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?”