Secrets and "eloquent episodes": the power of telling the buried story

Australasian Association of Writing Programs
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Text, 2012, 16 (2), pp. 1 - 19
Issue Date:
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There is often a moment or moments during an interview where the subject's deeply personal experience intersects with the narrative process; "an eloquent episode" on which the central significance of an entire story resonates. Drawing on a sequence of interviews with subjects telling deeply hidden, long held secrets, this paper will examine a series of micro moments within each account, both for their narrative power as well as their fundamental consequence to the narrative or macro process. Many of the buried stories in this paper are of traumatic memory, circulating around sexuality, or sexual and violent secrets. Attendant to this is the ethical management of such moments at the time of interview, as well as their subsequent reduction to written words by the interviewer. Incorporating a reflective practice into the text in combination with the undertaking of an ethical practice is to only increase the power of the story, and authenticate further the voice of the secondary story teller. By focusing on "the eloquent episode" or micro moment, and expanding its bounds, it is the intention of this paper to highlight it as a literary device that reinforces the power of the telling of the story, authenticating not just the voice of the primary storyteller but the narrative.
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