I was thinking about the functions of narrative and all of these things, and what purpose does it have? There are many different theories, I won’t go the laundry list here, but all I’ll say is that these feel lacking to me. They feel like they remove the actual need for narrative, act like it’s a toy for the mind. Exploring ideas, concepts, escape, confrontation of difficult matter, all of those, all of these, they are like puzzles. But of what worth are they? True worth?
They are describing not the purpose of narrative, but instead individual purposes for individual narrative concepts. As a larger question, a bigger question, it lacks.
But for me this answer is simple. The purpose of narrative, the function of all narratives, is empathy. It is empathy in the eyes of others, for ourselves, for everything. Narrative is a weapon against loneliness. It is pure empathy because it communicates to us through the abstract symbols of the mind.
I’m using the generic turn narrative on purpose here. Poems, novels, short stories, songs, movies, plays, etc. All things trying to talk about the human experience through movement, through sound, through visions, through words, through all of it- it is narrative. It is the strive for empty, the fight against the lonely universe that surrounds us.
Loneliness- this has been a cause of anxiety throughout the rise of humanity. The way we have to deal with this giant expansive existence, and the walls between us, the walls around us, all of it, all of it. It is the fear of night, it is the fear of fire, it is the fear of lightning. All of it. It is loneliness. That is our enemy. And here, narrative, here. This weapon made of symbols, striking out.
So no narrative should be off limits. What we talk about shouldn’t be, since it is a key to the fight, to the understanding of each other, to what is creating and causing loneliness.
In my eyes? Only two kinds of narratives- those that successfully move against this common enemy and those that fall short, that leave you more empty and alone afterwards.
I need to think on this more.