Wednesday, April 25

Homo Quixotienses

In a fascinating essay in the Philosophy Now journal, Stefán Snaevarr wonders about the connections between the stories we tell and read and love and the lives we live. Are we shaped, as was Don Quixote, by the romances we tell and retell; are we in other words, Homo Quixotienses, the narrative self? Or are we rather more like Sartre’s protagonist, Antonin Roquentin, whose life did not form any narrative unity? Are we thus rather Homo Roquentinenses? Snaevarr's resulting inquiry into what he calls "Narrativism," however fraught with non-Christian assumptions, nevertheless sheds a light on profoundly our stories help to determine our world and life views.

3 comments:

Austin Bob said...

Sounds like yet another candidate for my reading list. In addition to the way "story" shapes and conditions our worldviews, I think it also plays a very pragmatic role in our day-to-day activities.

For instance, in project management there is a lot of emphasis on quantifying risks of various kinds, but in my experience the project stakeholders seldom understand the real significance of risks unless they are presented in narrative form ... a "story" with a moral, if you will.

[I commented on this here: Story and Project Management]

rjohnson said...

I definitely believe the stories from Disney has been probably the biggest contributor for creating a fantasy land in Ameica. The environment in which the baby boomer generation grew up away from farms (mostly in cities) had a huge impact on how they anthropomorphised animals into "good" people with inalienable rights, and how man was made ito the real enemy of planet earth.

Look at the movie Bambi.

This film might have had more of a quixotic effect upon boomer children than any other film in their generation. Loving, peaceful, living in harmony, all the animals were in equiliberium, until reckless, wicked man came and shot and killed the animals and burned down the forest.

I remember as a child, starting to come to the conclusion that if man were eliminated from the earth, it would be better off.

The baby boomer gen has been cut off from reality, in a very real way like Quiote.

rjohnson said...

I have to add that sometimes I feel I am the sum total of movie quotes and character bits: Homo QuotoSoundBiterosous.