I am seriously into writing the Methodology Chapter and have reached the section which discusses:
“…the creativity, research and reflexivity processes and issues associated with gathering and analysing the data as I write the historical novel and the exegesis.” (Walker, 2016:65).
Italian philosopher and feminist thinker, Adriana Cavarero (2000) in Relating Narratives Storytelling and Selfhood, explores innovative ways of thinking about fictional autobiographies and how human identities form. She draws from both the philosophical and the literary tradition, for example, Sophocles, Homer, Hannah Arendt, Karen Blixen, Walter Benjamin, and Luis Borges, in her discussions about relationship between ‘selfhood and narration’. The most interesting aspect of the book in relation to this project is Cavarero’s telling of the African myth of the stork to explain her theory about the self and narration. A man leaves the impression of his life as he races around trying to fill the gaps in a pond near his house. He is not aware that he is making tracks while he works. When he looks out of the window the next morning he sees that his tracks are in the shape of a stork. It is only afterwards that he sees the design of his life (Cavarero 2000:1). The crux of this myth is that the outline of the stork cannot be deliberately made; the stork is the narrator, not the author.
“Life cannot be lived like a story, because the story always comes afterwards, it results; it is unforeseeable and uncontrollable, just like life. If the man of the fable had voluntarily run through the night in order to trace the designs of a stork, he would not have fulfilled the story. A different story would have resulted from his actions: the strange tale of a man who spends the night tracing a stork with his footsteps.” (Cavarero 2000:3)
I love stories and the myth of the stork has been a wonderfully visual way to help me to understand ‘my reflexivity’ in the course of the research and writing of the novel and this exegesis.
Would love to hear your story.