Human beings are story tellers who exist ontologically in a universe of narrative making.1 Narrativist thinkers like Jerome Bruner hold that narrative making is wired into the human brain as the key mechanism for representing reality (i.e., not added on after we have analysed, explained and produced meaning). For Bruner, narrative is the a priori concept through which we apprehend reality.2 This suggests narrative is the mode of cognition. Moreover, in acknowledging this we are forced to consider Hayden White’s famous metahistorical argument concerning the functioning of the trope, which is the metaphorical (linguistic) turning of one thing into another in order to create meaning. As Bruner suggests, narrative is a form of cognition (knowing), one that is particularly applicable to story telling disciplines like history.
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- Narrating the Past
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