Roberts, Brian (2003) Narrative, Memory, Health and Recurrence: Conceptual Notes. In: Narrative, Memory and Health. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 13-29.

In Orson Welles’s film Citizen Kane a reporter seeks the secret of Kane’s
life through interviews with those closest to him - especially the riddle of
his last word - ‘rosebud’. Bernstein, a long-term associate, suggests it
might be a girl Kane met many years ago. The reporter is sceptical but the
elderly Bernstein replies that he still remembers probably at least once a
month a girl dressed in white he only saw for a moment getting off a ferry
years gone by. Welles himself described in a chat show interview a similar
‘recurrence’ he had experienced - a girl with red dress on bus seen only
briefly but, nevertheless, frequently remembered over the intervening
years. (1)
The autobiographical process, the one in which Dickens’s David Copperfield
will participate, becomes an act of self-creation. It repeatedly draws attention
to the fictive status of the self, especially through the appropriation of other
narrative conventions. (Frank, 1984, pp.8-9)
The following is a series of conceptual notes - ideas for consideration as
elements for analysis of narratives, including the telling of the life, the
construction of past/present and future through memory, the formation of
‘personal myths’, and ‘self-images’ of health. It is not the usual style of article
with aims stated, research outlined and ends achieved but a number of
provisional theoretical ruminations constituting a work in progress (as perhaps
all writing is).

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