The Storied Self: Tales from the Dark Side East and West

Human Self as Narrative: The Storied Self

Paul Brockelman, Time and Self
Practical realist account of the narrative self
Fundamental unity across temporal differentiation: Co-referentiality of past, present and future
Self as double relation: Self-consciousness of continuity over time: Experience of self to that self
Recounting the past, living in the present, hope and faith in the future
Argument from self-deception, using anger as an example
Jerome Bruner, "The Remembered Self"
Self "perpetually rewritten story": reality of self is bracketed
Agency and 'Victimicy': Acting out of subjective intent and adapting to objective circumstances
Implied co-referentiality
Michel Foucault, "What is an Author"
Self as "author function": a part of a larger system of relationships that regulate the production of the story-self.
Author function as node of subjectivity within the larger fabric of the social construction of reality
Hilde Nelson, Damaged Identities, Narrative Repair
Narrative self as basis of self-identity
Narrative rupture and narrative repair
Master narrative and counterstory, found communities and communities of choice
Resisting an oppressive identity and replacing it with one that commands respect

Four Narrative Moments

Augustine, Confessions
Conversion: confession, penitence, redemption
Narrative trajectory; modern autobiography, inward scrutiny, and historical accuracy

Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
Woman befriends a tree: meaning in a meaningless world
Alternate narrative and narrative repair, found community and community of choice

Zhuangzi, Book of Zhuangzi
Woodworker Qing seeks a tree: harmony with the Way beyond words
To live in this world but not be of it: a story of no-story, society and nature, momentary time

Dôgen, "Genjôkôan," Shôbôgenzô
Firewood does not turn into ashes
Form and emptiness/oneness
Self and non-self (anatman)
Another story of no-story: 'dharma-stage' as non-story

Moments of Religious Transformation: A Musical Analogy of Sound and Silence

The Storied Self, Social Construction, and Reader as Author


Augustine, "Book VIII." The Confessions of St. Augustine. Trans. by Edward Bouverie Pusey (1909-14),, accessed Oct 5, 2013.
Brockelman, Paul. Time and Self: Phenomenological Explorations. AAR Studies in Religion. NY: Crossroad,1985.

Bruner, Jerome. “The 'Remembered Self.'” In Ulric Neisser & Robyn Fivush, eds. The Remembering Self: Construction and Accuracy in the Self-Narrative. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1994, 41-51.

Foucault, Michel. “What Is an Author?” In The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow. NY: Pantheon, 1984.

(This essay originally appeared in the Bulletin de la Société Française de Philosophie. 63:3 [1969]. 73-104).

Frankl, Viktor. Man's Search for Meaning. NY: Washington Square Press, 1997.

Nelson, Hilde L. Damaged Identities, Narrative Repair. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001.
Waddell, Norman & Masao Abe, trans. "Genjokoan" chapter, Shobogenzo by Dogen. The Eastern Buddhist. 5:2. 129-140.
Watson, Burton. trans. Zhuangzi: Basic Writings. NY: Columbia University Press, 2003.