Clinical Encounters and the Poetics of Illness Experience
This chapter analyzes a clinical encounter between a patient and a psychiatrist, where their different perspectives prevent the construction of any coherent story. The author introduces a framework for the analysis of clinical narratives taken from rhetoric, or “the verbal art of persuading others.” It also challenges the reliability on literary models that treat narratives as texts to be read, because these supposedly presume more coherence than one finds in everyday storytelling. Finally, the chapter reflects on the relationship between narrative and personal identity, and reviews some of the questions about narrative memory and narrative construction that were raised by Linda Garro.
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