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Before Narrative: Episodic Reading and Representations of Chronic Pain

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Before Narrative : Episodic Reading and Representations of Chronic Pain. / Wasson, Sara.

In: Medical Humanities, Vol. 44, No. 2, 106, 2018.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

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Wasson S. Before Narrative: Episodic Reading and Representations of Chronic Pain. Medical Humanities. 2018;44(2):106. Epub 2018 Jan 5. doi: 10.1136/medhum-2017-011223

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Bibtex

@article{50d2410ba2694ca49267aeb0a6f3c963,
title = "Before Narrative: Episodic Reading and Representations of Chronic Pain",
abstract = "This article suggests that some illness experience may require a reading practice less concerned with narrative coherence or self-authorship, and more interested in the value of textual fragments, episodes and moments considered outside a narrative framework. Chronic pain can pose multiple challenges to the narrative orientations celebrated in both {\textquoteleft}survivorship{\textquoteright} discourse and classic medical humanities scholarship. In its recalcitrance to cure, its often-mysterious etiology, and its complex blend of somatic, interpersonal and affective elements, representations of chronic pain can require a richer vocabulary of temporality. I draw on contemporary affect theory to augment the available critical vocabulary for the textual representation of protagonists{\textquoteright} temporal orientation within illness experience, identifying a language for the emergent present that resists a narrative form. Beyond identifying narrative {\textquoteleft}incoherence{\textquoteright}, affect discourse gives a way to recognise the strained, equivocal labour of incoherence, of inhabiting a cryptic present moment. Affect theory{\textquoteright}s attention to the emergent present may give a way to read incoherent {\textquoteleft}chaos{\textquoteright} outside from a narrative framework, not only as a dark, formless stage in a personal story. To expand our vocabulary for this position, I offer a term for a particular affective experience of the present amid repeated marginalisation: the temporality of thwarted connection. I illustrate how these concepts can enable an alternative reading stance by offering a brief analysis of Lous Heshusius{\textquoteright}s hybrid autobiography and academic study, Chronic Pain from the Inside Out.",
keywords = "affect theory, chaos, chronic pain, coherence, episode, narrativity, teleogenesis, temporality",
author = "Sara Wasson",
note = "{\textcopyright} Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1136/medhum-2017-011223",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
journal = "Medical Humanities",
issn = "1468-215X",
publisher = "BMJ Publishing Group",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Before Narrative

T2 - Episodic Reading and Representations of Chronic Pain

AU - Wasson, Sara

N1 - © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - This article suggests that some illness experience may require a reading practice less concerned with narrative coherence or self-authorship, and more interested in the value of textual fragments, episodes and moments considered outside a narrative framework. Chronic pain can pose multiple challenges to the narrative orientations celebrated in both ‘survivorship’ discourse and classic medical humanities scholarship. In its recalcitrance to cure, its often-mysterious etiology, and its complex blend of somatic, interpersonal and affective elements, representations of chronic pain can require a richer vocabulary of temporality. I draw on contemporary affect theory to augment the available critical vocabulary for the textual representation of protagonists’ temporal orientation within illness experience, identifying a language for the emergent present that resists a narrative form. Beyond identifying narrative ‘incoherence’, affect discourse gives a way to recognise the strained, equivocal labour of incoherence, of inhabiting a cryptic present moment. Affect theory’s attention to the emergent present may give a way to read incoherent ‘chaos’ outside from a narrative framework, not only as a dark, formless stage in a personal story. To expand our vocabulary for this position, I offer a term for a particular affective experience of the present amid repeated marginalisation: the temporality of thwarted connection. I illustrate how these concepts can enable an alternative reading stance by offering a brief analysis of Lous Heshusius’s hybrid autobiography and academic study, Chronic Pain from the Inside Out.

AB - This article suggests that some illness experience may require a reading practice less concerned with narrative coherence or self-authorship, and more interested in the value of textual fragments, episodes and moments considered outside a narrative framework. Chronic pain can pose multiple challenges to the narrative orientations celebrated in both ‘survivorship’ discourse and classic medical humanities scholarship. In its recalcitrance to cure, its often-mysterious etiology, and its complex blend of somatic, interpersonal and affective elements, representations of chronic pain can require a richer vocabulary of temporality. I draw on contemporary affect theory to augment the available critical vocabulary for the textual representation of protagonists’ temporal orientation within illness experience, identifying a language for the emergent present that resists a narrative form. Beyond identifying narrative ‘incoherence’, affect discourse gives a way to recognise the strained, equivocal labour of incoherence, of inhabiting a cryptic present moment. Affect theory’s attention to the emergent present may give a way to read incoherent ‘chaos’ outside from a narrative framework, not only as a dark, formless stage in a personal story. To expand our vocabulary for this position, I offer a term for a particular affective experience of the present amid repeated marginalisation: the temporality of thwarted connection. I illustrate how these concepts can enable an alternative reading stance by offering a brief analysis of Lous Heshusius’s hybrid autobiography and academic study, Chronic Pain from the Inside Out.

KW - affect theory

KW - chaos

KW - chronic pain

KW - coherence

KW - episode

KW - narrativity

KW - teleogenesis

KW - temporality

U2 - 10.1136/medhum-2017-011223

DO - 10.1136/medhum-2017-011223

M3 - Journal article

VL - 44

JO - Medical Humanities

JF - Medical Humanities

SN - 1468-215X

IS - 2

M1 - 106

ER -