,
to express itself. The poem totters on a single

that seems to mean and misses itself,
as I miss you, meaning, I miss myself,
meaning, I miss the point of wanting to express
myself, beginning and ending, as I do, upon a

word.

The Conventions of Unconventionality: An Overview of Metafiction

An overview of major themes I found while studying metafiction for the Metaclass, a self-study course for a masters of literature at San Francisco State University. This summary will also serve as a guide to the posts I have written over the last four months (with notes about a few others I intend to write). It is not meant to be a comprehensive list of meta conventions, but an addition to the the list found under Meta-Meta and Metafiction. (Nor is this intended to be a summary of themes I developed about writing and teaching, the metaclass aspect. Those themes may be found in Putting It All Together: Collaborative and Integrated Reading and Writing.)

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The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of: Paper, Ink, Letter and Word

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word though there Sterne is attention black and of aware deal recommend the stridulous parcel burn it

In Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne draws the reader’s attention to the stuff a book is made of: the pages, the spaces, the ink, the letters, and the words. I have already written about this in “Tristram Shandy ****s Up the Page,” but much more could be said about the earliest and still most complete metafictional novel ever written.

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