An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. A semiannual journal of experimental research results in the field of parapsychology. Articles from Vol. New York: Harmony Books, , Pp.
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Queen Europe is garbed in a robe of green, the color of life and regeneration. Scattered about in a bizarre pattern are the names of her countries, their capitals represented by emblems. Mountain ranges, too, are illustrated here, and flowing across her body from top to bottom is the Danube. She has experienced every one of these and spun them into stories, individual and collective, ancient and contemporary.
And it is in this narrative web of literary Europe that the writer is caught. No sooner does he touch it with his own lived and written story than he spins a new loop and radius, a new cocoon. However, those inside the cocoon, eagerly awaiting transformation, may only with difficulty, if at all, distinguish its outlines and discern the processes governing its dynamics. Not only that, but simply by their looking at it, it changes into a story. The stories of Oedipus, Odysseus, Tristan and Isolde, the search for the Holy Grail; the stories of Christ, Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, and Faust; stories of lost illusions, delusion and insanity, crime and punishment; of inconceivable acts and misconceived guilt, of lost time and recollection, of alienation, and consecration unfulfilled.
Such occurrences, if rare, are indicative nonetheless. The rigid structure of the novel, traditionally divided into chapters, collapses; the text is often composed of a sequence of loosely connected paragraphs, riddled with ellipses.
This fragmentization corresponds to a descent into the past, foregrounding the text and recording the fleeting present. For as soon as the narrator finds himself in Paris and Amsterdam, he plunges into the European narrative element, drawing on stories and themes both old and new e.
Who do I want to be? Am I the one descending into my past, or the one standing off to the side, watching the descent? What will it look like in the next two or three decades, and what meaning does it offer? If it can be said that mankind acquires a narrative, in its essence dynamic, identity through the story, which tells itself about itself or someone else, then the same is true in another sense about the space it occupies, and its stories. Europe certainly acquires its identity not only through its landscape, but also, unremittingly, through the stories it rescues from forgetting, shaping, and relating them.
None of this is changed by the fact that in the postmodern situation the story is diminished, breaking down, fragmenting, called into question. To some the story may seem ailing, and perhaps in a sense it is. In short, a story that is ragged and incomplete is still a story; more difficult to access, perhaps, but intended to lead us to a meaning that is also less accessible.
In any case, it becomes part of my memory, contributing to my self-knowledge and, with luck, to my transformation. Clearly, this is not true of every story, only of those we might describe as archetypal, such as Greek myths. We keep them tucked away in our unconscious, through their repeated telling effecting a transfer of primal epic information, of the initiatory human experience that is encoded in these stories.
The significance of the story in psychotherapy is well known: once a person can tell his story — in other words, can conceive of and view his life with detachment — he is nearly, if not fully, cured.
Who can say whether the fact that Europe today has an urge to retell the stories that once established it as a geographical-spiritual formation is not a sign that the ailing maiden is back on the road to recovery? Czechoslovak and Central European Journal, vol. Edited by Paul I. Translated by Paul Wilson. Edited by Paul Wilson. Whereabouts Press, The Prague Revue. Edited by Elena Lappin. Catbird Press,. In Allskin and other tales by contemporary Czech women.
Seattle, She worked as an editor for the publishing company Odeon and is currently a literary scholar at the Institute for Czech Literature of the Czech Academy of Science. You can suggest to your library or institution to subscribe to the program OpenEdition Freemium for books.
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The Journal of Parapsychology
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