Stories of Our Lives
Memory, History, Narrative
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Utah State University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Part of chaPter 11 aPPeared Previously, in somewhat different form, in the Louisiana Folklore Miscellany (volumes 16–17, 2008). And as of this writing material from chapters 1 and 10 is due to appear in Western Folklore. A number of people have read this book in an earlier draft and kindly offered additions and suggestions and I thank them all: Beatrice Palmer, ...
Be Sure to Read This First: A Preface
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I am . . . ambivalent about memoirs because of what I have learned about memory. Yet I also realize that we are constantly constructing our memoirs, polishing and tweaking our life stories, making order out of randomness every time we recount the events of the day.this book is Partly a memoir, but a memoir with a difference and a premise: that our life memory is informed by and greatly influenced by ...
1. The Golden-Haired Maiden
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...it is 1979 and i am sitting in a pub in Youghal, County Cork, Ireland, with six other people, five of whom have personal connections to an impe-rial past. Our informal conversation quickly turns to the subject about which I have come to interview one of them, though I will wind up taping At the bus station in Waterford yesterday evening the stage was set for ...
2. 7002 Ridge
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...of course, i was born in a Place and grew up in a place and I have always felt strongly influenced by place. My early place was New York City. Like virtually everyone, I must have started hearing stories while still young, must have awakened to the power of narrative as I learned about how people communicate. Yet when I think of the quintessential New York ...
3. Foreigners Arrive
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...those other stories, which i heard “all my life” at 7002 Ridge, start in the second half of the nineteenth century, on the Kansas frontier—stories already recounted in the previous chapter—and in Battery Park in the City of New York. These seem to be the stories of my personal beginning, linking me and my “people” to the national story, situating me and us in time and ...
4. The Lake
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The lake, my mother or grandmother would say to people who couldn’t place it, is “about twenty-five miles north of Danbury.” People might know Danbury, Connecticut, because of its noted hat factories or its fair, which had begun modestly enough in 1821 and developed into a sort of lavish, intermittent amusement park and racetrack that drew people from miles ...
5. Beyond 7002
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...knowledge, connected to forebears and a past, though I would not know the true story of John Henry for some years. Such a connection is not an inconsiderable thing: the places where you walk take on greater meaning; Some of the connection was tangible: many of the people from the past still surrounded me, inhabiting space that was also mine. I lived with my ...
6. Becoming the East Village
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...in the Phase of my life that transPired from 1963 to 1966, I was most involved in two kinds of stories: the fictional kind that preoccupied many creative writers at Johns Hopkins University and later, when I worked for the New York Welfare Department, the carefully typed kind that made up our case files. While this was a period for written stories, those stories did ...
7. Tinkly Temple Bells
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...before i even arrived in 1966, india had already entered my con-sciousness in many ways. Thanks in part to the Beatles and their maha-rishi, the country was enjoying a resurgence as a place of mysticism and mystery. Sitars and tablas could be heard in Western pop and rock music. In the East Village, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg—both influenced by and ...
8. Life in a Cornfield
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...a couPle of years later, in bloomington, indiana, i met my future wife, Rosan Augusta Jordan, probably first while she put in a few hours staffing the desk at the Indiana University Folklore Library (the folklore collection was housed separately at that time). She had finished her course-work and doctoral exams, completed her dissertation fieldwork in Texas ...
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...when i left bloomington, i took a job at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and settled into academia. Although I do not mean to slight the many years I spent there, I do not intend to drone on about them. LSU and Baton Rouge turned out to be a bit of the Old South where I found the material for stories about white-coated black men who served coffee to ...
10. Long Ago and Far Away: Another Passage to India
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...a merging of forces in 1979 brought rosan and me—while we were still very much folklorists teaching at LSU—to the pub in Youghal on the west coast of Ireland and to the stories which a kind reader may remember We took on what we called the “sahib project” because we were intrigued theoretically by the sorts of folklore an elite group would have and by the ...
11. Katrina: We Leave, We Return, Stories Abound
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Saturday, August 27, 2005, before the big rush of people, well before the deadly rush of water. We are not tied down to jobs, a business, cats, aquaria. The road out is an easy drive, not yet clogged by later refugees; dear friends in Baton Rouge, Margaret and Juan, take us in, even giving us their own grand king-size bed. Although Baton Rouge takes a hit, Juan and Margaret’s ...
Contexts and Meanings: A Brief Afterword
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...writing recently in The New Yorker about business theorist Clayton Christensen, Larissa MacFarquhar notes that her subject’s success lies partly in that he is “a master storyteller.” The CEOs he has influenced “learned through stories, they remembered stories, and they repeated stories to the people who worked for them.”1 Christensen presented his stories in written ...
About the Author
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...frank de caro is Professor Emeritus of English at Louisiana State University and editor of The Folklore Muse and An Anthology of American ...
Page Count: 234
Illustrations: 20 b&w photographs
Publication Year: 2013
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth