Posts Tagged ‘biography’

☞ In an earlier post, where I quoted from an article titled “Narrative as scaffolding” on this blog, Phlip Zack argues that political perception cannot be immediate, as perception itself is mediated by narratives. I also mentioned that in the previous American Presidential election, Obama understood the importance of storytelling, and made good use of it in his campaign. Romney, as a contrast, did not, and in fact criticised Obama for believing that he should have engaged the people better through more effective storytelling in his first term as President (see Romney, RNC react to Obama’s comments on his biggest mistake). Romney’s failure to devise an effective narrative for himself was one of several factors that eventually led to his defeat. But would a future Republican Presidential candidate have a more effective story (or set of stories) to help him in his campaign? Jon Ward thinks that there is one, in the person of Marco Rubio, who, like Obama, appreciates the power of narrative in political engagement.

“Let us count the ways that Sen. Marco Rubio is already better positioned to be a competitive presidential candidate in 2016 than Mitt Romney ever was.

Marco Rubio - Caricature

Marco Rubio – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Rubio (R-Fla.) is younger. He’s Latino. He gives a good speech. But less remarked upon: Rubio understands the importance of talking about himself.

In other words, Rubio, 41, gets narrative.

For much of the last year, the Republican Party apparently did not. And the GOP’s self-examination in the wake of Romney’s loss has prompted many to say that the party needs to convey a more compelling, inspiring vision to American voters.

“The number one rule of competitive politics [is that] your story has to be rooted in lives of people. Having a narrative is really important,” said former president Bill Clinton.

Narrative has become an overused cliché in everyday political parlance, but as a concept it is as crucial as ever for any national politician. President Barack Obama paved his path to victory in 2008 by telling his own story in a 1995 memoir. And Obama’s longtime trusted adviser David Axelrod centered the 2008 campaign message firmly around the candidate’s biography.”

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Modern classics: The new book is the third in a series of fashion fairy tales

☞ One of the ways to present a person’s biography is through narrative, and one of the favourite genres of narrative used for this is the fairy tale. This is the schema used by Camilla Morton in her biography of Diane von Furstenberg. There are two sides to a fairy tale, of course, and one wonders if the schematisation here is entirely positive (the full title of the book has the phrase “The Empress’s New Clothes” in it).

“From marrying a prince, to founding one of the world’s most famous fashion labels, Diane von Furstenberg has led a seemingly charmed life.

And now, the designer’s story has quite literally become a fairy tale, thanks to author Camilla Morton.

Titled Diane von Furstenberg and the Tale of The Empress’s New Clothes, she blends the plot of Hans Christian Andersen‘s The Emperor’s New Clothes with details of von Furstenberg’s own history.

The designer was heavily-involved with the project, not only working with Morton on the story itself, but also providing all of the illustrations.”

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