Articles on Narrative

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For years, Talese’s subject, Gerald Foos, spied on his motel guests. 'Binoculars' via

The murky ethics of Gay Talese’s ‘The Voyeur’s Motel’

When Gay Talese signed a confidentiality agreement with a motel-owning voyeur, he got access to the voyeur's journals and secret viewing perch. But he also allowed the spying to continue for over a decade.
A major challenge facing writers who want to take on the Bomb is that conventional description fails. EPA/HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL MUSEUM HANDOUT

Atomic amnesia: why Hiroshima narratives remain few and far between

Hollywood has kept its distance from the bombing of Hiroshima, 70 years ago, and novelists, aside from sci-fi authors, have largely ignored the catastrophe as a means of exploring human nature. Why?
EP Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class brought narrative methods to bear on historical scholarship. Wellcome Trust/WIkimedia Commons

Historical texts as literature? We do well to praise EP Thompson

There's no shortage of historical texts, but only a handful are lauded as literature. We can learn valuable lessons by revisiting EP Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class.
Kate Grenville, with The Secret River, found herself in the middle of a debate at the heart of history. Chris Boland/Flickr

On the frontier: the intriguing dance of history and fiction

'History and fiction journey together and separately into the past; they are a tag team, sometimes taking turns, sometimes working in tandem.' Enjoy the second part of our series, Writing History.
A fantasy about free markets in primitive society lies at the heart of Adam Smith’s wealth of nations – but did they ever exist? Steve Rhodes/Flickr

The myth that holds Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations together

The myth that our primitive forebears were capitalists at heart is fundamental to Adam Smith's arguments in The Wealth of Nations.
Seismic changes in the television industry have transformed the ways stories are told and consumed. from

Why has TV storytelling become so complex?

Many refer to advances in television storytelling as novelistic or cinematic, but the medium deserves a term of its own: complex TV.
What we choose to wear tells the world a great deal about our perceptions of ourselves. Leo Reynolds/Flickr

Do you see what I’m wearing? How clothes reveal who we are

It's easy to dismiss fashion as trivial but the clothes we wear have stories to tell. Fashion is part of everyday experience and our memories are often stitched into the seams of our favourite dresses.
Adam Smith used parables, morality tales, and canine analogies to explain his theories of economics. Kasper Flörchinger

How cute dogs help us understand Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’

A careful study of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations reveals that its influence lies not in Smith’s ability to construct an argument – but in his skill as teller of tall tales.
Julia Gillard has to communicate her government’s reason for being. AAP

Dear Prime Minister: we want stories, not lessons

Former US presidential speechwriter, the late William Safire, outlined the components of a perfect political speech as follows: “tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em – then tell ‘em – then tell ‘em what…

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