Volume 4, Number 2 (June 2006) : 79--89|
Sameness and Selfhood in Agota Kristof's The Notebook
Rubric A: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
According to Paul Ricoeur’s concept of “narrative identity,” both narrative and self-identity are formed and developed as an outcome of a constant vacillation between sameness and selfhood. The theoretical discussions of narrative identity, including Ricoeur’s, underestimate the threat posed by a radical shift to the pole of sameness, stasis, and stagnation. After clarifying some of the reasons for the asymmetry between the two facets of identity, the paper explores the possibility of sameness taking over selfhood in the constitution of self-identity and narrative. It briefly examines techniques by which such narrative identity is formed and deals with its implications for both self and narrative in Agota Kristof’s The Notebook (Le Grand cahier).