Variations on a Theme in the Life Stories of a Mother and Daughter


My paper explores the commonalities of structure in the life stories of a mother and her daughter. One of my much loved informants was seventy-two year old Milda a countrywoman from north-east Latvia whom I interviewed in 1992. Returning seven years later I learnt that Milda had died bu in her place I met her sixty year old daughter Mudra. Although the author of the original life had died the story lived on. The perspective of generation allowed me to choose the story teller for the beginning of the story but while its re-readings and variations continue its ending is indefinitely deferred. I argue that sharing and contributing to the same story does not preclude the existence of a strong and distinctive sense of self. Agency and selfhood are intimately connected with interpretation and the pursuit of understanding experience. In order to illuminate this perspective I will draw upon ideas of musical form and interpretation that suggest how this might come about. As in the art of music creation and interpretation are closely linked. I will argue that authoring and interpretation are as indissolubly linked in the verbal arts of life story telling.

May 29, 2019 — May 30, 2019
Londona (Apvienotā Karaliste)

Rīkotāji - Centre for Work and Employment, The University of Greenwich/ Centre for Narrative Research, University of East London / Feminist Research Group, University of East London / Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education