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Narrative and the Cultural Construction of Illness and Healing$
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Cheryl Mattingly and Linda Garro

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520218246

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520218246.001.0001

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Broken Narratives

Broken Narratives

Clinical Encounters and the Poetics of Illness Experience

Chapter:
(p.153) Seven Broken Narratives
Source:
Narrative and the Cultural Construction of Illness and Healing
Author(s):

Cheryl Mattingly

Linda C. Garro

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520218246.003.0007

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.

Keywords:   clinical narratives, literary models, coherence, narrative, personal identity, narrative memory, narrative construction

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