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Database | Narrative | Archive

Seven interactive essays on digital nonlinear storytelling
edited by Matt Soar & Monika Gagnon

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Narrative | Theory

[T]here is no more humble occupation than to be a storyteller. And though we invest it with theory and give it the platform for its occasion it remains all the same the primitive thing that it is: an attempt to make someone who doesn’t want to listen, listen and who doesn’t want to see, see.
Flannery O’Connor
In Public Secrets and Blood Sugar the personal narratives and first hand testimonies of incarcerated women and injection drug users are framed by what I think of as anecdotal theory (after Taussig and Gallop), which combines stories drawn from my encounters with my interlocutors, annotated research and theoretical analysis.

As a "context provider" I am more of an immigrant than an ethnographer -- crossing over from the objective to the subjective, from the theoretical to the anecdotal, from authority (artist/ethnographer) to unauthorized alien. As an academic I was once reluctant to include my own story when theorizing my work. But my position is not neutral; in theory or in practice, that  would be an impossible place. So I have crossed over into the anecdotal, where theorizing and storytelling, together, constitute an intervention and a refusal to accept reality as it is.

Passages of anecdotal theory, which can be found in the introductions and conclusions and dispersed throughout Public Secrets and Blood Sugar, create a point of entry that allows the audience to become immersed in the subjective plurality that is manifest in the “site” of each work.
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