This essay explores how characters’ actions in the film Stranger than Fiction demonstrate the ethics and aesthetics of authoring our own and others’ lives as developed in Mikhail Bakhtin's “Author and Hero in Aesthetic Activity.” Our lives are open events requiring response and co-authoring from others with different worldviews to achieve consummation of our own becoming. I probe how the film dramatizes our indebtedness to others, our answerability, and the necessity of making choices as ongoing tasks embraced in the face of death. I close with implications for the ethical and aesthetic demands of everyday communication and writing qualitative research.
Stranger than Fiction, Answerability, and Co-Authoring a Life
William K. Rawlins is the Stocker Professor of Communication Studies in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University. I thank Stacy Holman Jones, Sandy Rawlins, Rebekah Crawford, Jennifer Dunn, and Lynn M. Harter for their careful reading and constructive suggestions in writing this essay. Correspondence to: William K. Rawlins, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University, Lasher Hall, 43 W. Union Street, Athens, OH 45701, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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William K. Rawlins; Stranger than Fiction, Answerability, and Co-Authoring a Life. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 June 2015; 4 (2): 8–31. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2015.4.2.8
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