Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Wounded Storyteller

I thought this book was extremely interesting; Arthur Frank's explanation of each kind of pain narrative especially struck me as key for understanding how people deal with different kinds of pain.
The example used with Job in particular was very thought provoking. Explaining Job's situation as a puzzle shows a lot about our current culture; certainly it allows us to see that there was a reason for his suffering, that in the end he is happy again and rewarded for his fortitude in that terrible situation. If the story had gone a different way, however, and he was not rewarded, people would not have gotten anything of value from the story. It seems that we are looking more and more for the reason that things happen - because of the story of Job, so many people in desperate times can say "well it is all part of God's plan" and survive day to day. If there had not been any restitution for Job, now people would see it as a mystery. A problem unsolved and not likely to ever be solved, and as such it seems less worthwhile for people to keep faith in hard times and believe in a higher power. I just think it is interesting how so much of people's lives can be explained in that one simple example, that people need to be able to see the good coming out of a situation to deal with it. Granted it isn't like this all across the board, but most people I know, and myself in certain situations, react that way without a second thought.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

9/11 Graphic Novel

I enjoyed this graphic novel a lot; it is common knowledge about what happened on September 11th, 2001, and aside from documentaries, movies, and history books, I had thought that all possible mediums for getting different perspectives on the incident were running out - evidently this is not so. Putting the commission's report into the form of a graphic novel could have been done for more than one reason; whether to allow an artist to take personal liberties in how they want to depict the people in charge, or maybe just to spread the public knowledge on the actual report filed by the commission and what the findings happened to be - it is a lot easier to get a sense of what went wrong when you can combine the words you read with pictures of the situation.
The thing that I thought was most interesting was that it was based off of the actual 9/11 commission reports, and was cleared by the government to be turned into graphic novel form; right when I started reading it I could see how badly the government figures were being depicted, something that struck me as peculiar after how much effort the people in charge put into saving face. Granted they owned up to the fact that things were handled as badly as they could have possibly been handled, but the real extent of how seriously inept the countries leaders are shown to be in this graphic novel caught me by surprise.
Overall I enjoyed the way this was put together, and although the sometimes unfamiliarity and formality of the language made it a bit difficult to read without it seeming like an essay with pictures, I knew since it was based on the official report that I shouldn't expect too much else.