Black Hawk Down Essays
The referential aspect has important implications in terms of the ethical, aesthetic and cognitive stance of the reader.The author’s commitment of being faithful to the historical record heightens not only the potential for identification on the part of the reader, but it also alters rhetorical purposes and interpretive strategies (cf. The narrativization of experiences makes it impossible for readers to remain emotionally indifferent to the narrative.Inspired by Emmanuel Levinas’s (1969) definition of ethics as something that rests upon an understanding of the precarious life of the Other, rendered intelligible via “the domain of representation where humanization and dehumanization occur ceaselessly” (ibid., 140), Butler’s approach contributes to a way of thinking that is simultaneously culturally sensitive and critical.Against this background, CEN is best understood as a critical project, because it asks us to scrutinize our own ways of meaning making and the values and norms that guide our cultural world-models. eventfulness, refers to a change of state, that is, a transition from one situation to another.The analytical framework of CEN promises to give insights into literary journalism as a genre that is heavily involved in the representation, construction and dissemination of ethical values and norms. Keeble / Tulloch 2012, Hartsock 1999, 2000, Sims 1984, 1990, Sims / Kramer 1995) is an umbrella term for what is variously referred to as literary non-fiction (Anderson 1989, Goudsblom 2000), documentary fiction (Foley 1986, Pedri 2001), factual fiction (Flis 2010), or the literature of fact (Weber 1980) by scholars.The reason why these terms are often used interchangeably has to do with the fact that different kinds of literary journalism are ontologically similar and share epistemological common ground.Moreover, literary journalism is conditioned by what James Phelan (2007, 217) calls the ethics of ‘global referentiality’.
Works of literary journalism such as Mark Bowden’s hypertext Blackhawk Down (1997) not only effectively assimilate the repertoires of fictional and factual genres, but they also, in a sense, surpass these genres and take on the status of a new, postmodern ‘supergenre’.The concepts of sequentiality and temporality are closely linked to eventfulness, because the causal and/or chronological sequence of events implies the presence of temporality (cf. Experientiality is defined by Monika Fludernik (1996) as the evocation of human experience within a represented human context.Together, eventfulness, sequentiality (temporality) and experientiality make room for a conceptualization of literary journalism as a specific form of narration that is characterized by a temporal sequence of events, which are causally and/or chronologically connected and that evoke some kind of human experience.(CEN) – with the help of which it will be shown that narrative techniques and strategies are semanticized in Bowden’s hypertext to the extent that they convey ideologically charged values and norms and contribute to culture-specific notions of narration as a process of relating.The conceptualization of narration as a process of relating can be fruitfully linked to the idea of a non-violent ethics as proposed by Judith Butler (2004).Genre, Mikhail Bakhtin and Pavel Medvedev (1928, 137) argue, is “an aggregate of the means for seeing and conceptualizing reality”.In other words, genres possess a certain performative power; they shape and mold reality and create effects of truth central to what we perceive to be ‘reality’.I seek to shed light on the genre- and media-specific structures that serve as ways of cultural worldmaking as well as the ethical and epistemological functions of narratological categories that Bowden uses in order to advance narration so that it becomes a process of relating.The most urgent need in the context of a Critical Ethical Narratology (CEN) is to find a way to talk about the formal properties of hybridized (fictual) genres and to combine this discussion with a consideration of their ideological and ethical implications.Literary journalism distinguishes itself from other genres through its anti-totalizing ideology and its mythopoeic, non-endorsive arrangement of facts (cf. The genre label refers to works that are characterized by “a personal ordering of a universe which, though it already exists, is nonetheless given shape by the author’s own experience” (Hoeks 2000, 39).Literary journalism is a particularly innovative genre that is subject to constant renewal, and therefore cannot be subsumed under the traditional triad of epic, lyric and drama.