Seeing the Links Among the Personal Past, Present, and Future: How Imagery Perspective in Mental Simulation Functions in Defining the Temporally Extended Self

Authored by: Lisa K. Libby , Richard P. Eibach

Handbook of Imagination and Mental Simulation

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  September  2012

Print ISBN: 9781841698878
eBook ISBN: 9780203809846
Adobe ISBN: 9781136678103

10.4324/9780203809846.ch24

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Abstract

Joan Didion's autobiographical play, The Year of Magical Thinking, is based on her memoir of the same title and depicts the events from a period in her life that included both the unexpected death of her husband and the prolonged illness and eventual death of her only child. Describing the process of adapting the story for the Broadway stage, Didion commented:

I never thought of the character who would appear onstage in this play as me. I thought of her as “the speaker,” or “she.” I thought of myself as the witness, the watcher, the auditor, the audience.… It would be logical to assume that I adopted this distance to protect myself. It would also be wrong. The idea that whoever appeared onstage would play not me but a character was central to imagining how to make the narrative: I would need to see myself from outside. (2007, p. B7)

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