The aim of this article is to study how experiences ofstorms assume narrative form. It examines how people talk about theirexperiences and why their narratives are often dramatic and emotional incharacter. The stories are drawn from responses to a questionnaire entitled‘Nice weather today!’, sent out by the Society of Swedish Literature in Finlandin the winter of 2015–16.
In the article I analyse thebuilding blocks of stories, their form and emotionality, and micro-narratives.The storm narratives considered here describe threatening events whichnevertheless ended well. The disaster that could have occurred failed to do so.I call these ‘nearly stories’. They describe how a storm nearly brought downtrees, how lightning nearly struck and, if it did strike, how the peopleinvolved nearly died. Stories about storms are largely concerned with asituation that is beyond human control and defies our need for control. Thesedramatic, even terrifying, incidents can be shaped into concludable narrativeswith a clear element of cause-and-effect, of causality, and clear markers ofinternal and external value judgements in the form of emotive words andexpressions. The dramatic thing that ‘nearly’ happened can be seen as anexaggeration, a way of recounting something exciting, but it can also beinterpreted as a powerful expression of emotion: a fear of the forces ofnature. Analysing storm stories by focusing on their narrative exaggerationthus becomes a way of understanding the dramatization of existential fear.
|Journal||Svenska landsmål och svenskt folkliv|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|