Narrative Spectrums and Dreaming the U.S. American Family

Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)


Dreams are the extreme subjective end of what I call a “narrative spectrum.” Composed of all tales circulating in a culture, narrative spectrums run from highly conventional stories like founding myths that elders or statesmen evoke in public oratory, to written and oral literatures, to theatre, to popular entertainments like film, television, and video games, to gossip and personal histories, and to the more disordered, spontaneous stories we dream. Narrative spectrums also include song lyrics, jokes, and proverbs when they tell stories or refer to them and extend to more visual and embodied arts like Hawaiian dance or some ballets, even paintings, when they borrow images or motifs from stories. Images and motifs, stories’ most basic elements, travel back and forth along narrative spectrums. Politics, for example, may borrow and inflect powerful images from personal biographies, or biographies motifs from popular entertainments. Dreamers too borrow images/motifs from other stories.


Close Family Narrative Analysis Transitional Space Extraordinary Power Dream Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Jeannette Marie Mageo 2011

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