Journal 12

The readings for this week bring up important ways to interpret and analyze an interview. As I was reading through the various ways an interview should be used I found myself asking how my interviews would hold up or fit in with what the various authors discussed. I know my narrators did not tell me the whole story of their lives and chose not to mention certain things and opted for more pleasant topics to discuss, but they also were not pressured to talk or not talk about certain things like in Dona Maria’s case. I agree its important to figure out what each narrator’s motive is in agreeing to be interviewed and being cognizant of what effect that might have on the resulting narrative. After reading these articles I realized how much I want their stories to be fact, how satisfying it would be to hear the truth about the past from someone who lived through it. But, its not that easy. Smith’s article stresses how the narratives obtained from the interviewees are more a reflection of the society’s collective memory, how events and experiences have been shared ¬†and discussed and interpreted way before your interview took place so what you get are stories that have been told over and over, shared and changed depending on the audience until they get to a point where they are a figment of what they once were and have only the framework of the original experience. When most of our interviewees are 80, 90 something years old imagine how many times their stories have been told over the dinner table, at parties, etc. Something else I’ve come up with after reading my interviews is how do my narrators want to be remembered?

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